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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 The OLPC XO machine was originally made famous for trying to hit a price target of around $100.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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Good Intentions are worthless without results.
By michal1980 on 12/11/2006 12:37:53 PM , Rating: -1
I'll state this again, the classrooms where alot of these laptops are being trageted at. Have needs far greater then a laptop.

Lets compare this to the poor in america.

Its like giving a homeless man a plane. Maybe he can use it to sleep in it. But he'd be better off getting an apartment/food/education. Then a stupid plane. sure one plane per person might be great, and then everyone could fly without all those secuirity lines, and whenever they want.

And its a good intention, isn't it? giving a plane to everyone?

But even good intentions can be stupid.

And before you attack me, read about all these olpc projects.

a great many of them have created a foot powered genertor to provide power for the laptop. so they want to give laptops to places WITHOUT POWER.

Now if I was in dirt hole A, and some suit from new york with his good intentions tried to give me a laptop of say a light bulb. I'd think he was a tool, and just showing off.

then i'd turn the laptops brightness to 100 and have my kid foot power it so that I can have light at night.




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 don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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