Monday, September 24th 2007

Buy a Laptop for a Child, Get Another Laptop Free

One Laptop Per Child, an ambitious project to bring computing to the developing world’s children, has considerable momentum. The early reviews have been glowing, and mass production is set to start next month.

Orders, however, are slow. "I have to some degree underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a check written," said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the nonprofit project. "And yes, it has been a disappointment."

But Mr. Negroponte, the founding director of the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, views the problem as a temporary one in the long-term pursuit of using technology as a new channel of learning and self-expression for children worldwide. He is reaching out to the public to try to give the laptop campaign a boost. The marketing program, to be announced today, is called "Give 1 Get 1," in which Americans and Canadians can buy two laptops for $399. One of the machines will be given to a child in a developing nation, and the other one will be shipped to the purchaser by Christmas. The donated computer is a tax-deductible charitable contribution. The program will run for two weeks, with orders accepted from Nov. 12 to Nov. 26.


Just what Americans will do with the slender green-and-white laptops is uncertain. Some people may donate them to local schools or youth organizations, said Walter Bender, president of the laptop project, while others will keep them for their own family or their own use.

The machines have high-resolution screens, cameras and peer-to-peer technology so the laptops can communicate wirelessly with one another. The machine runs on free, open source software. "Everything in the machine is open to the hacker, so people can poke at it, change it and make it their own," said Mr. Bender, a computer researcher. "Part of what we’re doing here is broadening the community of users, broadening the base of ideas and contributions, and that will be tremendously valuable."

The machine, called the XO Laptop, was not engineered with affluent children in mind. It was intended to be inexpensive, with costs eventually approaching $100 a machine, and sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions in rural villages. It is also extremely energy efficient, with power consumption that is 10 percent or less of a conventional laptop computer.

Staff members of the laptop project were concerned that American children might try the pared-down machines and find them lacking compared to their Apple, Hewlett-Packard or Dell laptops. Then, in this era of immediate global communications, they might post their criticisms on Web sites and blogs read around the world, damaging the reputation of the XO Laptop, the project staff worried.

So the laptop project sponsored focus-group research with American children, ages 7 to 11, at the end of August. The results were reassuringly positive. The focus-group subjects liked the fact that the machine was intended specifically for children, and appreciated features like the machine-to-machine wireless communication.

Read the Full StorySource: The New York Times
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30 Comments on Buy a Laptop for a Child, Get Another Laptop Free

#1
nflesher87
Staff
wish I were working, if so I'd just pay for the 2 and have them both shipped to kids rather than get one
Posted on Reply
#2
Polaris573
Senior Moderator
Me too, school kind of hurts the wallet though doesn't it?
Posted on Reply
#3
nflesher87
Staff
by: Polaris573
Me too, school kind of hurts the wallet though doesn't it?
lol for sure, that and the fact that I have 8 more years of it left, getting married next summer, and we're going to have to live on her nursing income til I finish school, supplement of course by any part time work I do, but still...looking forward to having the money to spend on this sort of thing
Posted on Reply
#4
Polaris573
Senior Moderator
8 more years? Are you a freshmen?
Posted on Reply
#5
nflesher87
Staff
JR, this year and next, 4 for Dental, 2 for Orthodontistry :(

how about you?
Posted on Reply
#6
Polaris573
Senior Moderator
I'm a junior Biology major right now, then maybe graduate school after that. So I guess I have 4 to 6 years left myself.
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#7
Nothgrin
the computer specs are pretty minimal why would someone want to keep one for themselves? would be better off just sending both to under privelidged children and have them both be tax deductable
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#8
mdm-adph
*Cue all the people saying how this laptop is crap because of its hardware specs and suggesting other cheap laptops, not realizing that the robust construction of the XO is more than worth the price*

...back when it cost $100, of course. Now that they're charging $200 for 'em, I'm not so sure anymore.
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#9
effmaster
If OLPC is trying to get Americans to buy their laptops there must really be a problem.

