Print 29 comment(s) - last by KashGarinn.. on Dec 12 at 6:18 AM

But end result is still cheaper than anything else

A report is suggesting the famous OLPC XO machine could actually be costing upwards of $900, according to analysts. The OLPC XO machine was originally made famous for trying to hit a price target of around $100. Later on in the project however, it was revealed that the price had gone up to roughly $140. Now, analysts are saying that the true cost of an XO machine could actually be around $900 due to hidden costs not actually associated with the hardware itself.

Besides manufacturing there are other costs such as packaging, shipping and other logistics. Of course, there will be people involved in distributing the XO but there will be a cost associated with having teachers trained.

The primary placement for the OLPC XO machine will be inside classrooms. Training is required which analysts indicated as being the most critical aspect of making the OLPC project a successful one. Jon Camfield, a writer for OLPC News indicated that training, maintenance, repairs and other things such as insurance and theft will all add up. Then there are network associated costs. Wi-Fi networks have to be setup so OLPC users can communicate with each other. Upgrades will be part of the equation too. DailyTech reported last week that Microsoft plans to have the XO machines come bundled with Windows XP, but the storage capacity on the XO's isn't enough, requiring more upgrades.

Despite Camfield's arguments however, it is still true that an XO costs much less than typical laptops, where if being used in a similar situation will have the same associated costs. In that case, the XO is still far cheaper on a whole than an average laptop. Costs aside, the OLPC group is facing competition from Intel and its Classmate PC and another company called Encore Software and its Mobilis tablet. Competition in the market will always drive down costs.

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ignore the haters
By msva124 on 12/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: ignore the haters
By dice1111 on 12/11/2006 12:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
I wish. Unfortunatly the saying that "good guys finish last" isn't around without a reason.

RE: ignore the haters
By bldckstark on 12/11/2006 12:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your assessment, but in this case it would appear that they have enough resources and interest to actually do some good in the world. It remains to be seen how much good, and of course someone will find a way to make this a bad thing to some degree. Still, you gotta give these guys props for trying.

Often times the bad guy finishes first, then he does something good with the winnings. Look at Bill Gates. Microsoft has taken over the world, and we love to bash his babies, but he is also the greatest philantrhopist of all time (by dollars donated).

RE: ignore the haters
By creathir on 12/11/2006 12:49:22 PM , Rating: 2
Did you HONESTLY just say that?
"Results don't matter... it is the intentions that count..."

Are you kidding me?!?! Results don't matter?!?!?
If I told my boss that... I would be FIRED... on the spot!

- Creathir

RE: ignore the haters
By Zirconium on 12/11/2006 1:00:14 PM , Rating: 4
Way to put words in his mouth. He said that if there are good intentions, then there will be good results. That is also a bullshit statement, but way to fly off the handle for your own misinterpretation.

RE: ignore the haters
By masher2 on 12/11/2006 1:25:14 PM , Rating: 3
I could be wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic.

RE: ignore the haters
By msva124 on 12/11/2006 2:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

RE: ignore the haters
By creathir on 12/11/2006 4:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would have titled this differently, as the title implies seriousness in the statement.

If this is the case, sorry;)

- Creathir

RE: ignore the haters
By Misty Dingos on 12/11/2006 1:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
You have got to be kidding me! Good intentions don't mean anything. Accomplish something or all the good intentions in the world don't amount to one mouthful of food, one educated child, one genocide stopped, one dictator deposed, or one informed voter. Please tell me that you work for a non-profit or better yet a government. And god don't let you be a teacher or professor. I am not sure that I could handle the thought of you mushifying children's minds.

RE: ignore the haters
By Rage187 on 12/11/2006 1:22:34 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, it's usually "No good deed goes unpunished" :)

I suppose
By creathir on 12/11/2006 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 1
Intel's $400 system is a slightly better bargain?


So now... you order 1,000,000 of these things... and pay $900 for them...

$900,000,000 for the laptops...

What an absolute joke...

As I have said over and over again... this is not some charitable cause... this is a method for elitists to feel good (good intentions... see above) and to make money...

Gotta love it...

- Creathir

RE: I suppose
By OrSin on 12/11/2006 1:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
I wsih people would coem to understand that the laptops was never intened to teach child in these country how to programs or any thing like that. They was built to replace text books. How much training do you need to turn on a laptop and find a file. People are trying so hard to make them into something they was never intended to do and then get mad because they fail at it.

RE: I suppose
By michal1980 on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: I suppose
By Milliamp on 12/11/2006 2:30:17 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, setting out to provide laptops and internet access to people who don't even have electricity is a rather ambitious goal.

You might be better off trying to provide cheap computing to places that do have electricity first, and if that is successful expand the program.

This is a bit like setting out to land on the moon before bothering trying to invent that pesky thing called an airplane.

RE: I suppose
By borowki on 12/11/2006 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 1
Whoever came up with this idea of replacing textbook with laptop is retarded. It costs around 10 bucks to print a textbook, probably less in countries with cheaper labor. It is durable and easy to use. Why the freaking hell would you want to replace books with these pieces o' junk?!

This is neo-colonalism at its very worse.

RE: I suppose
By Dfere on 12/11/2006 4:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
How is a $400 computer better than a $100 computer? You think the $800+ "channel" costs associated with the OLPC are going to evaporate because of an MS product?

What was, I believe the main point of the article, and was only briefly touched by creatir was...

