The Dream Machine

Few things in the world or on the Internet inspire me with as much hope for the future as the One Laptop Per Child project, or as it is sometimes known the $100 Laptop. The goal is to give the poorest children of the world the tools necessary to really learn. Providing Universal Access to the Internet is the first step in creating a world worthy of the 21st century. Since I think that the OLPC is the greatest product and revolutionary idea to come out of Planet Earth in years, I will be writing about it a lot. Here are some early thoughts and links.

A Close Look at the OLPC
Here's a somewhat nerdy look at the laptop itself, which will do more than any laptop on the market today. It's a the most in depth article I've seen on what is actually in the machine. I'll try and make my own simple account of the machine's features soon.

Demo of the Interface
Screenshots of an operating system better than the one your using right now.

Powered by Hand
The $100 Laptop will use between 1-5 watts depending on use and can be powered for 10-30 minutes with one minute of pulling. The generator can also be used for cellphones, lights, anything.

Answers for Doubters
India: Hole in the Wall
"An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens." from a Businessweek Online Daily Briefing, March 2, 2000.

Frequently Asked Questions about the OLPC project

South America
I feel that much of what I read online about the machine imagines it's use primarily in Africa. Since the climate in Africa is some of the harshest in the world, it's great that the laptop has been designed with that continent in mind. However, looking at the OLPC Implementation Map I'm struck by how much this will change South America. It is the countries themselves which will be purchasing the machines by the thousands, and of the seven that have signed up so far, the two largest are Brazil and Argentina.

A quarter of the populations of both Brazil and Argentina are under 14, according to the CIA Factbook. Here are some more facts:
Argentina has 10 million children
Brazil has 48.5 million children
Argentina's literacy rate is 97%
Brazil's literacy rate is 86%
Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write among those over 15.

As of today the Portuguese Wikipedia contains 237,821 artigos. When Brazil's 48.5 million children start posting, well, we'll see.

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