I wouldnt be surprised if this thing fizzlers out soon due to lack of funds
Posted on Reply
#10
nflesher87
Staff
by: Polaris573
I'm a junior Biology major right now, then maybe graduate school after that. So I guess I have 4 to 6 years left myself.
c'mon man, the money's all in the medical field :)

and to the others, yeah personally I'd rather see the money and project going staying in the US if there's going to be something like this at all, as for it sticking I doubt it as well...they got in over their heads price-wise big time
Posted on Reply
#11
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
Just an Idea too throw out there and see if one of the mods will run with it. Why dont we start like a $10 donation system from the guys here @ TPU , and apply said funds to buy some lappies??????


Just donate both of them!!!!
Posted on Reply
#12
LiNKiN
Staff
good idea! :toast:
Posted on Reply
#13
d44ve
by: sneekypeet
Just an Idea too throw out there and see if one of the mods will run with it. Why dont we start like a $10 donation system from the guys here @ TPU , and apply said funds to buy some lappies??????


Just donate both of them!!!!
That sounds like a good idea..... I just dont know if there are 40 people on here that would be willing to step up to the plate.

Dont get me wrong... I know there will be a good amount, I just dont see 40
Posted on Reply
#14
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
Maybe an incentive is needed...like say a "gift" from one of TPU's reviews(hell even a T-shirt)....I'd just like to think that we as a whole here could in fact make it happen.


this is what i remember here that makes me think it would/could be possible.....http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=15937
Posted on Reply
#15
Seany1212
by: d44ve
That sounds like a good idea..... I just dont know if there are 40 people on here that would be willing to step up to the plate.

Dont get me wrong... I know there will be a good amount, I just dont see 40
lies, look what happened with the dark_ride fundraiser, we got over $1000 didnt we? :eek:
Posted on Reply
#16
LiNKiN
Staff
Yeah two kids would be thrilled for Christmas. Hmm, and all I have to do is cancel 2-3 dates with McDonald's this/next month. Sounds too easy. :toast:
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#17
hat
Maximum Overclocker
I would if I had a job. :(
Posted on Reply
#18
nflesher87
Staff
by: sneekypeet
Just an Idea too throw out there and see if one of the mods will run with it. Why dont we start like a $10 donation system from the guys here @ TPU , and apply said funds to buy some lappies??????


Just donate both of them!!!!
count me in
Posted on Reply
#19
d44ve
by: nflesher87
count me in
Great, lets start a list
Posted on Reply
#20
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
This is so sweet and a great idea. Im a full supporter of this!
Posted on Reply
#21
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
I say as posted B4 ...Lets try to get a mod in charge. The reson I say this is twofold. #1 TRUST...just seems more likely to me that a mod would seem to be more trusted by the masses. RESPONCIBILITY/NAME...IFf we are in fact doing it under the name of TPU, I just figured they would maybe voulenteer the responcibility. Also such as the DARKRIDE idea, it has been a proven system that works!
Posted on Reply
#22
Chewy
^^ yep count me in to this donation thing, hopefully we can get the 40 people (maybe less if some have extra $$), I think this is very possible though Darkride's thing had prizes that you could win, so that hit the roof and back down. This should still fair well though and its a great idea that will go directly to the kids (no middleman/charity organization).
Posted on Reply
#23
nflesher87
Staff
not to mention the fact that TPU hasn't had much trouble in the past getting promo prizes from like mushkin and other companies, may be possible to incorporate a prize or two
Posted on Reply
#24
panchoman
Sold my stars!
by: nflesher87
not to mention the fact that TPU hasn't had much trouble in the past getting promo prizes from like mushkin and other companies, may be possible to incorporate a prize or two
actually a very sweet idea, we could have a raffle you know. donate 10 bucks and you get a chance to win a 500w psu from muskin or something like that. very nice idea, i support this 100 % :toast:
Posted on Reply
#25
Chewy
humm idea just passed my head.. we could have a raffle.. and have a chance to win whatever over $400 we can round up.. just an idea. we could have the raffle for a month or till we hit $600, maybe 650.. and $50 goes to the mod who handles it. Oo what ya think?
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