Laptops

$100 laptop debuts in Uruguay


The Laptop Project has delivered their first XO machines, the famed "$100 laptops", faster than previously expected, to a school in Uruguay, after Brazilian beta testing.

XOs are RoHS-compliant for safety. They run on a 366MHz AMD Geode GX, and burn only two watts of power (only 0.2w in outdoor 'reflective' mode). XOs include 128M RAM and 512M flash storage, dual USB ports, built-in camera and microphone, a membrane-covered keyboard and trackpad/stylus pad, a 1200x900 7.5" color screen, and an integrated mesh wireless router. Charging of the non-toxic NiMH batteries is not only by AC power, but also by crank, pedal, or pull-cord for use off the power grid. Although they have not yet reached their $100 price point, Laptop Project organizers expect economies of scale will let them reach that level of affordability soon.

The XO Laptop, illustrating specifications.

I saw several of the bright green machines, up and running, at Linuxfest NW late last month. Laptop Project participant Jesse Keating shared his presentation to the conference, in PDF form. You can see them, too, through videos (also here).

Atop the Linux operating system is a unique GUI, Sugar, which is task-oriented, not application-oriented. A mailing list is available for potential developers, who can see more detailed specifications here.

Do you think your children, or grandchildren, will be using something like the XO, or a more conventional laptop for learning? Do you see yourself using it? And, will they ever reach that $100 price point? Join the discussion.

10 comments
gardoglee
gardoglee

...and I certainly expect him to grow up in a world where he will be one of billions of people, children and adults alike, who will be using something like this, or its successor. Of course, I didn't expect to be living and working in a world like today's with the hardware and software we have, and neither did too many other people over 25 or so. Give a billion people each a $100 laptop, and there will probably be a result we cannot even forsee. But that is the motivation behind the plan, isn't it?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Children barely above poverty are not less smart than anyone else, they just have less access than anyone else. What's to say the next Linus Torvalds or great computer breakthrough won't come from a child who grew up carrying around and hacking away at there own OLPC? (That's Hacking in the true sence that build the Internet not that Cracker crap that Hackers are constantly blamed for.)

HavaCigar
HavaCigar

The real motivation is for Negroponte to be famous and important. He says it?s purely humanitarian, and non-profit and that's total line of crap. If he truly wanted that, he wouldn't be fighting Intel because of his personal vendetta against Barrett. He should be glad if every kid gets a laptop, regardless of who "gives" it to them, but that's not his real goal or his real motivation. By "give" I mean who sells it to the child's government, ok, I really mean who sells it to the child's government that is using UN funding for it, ok, I really mean who sells it to the child's government that is using UN funding which the US is mostly paying for.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I believe OLPC aproached both Intel and AMD but it was AMD that won the bid. Also, having reviewed Intel's website, it seems there machine is more of a "me too, me too" product designed to saturate all education markets not just those barely above complete poverty. I'd still have to side with a nonprofit project over a for profit manufacturer. Even if Intel has the best intentions, it's shareholders only care about dividends and corporate law demands that Intel consider the shareholders interests above all others. Personal issues between Intel and OLPC's directors are irrelevent. I don't think OLPC would be upset if every kid got a notebook but if you read over the project website, the reasons for OPLC over others are very clear. Intels machine doesn't look very rugged; how long is it going to last in extreme weather and impact from being dropped and such. Based on technical spec alone, the OLPC is better suited to the task where Intel's is better suited to remain in classrooms as school hardware rather than personal hardware.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I missed the bit about Intel producing them as donation systems. Cheers for the correction. By the purely financial regard, it seems Intel is teh good guy. It's still a "me too, me too" item but there's more than enough poverty to go around; a slice for everyone who truly wants to help. The bulk of my comment was directed at the neigh-sayer looking for reasons to slam a project rather than consider possible benifits.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

Intel was GIVING them away but Negroponte's company is SELLING THEM! That's what he was complaining about, that they would 'undercut him'. At cost supposedly, since they are a nonprofit corporation so by your own parameters, INTEL is the good guy! Personally, I don't care and negroponte shouldn't either; the 'competition' as he calls it is good for the kids as in the end more will end up with the PCs. And design 'competition' means more good features will be included sooner. Edited: Intel does sell the cheap laptops also but the poorest kids were getting them free.

charbax
charbax

Check the http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Hardware_specification OLPC chose to upgrade the specs, basically to have a better browser experience, playback full screen DVD resolution video smoothly, support flash and advanced Web 2.0 AJAX javascripts, and to support Windows XP and OSX without asking too much from Microsoft and Apple, that's partly why the cost is up to 175$ at this point, so all these upgrades cost 25$ more to include and delayed the mass production by a few months.

K7AAY
K7AAY

Do you think your children, or grandchildren, will be using something like the XO, or a more conventional laptop for learning?

Timothy J. Bruce
Timothy J. Bruce

I doubt that my grandkids (since my kids are already approaching Jr High), will be using laptops. I expect some new technology will arrive to replace laptops. Myabe something similar to a PDA/smart phone with voice recognition and a small screen that hangs close to the eye for viewing movies / pictures. It would allow video-conferencing and use something else for data input. (I'm thinking like the Wii uses for some of its games.) Any other thoughts? Tim KB0ODU (TJ)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Not "cyber" as in the cute buzword that journalists attach to the front of any mondane technology to make it sound cool but true cybernetic implants. By the time my grand kids are walking, I'm likely to have a datajack behind one ear and virtual display overlayed on my vision. hehe.. I guess the first true cybercrime will be the first time someone's implanted processing unit (or brain even) get's cracked and robbed.

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