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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 TomZ on 10/26/2007 9:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with Master Kenobi's statements above, but I would like to make my point in a simple equation:

education ? information

In other words, giving kids access to the Internet gives them access to all sorts of information, but education by contrast is a structured process of learning how things work, learning relationships, practicing, being evaluated. And that's just the academic side. Kids in school also develop social skills, exercise and develop motor skills, learn about music, practice art, do science experiments, etc.

I'm personally fine with OLPC as long as it is never seen as a substitute for real schools and teachers. And looking at countries where education resources are limited, it is my opinion that in many of these countries, spending incremental dollars on traditional educational costs will deliver far better returns than giving away OLPCs. In other words (for Ringold) the opportunity cost of having the OLPCs might be that fewer schools are built and fewer teachers are hired. I don't see the sense in that.


RE: Losing the game?
By TomZ on 10/26/2007 9:11:15 AM , Rating: 2
Let me try the equation again in flat ASCII:

education != information

(I had put in a nice Unicode "not equals" symbol, which showed up fine in the preview, but got changed to a '?' after the post was finally displayed.)


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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