Internet Archive Loves the XO Laptop eBook Reader


Recently, Steve Cisler, went to the headquarters of the Internet Archive, an Internet library with permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format.

The Internet Archive is a great resource for exploring the digital past, and was a fellow Tech Award Laureate in 2007. More to the point, the Internet Archive ♥ One Laptop Per Child's wondrous eBook technology. Just check out Steve's video about his trip:

Yes, that's Brewster Kahle rhapsodizing about the 200dpi dual mode XO screen and how it can render book scans beautifully, showing the actual design of the book. He estimates that any book can be an electronic book for about $10-20 - doesn't that make you want to donate $100 to digitize your favorite books?

And I have to agree with Brewster, OLPC has designed a convenient, mass produced, inexpensive, and open ebook platform. He is right to say that the XO laptop may be the best opportunity to get a digital Library of Alexandria to the world.

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I think the XO will make an excelent ebook reader, it's a large part of why I bought one.

Steve's report comes in handy, considering the recent unveiling of the Kindle. While Amazon has provided a rather closed environment, with the intention of developing its core business of selling content, OLPC has brought, potentially, a strong platform for accessing all kinds of content from all sources. It is perhaps the strongest suite of the XO-1.

I do see the XO-1 as a real UMPC, instead of the bloated products proposed before. A simple device for communication and self-study. I still think that the whole OLPC model for basic education in the developing world is wrong, but a slightly larger model could do wonders for college kids in countries like mine. There's where the potential lies...

The video is down. Anyone have a mirror?

Sorry, the first video I posted was choppy, so I removed it and uploaded a smaller one. Here's the direct address:

Like another reader has just commented, this is a large part of why I ordered one (through the G1G1 program) -- I was quite impressed with the screen of the Sony e-book reader I've seen (not sure the resolution on that), and with the transformer hinge it looks like a perfectly reasonable platform for reading books.

(However, with the one-task-at-a-time mindset, does that mean I won't be able to play music at the same time as I read?)


Yeah, when I first heard about the Kindle, I immediately thought of how overpriced it was. $400 for something that essentially only reads books, plays mp3s and does minimal surfing? Why charge so much when we know the cost of the XO is $200 and it does so much more than the Kindle?

For the same money Amazon's Jeff Bezos wants for a Kindle, you can buy yourself an XO and pay for a child in the 3rd World to get one, as well. What's wrong with people who buy a Kindle and not an XO??

Great video! (Short, but encouraging.)

I understand there are some exclusivity agreements wrt the hardware (the screen, the Marvell chip, etc.), so they can't be used by anyone outside OLPC for at least some stretch of time.

But: what's to stop Quanta (as soon as those agreements are no longer in effect) from running off millions of "e-book readers" (with handy email checking capability, camera, speakers, etc)?

I hope that the OLPC screen tech leaks soon into other projects :)



Even though the XO would very likely make an excellent ebook reader, let's not forget that the XO currently is only available for $US400 (never mind the given one) and only in North-America. This way, it will never have an impact on ebook reading.

Mr.Negroponte, please, please, please. Get a grip on reallity and start selling the XO to everyone, everywhere. At $200, your little baby would do wonders to the world. The current limited approach of OLPC will make the project fail.

Sophie is a cross platform authoring and reading program from Institute for the Future of the Book. It will be included on the XO as an ebook reader, according to their web site. Here's a demo of Sophie running on the XO. It's very very slow to start up. I'm playing with the Mac version, and it is not a simple interface, perhaps because of all the features.

Hello guys,

No. Sorry about this, but the $200 XO won't have nearly as big an impact on the world as an e-book reader as the Lightbook, at twenty dollars.

The Lightbook is the way to get the Gutenberg Project out into the world.

* * * * *

"Mr.Negroponte, please, please, please. Get a grip on reality and start selling the Lightbook to everyone, everywhere. At $20, this little baby would do wonders to the world. The current limited approach of OLPC will make the project fail."

* * * * *

The XO is a lovely, well-designed little laptop with which to compete in the huge market for nice little $200 laptops.


With love,

Martin Woodhouse

In my own personal experience, I can tell you education will not only remove poverty but can make big difference for whole society around you. I came from not so well family in rural area of Punjab but was good in education and now able to make whole family in very good position. Because of my success, next generation of my village also now doing well. Well done OLPC. You doing a great work for people of third world.