The One Laptop Per Child project is nothing new in the world of us geeks. What is new is that they will soon be available for purchase in North America during a narrow window in November.
If you are not familiar with the project then by all means check it out, it’s pretty amazing. Basically, a group of people got together and decided to put together a super durable machine for children in 3rd world nations. This thing has battery life from 6 hours to 24 depending on use. It had no internal moving parts to break like fans and hard drives. It has a camera, microphone, speakers and wireless built in. It’s able to create a mesh network of computers without the user having to do anything. Power it on and any OLPC machines near you will be connected, if one machine has the internet they will then all have the internet. They are water resistant, you can drop them and then recharge them with a $12 solar panel among other options. They are perfect for kids. The internal flash memory disk can be restored to factory defaults with the push of a button if for any reason your laptop stops working correctly. This could be an issue as every piece of software on the device can be edited right there in real time. It’s going to be an amazing learning tool and best of all dirt cheap.
After I heard about the project my first thought was… do they need computers? Aren’t there better things for these countries to spend money on? Take a look here, to see the logic behind it all. I can’t express it any better then they already have.
So they will be available to buy, but there is a catch. If you want one, you have to buy two. You pay the money for two, one comes to you and one gets donated. This is an amazing opportunity that I will absolutely be taking advantage of.
For details about getting one of your own, take a look here: http://www.xogiving.org/
To buy, it’s $400 dollars and you have to do it on or after November 12th. I’ve heard here and there that it will be available for 2 weeks but I don’t see that mentioned on the site. Maybe they have a certain number that they will make available and when they hit that they will stop.. I don’t know. I’ve signed up to get an email reminder so that I don’t forget..