What's In Our G1G1 Box? And Where's My XO Laptop Now?

olpc shipment
A very lucky lady!

I am Eden Krehbiel, a fan of the OLPC project and the Give 1, Get 1 program. Like many others, I also received my First Day Donor Email. I rolled out of bed to order online in the pre-dawn darkness of November 12. I know I am not alone in wanting to know the details for when XO laptops will be in the hands of ordinary folks here in North America.

We've been told by Donor Services they will be shipped UPS, and that the first batch comes early enough to begin arriving in the Americas between December 14 and 24. My supposition is that packing and direct shipping will be done by the manufacturer, Quanta.

This is based on a complaint I found about the packaging of the B4 Test laptops in August and then word of a new box design for the XOs at the factory earlier in November.

The OLPC developers posted a schedule with a " Ship.1" date of November 20 and "Ship.2" date of December 1. Could it be that some are already on the way? I got on the UPS website and used their "Calculate Time and Cost" feature to guesstimate length of time needed for transit to my area, in the Western USA.

Even the longest option for air freight took less than seven days from Taiwan. What I don't know yet is how OLPC ships to the donor recipient countries (Rwanda, Mongolia, Haiti, Cambodia, and Afghanistan) nor how many will be going to each place. Most of these will be localized into languages other than English and may come with extra goodies that we won't see on this continent, at least not yet.

olpc $100 laptop
OLPC solar-powered WiFi repeater

So what comes in the box besides the laptop and the AC adapter? The review by David Pogue of the New York Times had me wound up over XO peripherals like a solar panel and a "yo-yo charger."

It appears that neither of these items come to North American buyers, but they may be going with the donated laptops to other countries. I contacted Potenco, the maker of the round little pull-cord charger. They directed me to sign up for their newsletter and said they expect that the charger will be retailed next summer.

The little information I found on the "$12 solar panel" didn't tell me the manufacturer nor how to obtain one. I hope it doesn't end up as the "$112 panel" because every other design I found online cost hundreds of dollars. What is available now for those of us planning to go off the grid with the XO are the portable chargers from Freeplay, combined with an adapter for a car cigarette lighter.

XO Battery Charger Update: A commenter got this email from OLPC Support when asked what alternate power supplies would come with the XO in G1G1:

"No Solar Panel will be sent with the laptops, this item is not yet available but should be within the next 12 months. All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter. It will also come with 2 more power sources it can either be a foot pedal, pull cord, or a crank. At this time we are not able to inform our donors which one their laptop will have. "
If given the choice, which human power option would you choose for your G1G1 XO?

Updated by Wayan

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Hello Eden, the Ship.1 and Ship.2 dates that you mentioned are related to the software development of the laptop (please see http://dev.laptop.org/roadmap?show=all for details) and don't have anything to do with the shipping dates, mass production, G1G1, etc.

From what I understand the G1G1 units will only come with a regular AC adapter. There's no confirmed information about the availability or price about any of the other accessories that have been mentioned in the past months!

Ship.1 and Ship.2 are references to software releases, not to shipping dates. Ship.1 and Ship.2 are expected to be installed on laptops before they are released into the wild. Ship.2 was the OS update that Ivan installed on 200 machines in Uruguay.

Update.1 is the next major release.

I second that. No pull cord charger. Just a regular AC adapter. The product is only cost $188, we paid $199 + shipping and there is no fricking pull cord charger?

I even ask if I can purchase the pull cord charger seperately, they said no.

Only the AC adapter is coming with the XO. The Off-grid power adapters were never stated to ship with the G1G1 anywhere on the hosting website.

They'd be nice to have, I agree. Once Freeplay releases them into the wild (I don't think they have funding/production up yet) I'm sure you'll be able to go off grid too. (I'll be the first one in line :P)

according to a poster here: http://www.olpcnews.com/sales_talk/g1g1/my_olpc_xo_is_ordered.html and third from the bottom, he got an email from OLPC saying they were shipping with a alternative source. Don't know the validity.

Hmmm... if they are going via UPS, do you think there is a problem since my mailing address (and my billing address on my credit card) is a US P.O. Box? There was no statement on the online ordering option saying that there would be a problem with a P.O. Box...

Now I'm a little worried.

I received this email from OLPC Support:

"No Solar Panel will be sent with the laptops, this item is not yet available but should be within the next 12 months. All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter. It will also come with 2 more power sources it can either be a foot pedal, pull cord, or a crank. At this time we are not able to inform our donors which one their laptop will have. "

Thanks for the info Eric. I'm glad it is coming with some sort of "off grid" option. That was a major selling point for me.

Also with respect to my previous question about the P.O. Box, I've a request to [email protected] to see what I need to do about delivery.

