Print 30 comment(s) - last by Ringold.. on Oct 26 at 10:27 PM

OLPC announces production delays for XO laptop

When the non-profit group One Laptop per Child Foundation first announced it intended to build an ultra-low cost laptop for children in developing nations, the plan struck a chord with many fans of technology. The target price for what came to be known as the XO Laptop was $100.

Recently price increases have forced the string-pulley powered XO laptop from the originally planned $100 price tag to a cost of $175. Shortly after the first price increase the One Laptop per Child Foundation announced another price increase bringing the planned $100 laptop to a price of $188. With the last price increase to $188, the foundation also announced that prices for the XO laptop would vary by country.

Now, Yahoo! News is reporting that production of the XO laptop has been delayed. The XO was supposed to head to manufacturing in a Chinese plant in October, which didn’t happen. Production is now reportedly scheduled to begin on November 12 according to Mary Lou Jepsen, CTO for the One Laptop per Child Foundation.

Jepsen told Reuters, “We had some last-minute bugs. We've resolved them." The foundation had expected to produce 100,000 XO laptops this year. This delay will make meeting shipment deadlines to Peru and Uruguay, the first countries to order the XO difficult.

The delay will also make it difficult to get enough laptops to the United States for the planned Give 1 Get 1 promotion over the holidays were you could buy an XO Laptop for $400 and provide a second machine to a child overseas. The foundation will begin accepting orders for the XO Laptop on November 12.

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RE: Losing the game?
By Master Kenobi on 10/26/2007 8:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
I think the failing idea here that you are getting stuck on is the education material problem. It's pretty far fetched to think that by giving them access to the internet they will learn more. I can go on the internet and find out that the holocaust was faked, that stalin was reborn, that madonna is the second coming and more. The internet is also full of TONS of incorrect and unlikely information. How will some 3rd world kid know the difference between what is credible and what isn't? Exactly.

You can give them laptops all you want, but it won't change anything. You need to affect their economies and laptops as school books isn't how you do it. You need to go in with a team of agriculture experts and figure out ways to develop their food production, and export it. This gives you an economy that can function on its own and serve as a stable source of revenue. This revenue can be reinvested into more agriculture or to develop other areas of their economy.

I think the idea is by allowing cheap long lasting communication tools free of energy strings, education will flow in. Think about how much we access the internet through wikipedia or elsewhere to find information now.

I think your going out on a very thin limb here. How will this laptop allow education to flow in? What kind of education will flow in? Have you stopped to consider that the vast majority of people learn by doing, and thus reading it on wikipedia won't help them much as they don't understand what they are reading.

If you try to buy a school book you are looking at probably at least $25 plus getting it to them, many books cost at least $100 so this one device if really under $200 could give them access to hundreds of these books which amounts to thousands of dollars. It may really be a cheaper solution then trying to use traditional education.

In the U.S. it costs $100. You can print a text book for close to 5 dollars in raw materials, we just tack on a nice margin to satisfy profit requirements. This would be more economical and long lasting. Books out last electronics especially if they aren't well maintained.

Through 1 computer a single good teacher in a country could teach to thousands of kids instead of a class of 30 in his home town.

This is wishful thinking. One teacher will teach a class of roughly 50. So we will say 100 kids per year, to make your 1000 number it would take 10 years and the laptop won't last that long. Nice try though, a book would!

I don't expect the government of corrupt countries to do any of this I really see more hope in charities NGOs, and NPOs stepping in when and if the product is available and reliable.

I hope to see more charities grow a brain and spend money more intelligently instead of trying to throw cutting edge solutions at the problems rather than using effecient long term solutions.

RE: Losing the game?
By Grigi on 10/26/2007 10:35:52 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe all they need to learn, is to separate the FUD from fact, or at least get a good feel for it.

Handing the XO out indiscriminately will never work, but giving them access to the XO to practice, say programming or using the Wikipedia reference material that will be on there, that will be usefull.

Personally I think a person needs to struggle with the computer a bit, before one becomes computer literate. So the XO with internet access only at the school, will be fine, I think.

You cannot replace teachers, but a computer can be a valuable learning tool.

RE: Losing the game?
By Ringold on 10/26/2007 10:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe all they need to learn, is to separate the FUD from fact, or at least get a good feel for it.

LOL, we expect them to do something we can't? :P

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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