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11. 30. 2008

Give One Laptop per Child, get an XO for your child--or yourself

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Feeling gloomy about the state of the world ? You may think there isn't much you can do about the monumental messes we're in. But here's something that could change things, really change things. Give the XO, this cute-as-a-bug green laptop, to a kid in the developing world. And there's a terrific sweetener: the deal includes a second XO for the child of your choice, even if the child is you.

Yes, once again this year the One Laptop per Child folks have come up with a give-one get-one pitch. This means you can buy not one but two cutting-edge small computers for less than the price of conventional laptops retailers are hawking at this time of year: just $399. (Or you can forgo a personal XO and send one to a child in the developing world for just $199.)

The rugged little XO laptop may look like a netbook, but it isn't. Yes, it's energy efficient, with built-in wi-fi and a swiveling screen readable in sunlight. But the big deal about the OLPC laptop is the innovative software that makes it easy for kids to write, draw, paint, make videos, create music--and even program and write their own software. All on their own, mind you.

Imagine a planet where children everywhere, not just in rich countries, live with a computer every day and even begin to master programming. I get a chill just thinking about the possibilities for remaking the world into a much, much better place.

There are many causes worthy of charity. But I can't think of any others with the potential for changing the state of things so dramatically for so little money. To say nothing of also bestowing a generous and enjoyable gift on the giver. When I signed up for the OLPC laptops last year, it left me feeling wonderful--and also left me with an adorable little green laptop of my very own.

Posted by Tam    Category: computers | devices | shopping
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