Posts tagged: cheap

Dec 29 2008

$100 computer arrives in Brazil

The $100 laptop computer has been launched in Brazil. Read more about this at Global Voices Online.

Global Voices Online summarises the reactions to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative in Brazil, from various bloggers in the country, and provides translations into English from the Portuguese.

Naturally, reactions vary from those who think it's WOW, to those who, understandably in my view, suggest that more investment in teachers might better meet the objective of improving educational attainment, to those who believe the money might have been better spent in combating poverty and providing food and water.

And then of course, who will the laptops go to? One blogger queried this after supposing that the launch machines would be given to President Lula's grandsons.

The $100 laptop uses a different hardware configuration from that which we are used to, and also a different browser, called OLPC, after the name of the initiative. Watch the YouTube demo of OLPC in action.

Also see this article entitled Clever kit to benefit the poor in London's Financial Times.

Update on January 5th 2008: An article in The Economist reveals that the OLPC laptop is clumsy, cumbersome to use, and crashes frequently. It’s more likely to deter kids than encourage them. The Economist says that this has been largely due to “the hubris, arrogance and occasional self-righteousness of OLPC workers. They treated all criticism as enemy fire to be deflected and quashed rather than considered and possibly taken on board. Overcoming this will be essential if the project is to succeed past its first release.”

All is not doom and gloom however. Laptops are getting cheaper and there are other options. At least the OLPC initiative has pioneered a trail.

This item was first published on 4th December 2006.

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