We Need One Laptop Per Village


One Laptop per Child is a great concept, but I thought I'd try a similar project. I am Karel Kosman and I'm proposing One Laptop Per Village for the following reasons:

First of all, from my understanding, OLPC is not a full computer and cannot install standard Windows programs, so the computer may be better served as an educational tool for children. What I think Africa needs is tools and knowledge to earn a living through the internet so that it can feed itself (while considering that it could be on the edge of an internet revolution, and may need lots of help considering possible further devastation due to global warming).

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Equipped with these tools a village can then earn enough money to hopefully buy a second laptop, train other villagers, possibly also from neighbouring villages, and balloon from there.

My project would include a solar panel and a memory stick so that the villagers can transfer data over the internet through an internet cafe at a neighbouring city, until such time as internet is brought to their village.

The laptops would come with good programs they could teach themselves how to use, with instructions how to learn all the necessary skills. This idea came to me since for the past 15 years I have worked freelance exclusively through the internet, and for the past three years I lived in a truck while traveling around the world, surviving off solar panels on my roof.

I am prepared to drive down to Africa myself, ladened also with OLPC computers, train them myself and help them get set up. If you have any suggestions how I could move forward with this concept I'd be happy to hear from you. You can write to me with your ideas too.

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Standard Windows programs? Pssshh. Where have you been all these years?

It cannot run "standard windows programs" because it doesn't have windows.

To be a "full computer" it doesn't need windows. It's a full computer with a purpose.

Not a full computer ? The only limitations of an XO are the screen size (not the resolution, which is very high) and the ease of typing on the small keyboard.

By the time you move to XO-1.5, it is more than twice the computer that my employer provided in 2001 for engineering work.

Run Windows ? Both the XO-1 and XO-1.5 run Windows just fine. The reason you don't hear about Windows on XO is that nobody wants to pay the additional cost.

Still, there is little wrong with your suggestion. One problem you will encounter with our releases (and Sugar) is that they are designed around a single user per machine, but the underlying mechanisms for supporting multiple users are there.

What is missing right now is good software support for high latency networking (USB stick). OLPC looked into this, and there are open source projects which might work but need to be integrated.

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