Wow, all three options? Then I want me a Potenco YoYo charger! http://www.olpcnews.com/hardware/power_supply/potenco_yoyo_power_generator.html

That's the coolest and most compact design of the three and it can be used with a cell phone or iPod. And it sure beats all my huffing and puffing with the Freeplay foot charger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/2026890464/

John S, I had to update my address too and had a faster response with this number the agent at the ordering hotline
(877-70-laptop) line gave me: Customer Service (Donor Services) 1-800-201-7144

In in the interest of complete disclosure, I received the above email from OLPC Support on November 24, 2007. So that's the "at this time" that the email's referencing.

Eric, thanks a bunch for the info wrt to the "alternative" power solution being shipped with G1G1 units, that's certainly very exciting news!

Eric, did you ask what kind of battery the XO will ship with? 2 or 4 cells LiFePO4; or 5 cells NiMH?

Eden: Thanks a LOT for that Donor Services number. I've called and they made the change so presumably I should still be on track to get the XO with other "First Dayers."

Bastian: Alas, I did not. Which is a shame, for that would be useful knowledge to have.

I too am wondering what's in the box (will there even be a box?). What I want to know though, is there an owners manual? What does it look like? Also I understand there is several hundred color combinations for the XO logo. Are those colors picked at the factory, or is it a decal? If its a decal will there be an asortment of different color X's and O's included? Will there be any other goodies in the box? And when will they release accessories? I see a huge untapped market for xo green mice, green laptop sleeves, solar panels, ad infinitum.

1) Bastien: I don't know the cell count, but in response to an inquiry to sent to the tech support email, I am told LiFE PO battery.

2) I also got (a few weeks back) the confusing message about alternative power supplies. I say confusing, because it "will come with two more power sources" does not mesh with "which one their laptop will have."


I would totally go with the yo-yo, the foot crank seemed a little too large for carrying on trips ;)

I'm confused about the 'two or more power sources'. I thought this referred to the laptops being donated to kids in far away countries, not to the "Get 1" laptops being sent to North American donors. Where does it say that we, the donors, who ordered the under the "Get 1, Give 1" program will also get any power source other than an AC adapter?

Mark asks: "Where does it say that we, the donors, ... will also get any power source other than an AC adapter?"

Note Eric's email:

"All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter. It will also come with 2 more power sources it can either be a foot pedal, pull cord, or a crank. At this time we are not able to inform our donors which one their laptop will have."


"All the laptops" BUT they "are not able to inform our donors which one [alternative] their laptop will have."

I think it is fairly clear that at least according to this email we donors will also receive some sort of off-grid power option.

I would hope for the foot pedal. That would mean that I wouldn't have to stop typing/using the computer in order to provide power for it.

BTW, if they either develop a car charger with the XO or inform us what third-party car charger would work with it, I have my own portable solar charger that would suffice to charge the battery. It's called Power Pocket and it folds up to the size of a coupon wallet. I ordered it online over the summer.

Actually, it's got other adapter tips besides the 12v one, so it's conceivable that one of those might work. But since none of them fits my PDA phone or MP3 device, I put the other tips away. I guess I'll have to dig them out once the XO arrives.

Oh, and here's another alternative. If the XO can somehow be powered by USB, that opens up yet another off-grid method of charging it, as I have a few portable batteries that permit me to charge devices via a USB cord.

I'd cheerfully purchase adapters/chargers from OLPC when they become available from them. However, if it would make OLPC's life easier to license third parties to manufacture these accessories ASAP, count me in.

I had only expected an AC adaptor with the XO laptop. Frankly, I'd like to see the money for an alternative power source (those of us in G1G1 have access to AC power) go back into OLPC and the project. Now, if there is a generator included, I think it will be fascinating for all of us to vote on the pros and cons of the various options, and see if we find a winner.

Wayan, is there any way for this site to formulate and administer an early and later survey? We could enter a MAC address or serial number, perhaps, and get reaction to the numbers of questions raised above. Run an initial survey though the end of December, and then one the beginning of February, and track our reactions. With so many of us getting the laptops, and working in an American dialect of English, we might provide some good guidance and insight to the American-based OLPC team, and thus collectively contribute to the knowledge side of the movement.

I'm not convinced that my XO is going to come with a power source. The above wording is pretty ambiguous to if they are referring to the Give 1 or the Get 1 recipient.

Don't get people's hopes up.

I am among those who will receive their XO before or after the new year. I am being patient...

I have read every available page on this device, searching daily for new information. One thing I have thought about is the power supply. I don't need an alternative supply shipped with the device, a simple AC/DC charger will work for me. (In fact I see a funny image: if another power source will be included randomly, there will be a person at the factory in China choosing what item you (and I)receive.)