The $100 laptop per child was and is a myth. There are so many other costs associated with GETTING them there, and TRAINING and INFRASTRUCTURE that $100 is laughable.

Before you flame, I am not against the idea of helping ramp up third world classroom standards. I am against the "feel good" efforts by people who want to think better of themselves by being "for" this project which was - for some of these very reasons cited above, a total failure. We should be addressing the basic needs of those societies so that they can GET to a point where a cheap PC can be made and used. As previous dissenting opinions posted have been saying for months or a year now- What is the point in a laptop , when there is inadequate classroom staffing, or even roads, peace, clothing food and water to which someone can even use it under ?( oh and did I mention WI-Fi too?).

If we want to make a difference is it not going to take real work and sacrifice? Who is ready for that?

RE: I suppose
By creathir on 12/11/2006 4:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
Look at Intel's model. They REMOVED the channel. They not only are decreasing the costs by making them in the region of delivery, but on top of that, they provide JOBS.

Intel indicated already that they had solved that issue, and it had nothing to do with an MS OS, but rather the method of production.

Also, I would definetly trust something a LOT more if it was from a major player in the computer industry than custom hardware with custom software. If I had to bet, Intel's ability to estimate real world costs is vastly superior to some college professor that is pushing theories around.

- Creathir

The real solution......
By crystal clear on 12/12/2006 12:24:39 AM , Rating: 2
"We do not think that the idea of Prof Negroponte is mature enough to be taken seriously at this stage and no major country is presently following this. Even inside America, there is not much enthusiasm about this."


The Indian Ministry of Education dismissed the laptop as "pedagogically suspect". Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee said: "We cannot visualise a situation for decades when we can go beyone the pilot stage. We need classrooms and teachers more urgently than fancy tools."

Banerjee said if money were available it would be better spent on existing education plans.

The real solution for today & tommorow in this comment-

"We need classrooms and teachers more urgently than fancy tools."

Analysts are stupid
By ET on 12/12/2006 4:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with analysts is that they try to prove their opinion, instead of analysing the facts and trying to come up with a conclusion.

The major cost in this analysis is the internet connection. This is a cost that, first of all, isn't strictly necessary. No analysis has been made of the "virtual network" connectivity ability, which is supposed to be an innovating part of the XO.

I'm not saying that the OLPC doesn't have problems, but it annoys me that analysts can't write something that makes sense.

Good Intentions are worthless without results.
By michal1980 on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: Good Intentions are worthless without results.
By Crassus on 12/11/2006 1:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a man a fishing pole and he will be fed for the rest of his life.

Ever heard this quote?

By alpha88 on 12/11/2006 1:26:12 PM , Rating: 5
I believe you have the quote wrong.

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a man a fishing pole and he will sit out on a boat and drink beer all day."

Also -

"Give a man a fire and he will be warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life."

By Milliamp on 12/11/2006 2:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
The quote is: "Give a man a fish, he will have food for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will have food for the rest of his life."

RE: Good Intentions are worthless without results.
By borowki on 12/11/2006 3:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
Give a hungry man a OLPC and he surely will starve to death.

I say we stick with giving out fish and fishing poles.

By peternelson on 12/11/2006 5:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
Give a child a crippled computer, and his parents can sell it to put food on the table for the rest of the month.

So, the teachers need training? If the OLPC model of learning from computer based material, why cannot those teachers actually use the thing to learn whatever it is they think the teachers need to be trained in?

I think it's more about people making money from complementary training services, installing wifi backbones etc. It's the insurance companies making money out of the increased theft risk. Also having a computer in your house will make it more likely to get broken into and take anything else they find.

ODPF = One desktop per family (or per village). That will teach people to SHARE computers. The $100 OLPC may have had good intentions but was ill conceived from the outset. And if it now ships with windows that is likely just expanding a customer base for ms office etc.

By borowki on 12/11/2006 6:27:47 PM , Rating: 1
That should be "Taking $100 from a poor family and giving them a crippled computer." OLPC is not charity. The computers are paid for with money belonging to these people.

DTPM = Don't Take People's Money.

By KashGarinn on 12/12/2006 6:18:04 AM , Rating: 2
Nononono the quote is "Give a starving kid an OLPC, and he'll grind gold in wow to sell on ebay"

Of course, the fishing quote should go:

"Give a person the awareness that food resources are finite and only care, work and planning will help increase those resources within a stable society, and a stable society will help to begin building products and jobs for more people"

But hey.. fishing poles.. much cheaper than education.

By Fenixgoon on 12/11/2006 5:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
except a laptop doesn't teach children any useful skills. they don't need laptops. notice how the greatest minds of the 20th century grew up without laptops and did just fine.

By AxemanFU on 12/11/2006 2:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's all about equal opportunities. I mean, come on, half of the internet is dedicated to Pr0n, so why leave out the third world? It'll be the greatest charitable global Pr0n distribution system ever created! Think big!

On a more serious note, I agree there are benefits to this approach, but there are more serious needs than laptops in many classrooms, like teachers, and the classrooms themselves, and cirriculum, and security, and food, and simple materials like pencils and paper, chalkboards, books. The OLPC can make up for some of this stuff to an extent, but it can't fix most of the fundamental shortfalls. The laptop isn't going to care if the student actually learns, or needs help, or even uses the OLPC. A teacher can do this, as well as a concerned guardian.

The issue some have with the OLPC is if the cost justifies the benefit where all the more fundamental requirements are not being met. The OLPC is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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