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11. 12. 2007

Give a Laptop, get one, plus free T-mobile wifi

There has been so much excitment and speculation about One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the non-profit organization started by MIT's Nicholas Negroponte which is devoted to creating and providing laptop computers for children in developing countries for $100, but so far, there hasn't been any way for the general public to be involved, as OLPC was working directly with governments of participating countries. But starting today, anyone in the US and Canada can be directly involved by donating $399 through the "Give one, get one" program. For your $399, you are giving an XO laptop to a child in a developing country and getting another one to give to a child in your life. To add just a bit more incentive, T-Mobile is also giving you a full year of free access to more than 8500 T-Mobile HotSpots, valued at $350.

While the ultimate goal is still to bring down the laptop price to $100, it's presently about $200, which is the tax deduction you'll get (it's not the full $399 because you get a laptop for your own child).

The XO laptop itself, while definitely designed for children, is something that would probably interest a lot of non-child tech geeks as well. It's the size of an ultra-portable, just 3-lbs, and runs the efficient, and free Linux OS. It has a flexible, ruggedized design that lets you use it as a standard laptop, an e-book reader, and a handheld video game player. The sealed (no leaks get through the keys), rubberized keyboard is resistant to water, dust, and dirt. There is a built-in color camera that records stills and video, a game controller built into the frame, and a dual-mode backlit monitor that operates in standard color, or in an ultra high res black and white mode which is readable in bright sunlight, a must for children whose schools are run outdoors.

Enough geek excitement yet? There are also multiple possibilities for networking. There's wifi, of course, but also the antennae ears which connect XO laptops into a "mesh network." There is a plethora of open-source software included for doing things like recording and editing video programs for making music, chatting, drawing, journaling, gaming, and learning programming languages. A perfect environment for learning and playing.

Do I sound a little bit excited? I think this is the brilliant point of this - if you want to play with an XO, you can't just buy one for yourself or a family member, you have to send one to a developing nation first. And you have to act fast, because the "Give one, get one" donation program will end on November 26th. While this is the perfect time for gift giving, they cannot guarantee holiday delivery as the production of these units has just begun. But please don't let that discourage you - even the greediest kid would probably be thrilled to get an IOU for a delivery in January or February once they see the specs. And you can know that when you get the laptop delivered, you've also made a life-changing delivery possible to a child who wouldn't otherwise have access to such advanced, and fun, technology.

Please consider purchasing/donating now, at Give one, Get one, today through November 26th.

Posted by Mia    Category: computers | current affairs
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