If they make them available later I may buy the yo-yo thing, but in my experience it won't get used much by me so I will probably pass. I read that the charging system is 12 volts so an automobile plug will do the trick when out camping or whatever. I looked at the "Power Pocket" online, a very cool device indeed. We have plenty of sun here on Maui so it would work handily. I am also hoping to meet up with other XO owners next year to experience the Mesh Network, something a one-off user won't get to use.

For me, beginning later next year I am actually going to several places around the world where AC power is either hard to find/get or expensive/restricted (Svalbard in the Arctic & Senegal in W. Africa) - so if my XO actually comes with an alternative power source, something off-grid, I'd find it very useful. Otherwise I'll have to buy something.

This actually sounds interesting: "BTW, if they either develop a car charger with the XO or inform us what third-party car charger would work with it, I have my own portable solar charger that would suffice to charge the battery. It's called Power Pocket and it folds up to the size of a coupon wallet. I ordered it online over the summer." - Thanks for the tip Donna.

According to Mike Lee who has one of the beta machines, the recently discontinued iGo auto/air power40 charger (UPC bar code: 763810009907) has a tip (D00) that perfectly fits the OLPC XO. I bought one at a Radio Shack in Chinatown in DC a few weeks ago for $20 on clearance (thanks for the heads up, Mike!).

Sadly, no alternative power sources will be shipped. I received this response to that very question on 12/2.
"Thank you for your interest in OLPC. At this time, the donor will receive an AC adapter. The solar panels and crank are unavailable for the time being. Please refer to our website for updates."
Donor Services

After following the OLPC wiki for several weeks and reading all available meterial there and on the official OLPC website, here's what I am convinced will come with the G1G1 XO units:

- XO laptop
- AC adapter

Here's what WON'T come with the G1G1 units:

- Alternative power sources
- User's Guide or any other documentation
- Warranty card
- Bundled software on CDs
- 800 number for user support
- etc.

The box is going to look really empty compared to something that comes from Best Buy.

Everyone who donated via G1G1 should remember that what they have primarily done is make a charitable donation to a worthy cause. What they haven't done is order a retail product.

If they want documentation, the place to go is the OLPC Wiki (wiki.laptop.org). That's a good place to look up additional software for the XO as well.

If they need an alternative power source, there are plenty of choices out there, but none officially for the XO yet, and no cheap ones. For most people, a simple auto DC adapter is probably the best bet for alternative power. It should be easy and cheap to homebrew when everyone has an XO in hand. The XO has a wide DC voltage range tolerance relative to other laptops.

WHAT I WANT (or actually what I don't want)

I just notice the 'X's are in different colors. Please, if you can, do not send me one with 'Carolina Blue' as it is bad enough to work and live around these University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill yahoos.


Just to affirm what "Con" said above, I just received this response from donor services:

"All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter and battery at this time, the battery is rechargeable. No accessories are available for purchase at this time however our manufactures will make accessories available, based on demand. At this time we have 2 different types of batteries that are LiFePO4 or NiMH. We are unable to determine which one you will be receiving."

A. Schmitz:

Huh, that response is puzzling to me, since I got an unambiguous answer (a few weeks back) of "LiFePO4" when I asked what kind of battery chemistry would be in the laptop. Shouldn't laptops ordered on the first day get the most desirable batteries? :)

Similarly confusing: the emailed stock answer that said there would be (an undisclosed) power source besides the AC adapter in donor's machines. So now it's neither one nor two (depending on how that stock answer was read, since it wasn't clearly phrased) but zero? :) I promise not to be too shocked or disappointed, but I found that email tantalizing, and was hoping I'd get a pull-string yo-yo charger. Ah, well!



Here is a first unboxing flickr set:


Just to keep us entertained while we wait ...

I hope it doesn't get longer to to the second release of Ship.2 (650) yesterday. They already shipped 30 000 to Brightstar in Chicago to re-flash (Info from the developer irc chat yesterday night).

High-res unboxing photos of a G1G1 production unit were posted by Morgan Collett on Wednesday, 12/5/07.

Morgan's blog is at http://morgancollett.wordpress.com/; the flickr set is at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157603379066746/

Hexagonal: FASTER! :)

Can you tell me when my computer will be shipped to me? Or at least the ststus of my order? THANKS!

Charles Dickinson -- this blog, olpcnews.com, is in no way affiliated with the One Laptop Per Child Foundation. No one here can tell you when your XO might arrive. Have you seen http://laptopgiving.org/en/shipping-information.php ? It gives delivery windows.

I found another interesting off-grid peripheral. If someone could get THIS to work with the XO, it would be great! It provides for options for both solar AND wind(!) and it even comes in green. :)


did anyone get an alternate human power source with their's?

a good read !

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