February 14th, 2007, 14:30 PM
Old and Cranky
Eight nations to test 2,500 OLPC Linux laptops
The One Laptop Per Child project will ship nearly 2,500 of its $150 laptops to eight nations this month, Reuters reported today. The experiment is a prelude to mass production of the kid-friendly, lime-green-and-white laptops scheduled to begin in July, when 5 million will be built.
State educators in Brazil, Uruguay, Libya, Rwanda, Pakistan, Thailand and possibly Ethiopia and the West Bank will receive the first of the machines in February's pilot before a wider rollout to Indonesia and a handful of other countries.
An OLPC spokesperson said the price should fall to $100 apiece next year, when they hope to produce 50 million of the so-called "XO" machines, before dipping below $100 by 2010 when they aim to reach 150 million of the world's poorest children.
About the OLPC laptop
The idea behind the OLPC laptop is to provide children with the opportunity to learn about learning itself -- to explore, experiment and express themselves, an OLPC spokesperson said. The laptops will be distributed in schools.
Key features of the OLPC laptop include a 7.5-inch 1200 x 900 pixel LCD screen, a keyboard that switches between languages, a digital video camera, built-in 802.11b/g wireless connectivity, a hand crank to charge its built-in rechargeable battery, and a customized version of Fedora Core Linux tailored for remote regions.
The device is based on a low-power, x86-compatible AMD Geode "embedded" processor clocked at 366MHz. It has 128MB of DRAM, along with 512MB of nonvolatile flash memory for program and data storage, and is equipped with three USB 2.0 ports for expansion. It boots via LinuxBIOS into Linux.
The OLPC project, based at the MIT media lab in Cambridge, Mass., is well into its second year. OLPC founding include AMD, News Corp, Google, Brightstar, Red Hat Linux, Nortel, Marvell, eBay, Quanta, Chi Mei, SES/Astra, and Citigroup. The United Nations and Inter-American Development Bank are its non-profit partners.
February 15th, 2007, 01:32 AM
Its good to see some results from this great project! Hopefully it gets all the required backing!
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