One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a project of the Miami-based One Laptop per Child Association, Inc. (OLPC-A), a U.S. non-profit organization. The organization is led the Association’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby. OLPC is a non-profit organization originally funded by member organizations such as AMD, eBay, Google, News Corporation, Red Hat, and Marvell. Its current focus is on the development, construction and deployment of the XO-1 laptop and its successors. There is also a Cambridge-based non-profit foundation, One Laptop per Child Foundation, Inc. (OLPC-F) led by its Chairman Nicholas Negroponte, which focuses on fund-raising and the development of future learning technologies, including the OLPC XO-3 tablet.
At the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced it would back the laptop. UNDP released a statement saying they would work with OLPC to deliver “technology and resources to targeted schools in the least developed countries”
The project originally aimed for a price of 100 US dollars. In May 2006, Negroponte told the Red Hat’s annual user summit: “It is a floating price. We are a nonprofit organization. We have a target of $100 by 2008, but probably it will be $135, maybe $140.” A BBC news article in April 2010 indicated the price still remains above $200.
Intel was a member of the association for a brief period in 2007. It resigned its membership on 3 January 2008, citing disagreements with requests from OLPC’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte, for Intel to stop dumping their Classmate PCs.
Ivan Krstić (former OLPC Director of Security Architecture) resigned in late February 2008 because, he said, learning wasn’t what the OLPC was about even for Negroponte (see quote below). On April 22, 2008, Walter Bender, who was the former President of Software and Content for the OLPC project, stepped down from his post and left OLPC to found Sugar Labs. Bender reportedly had a disagreement with Negroponte about the future of the OLPC and their future partnerships. Negroponte also showed some doubt about the exclusive use of open source software for the project and made suggestions supporting a move towards adding Windows XP which Microsoft was in the process of porting over to the XO hardware Microsoft’s Windows XP, however, is not seen by some as a sustainable operating system. Microsoft announced on May 16, 2008, that they have let them have Windows XP for $3 per computer. It would be offered as an option on XO-1 laptops and possibly be able to dual boot alongside Linux.
Charles Kane became the new President and Chief Operating Officer of the OLPC Association on May 2, 2008. In late 2008, the NYC Department of Education began a project to purchase large numbers of XO computers for use by New York schoolchildren.
Advertisements for OLPC began streaming on the video streaming website Hulu and others in 2008. One such ad has John Lennon advertising for OLPC, with an unknown voice actor redubbing over Lennon’s voice.
The 2008 economic downturn and increased netbook competition reduced OLPC’s annual budget from $12 million to $5 million and a major restructuring resulted effective January 7, 2009. Development of the Sugar operating environment was moved entirely into the community, the Latin America support organization was spun out and staff reductions, including Jim Gettys, affected approximately 50% of the paid employees. The remaining 32 staff members also saw salary reductions.
The XO-1, previously known as the “$100 Laptop” or “Children’s Machine”, is an inexpensive laptop computer designed to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to “explore, experiment and express themselves” (constructionist learning). The laptop is manufactured by the Taiwanese computer company Quanta Computer.
The rugged, low-power 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 protocol allows students to collaborate on activities and to share Internet access from one connection. The wireless networking has much greater range than typical consumer laptops. The XO-1 has also been designed to be lower cost and much longer-lived than typical laptops.
The laptops include an anti-theft system which can, optionally, require each laptop to periodically make contact with a server to renew its cryptographic lease token. If the cryptographic lease expires before the server is contacted, the laptop will be locked until a new token is provided. The contact may be to a country-specific server over a network or to a local, school-level server that has been manually loaded with cryptographic “lease” tokens that enable a laptop to run for days or even months between contacts. Cryptographic lease tokens can be supplied on a USB flash drive for non-networked schools. The mass production laptops are also tivoized, disallowing installation of additional software or replacement of the operating system. Users interested in development need to obtain the unlocking key separately (most developer laptops for Western users already come unlocked). It is claimed that locking prevents unintentional bricking and is part of the anti-theft system.
Microsoft developed a modified version of Windows XP and announced in May 2008 that Windows XP will be available for an additional cost of 10 dollars per laptop.
In 2009, OLPC announced an updated XO (dubbed XO-1.5) that takes advantage of the latest component technologies. The XO-1.5 includes a new VIA C7-M processor and a new chipset providing a 3D graphics engine and an HD video decoder. It has 1GB of RAM memory and built-in storage of 4 GB, with an option for 8 GB. The XO-1.5 uses the same display, and a network wireless interface with half the power dissipation. Early prototype versions of the hardware were available in June 2009, and they are available for software development and testing available for free through a developer’s program.
An XO-1.75 model is being developed that will use an ARM processor, targeting a price below $150 and date in 2011
An XO-3 concept resembles a tablet computer and is planned to have the inner workings of the XO 1.75. Price goal is below $100 and date is 2012. The XO-2 two sheet design concept was canceled in favor of the one sheet XO-3.
As of May 2010, OLPC is working with Marvell on other unspecified future tablet designs. In October 2010, both OLPC and Marvell signed an agreement granting OLPC $5.6 million to fund development of its XO-3 next generation tablet computer. The tablet should use a ARM chip from Marvell.
The laptops are sold to governments, to be distributed through the ministries of education with the goal of distributing “one laptop per child”. The laptops are given to students, similar to school uniforms and ultimately remain the property of the child. The operating system and software is localized to the languages of the participating countries.
Approximately 500 developer boards (Alpha-1) were distributed in mid-2006; 875 working prototypes (Beta 1) were delivered in late 2006; 2400 Beta-2 machines were distributed at the end of February 2007; full-scale production started November 6, 2007. Around one million units were manufactured in 2008.
Give 1 Get 1 program
OLPC initially stated that no consumer version of the XO laptop was planned. The project, however, later established the laptopgiving.org website to accept direct donations and ran a “Give 1 Get 1” (G1G1) offer starting on November 12, 2007. The offer was initially scheduled to run for only two weeks, but was extended until December 31, 2007 to meet demand. With a donation of $399 (plus US$25 shipping cost) to the OLPC “Give 1 Get 1” program, donors received an XO-1 laptop of their own and OLPC sent another on their behalf to a child in a developing country. Shipments of “Get 1” laptops sent to donors were restricted to addresses within the United States, its territories, and Canada.
Some 83,500 people participated in the program. Delivery of all of the G1G1 laptops was completed by April 19, 2008. Delays were blamed on order fulfillment and shipment issues both within OLPC and with the outside contractors hired to manage those aspects of the G1G1 program.
Give 1 Get 1 2008
Between November 17 and December 31, 2008, a second G1G1 program was run through Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. This partnership was chosen specifically to solve the distribution issues of the G1G1 2007 program. The price to consumers was the same as in 2007, at USD$399.
The program aimed to be available worldwide. Laptops could be delivered in the USA, in Canada and in more than 30 European countries, as well as in some Central and South American countries (Colombia, Haiti, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay), African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar, Rwanda) and Asian countries (Afghanistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal). Despite this, the program sold only about 12,500 laptops and generated a mere $2.5 million – a 93 percent decline from the year before.
OLPC no longer advertises direct to consumers, focusing instead on fundraising efforts. In 2011, they launched a new website designed by Pentagram and Upstatement[
source : wikipedia
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