Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

One Laptop Per Child Is Still A Great Idea

Not so very long ago, before the stock market “adjusted itself”, banks went under, and General Motors needed a bailout, there was a terrific idea that became a reality. Its aim was nothing less than to revolutionize how we educate the world’s children.

olpc XOBig players in the tech industry established a non-profit association “to provide educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.”

Unlike a lot of great ideas, this one did not die on the vine. The device was actually developed and is available — it’s called the “XO”. It was designed with the real world in mind, considering everything from extreme environmental conditions such as high heat and humidity, to technological issues such as local language support. As a result, the XO laptop is extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, responsive, and fun.

The computers use flash memory instead of a hard drive, run a Fedora-based operating system and use the Sugar user interface. Mobile ad-hoc networking based on the 802.11s wireless mesh network is featured.

The OLPC XO contains technology that would barely be called sufficient in today’s terms (sub-500-MHz processor, only 256MB of RAM, 1GB of flash storage), but that is enough for a child in a developing country who has never used a computer before. It’s encased in a rugged exterior that is splash-, drop-, and hot/cold-resistant. It has an LED backlit screen that can be read outdoors in direct sunlight. And it uses so little power that an external hand generator or a solar panel can power the system.Children in Ulaanbataar

But this really isn’t about the technical specs of a notebook computer. One Laptop Per Child is about getting this educational tool into the hands of young children in impoverished and under-developed countries.

OLPC is simply one of our better ideas, and is worthy of our attention and support.

Please visit the OLPC website and look around. Find out how easy it is to participate… even during these uncertain economic times.

To get a feel for how the project is faring, visit the OLPC Wiki. You may also be interested in the OLPC Wikipedia page for a more comprehensive overview and history.

Today’s free link: The Stormy Seas Of Life

Today’s free download: GOM Player is a free multimedia player with popular video and audio codecs built-in. GOM Player supports file formats such as AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, XviD, WMV, ASF. Users don’t have to install codecs separately. GOM Player is capable of playing incomplete or damaged AVI files by skipping the damaged frames.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

Share this post :

July 9, 2009 Posted by | computers, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments