On NHPR this morning, the On The Media show had an episode on the One Laptop Per Child program. Here’s what they say on their web site:
In 2005 computer scientist Nicholas Negroponte announced his bold plan to build a laptop that costs $100 and deliver it to the world’s 150 million poorest schoolchildren in just 4 years. But thecompetition from companies like Intel and Microsoft seems to have put that goal out of reach.
I’d be disappointed if the OLPC itself doesn’t succeed, but in some senses, it already has, spurring innovation (real innovation, not marketing slogans) in the low-power rugged laptop-form-factor marketplace. OLPC is radically innovative hardware where many of the other version one-oh products are the same old stuff in a smaller case. OLPC has screen that works in full sunlight and uses little to no power as an eBook. It has a mesh-based network capability that will allow ad-hoc networks over great distances in field conditions. Every aspect of the design was considered. These are elegantly engineered machines. The software is as innovative as the hardware, with a simplified UI that allows and encourages exploration and collaboration. I’ve, and I encourage you to do so.