OLPC [UPDATED: Don't forget the Asus Eee PC!]

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bluebomberman, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #1
    They're opening up the One Laptop Per Child program to the public (sort of):

    Who's buying one?
     
  2. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #2
    I think I would be more inclined to just give one. Hopefully that will be an option, and then corporate matching would be a little easier too!
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  4. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #4
    They're accepting $200 donations straight up via Paypal.

    http://www.xogiving.org/

    (Look on the right side of the page.)
     
  5. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #5
    Thanks. I feel like an idiot for not looking at the page. I feel like last time I looked at the OLPC they were not soliciting individual donations, following the line of thinking that they would be purchased only by governments.
     
  6. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #6
    Don't feel stupid. I honestly don't think the donation page has been up for more than a half-day, actually.
     
  7. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    As a parent, I'm keen to buy and donate but the problem is knowing whether it will catch on or become another Rubik's Cube fad.
     
  8. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #8
    It's a new thing. As Govs have to spend $47m in one go on the computers, they're probably having trouble having takers...
     
  9. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #9
    rubiks cube fad?:confused:

    anyway, i kind of want one and bookmarked the link. i think about buying two and give one to my 7 year old nephew.

    of course one could buy one for $399 and sell the one you get for $499 to the typical ebay moron...........
     
  10. GavinTing macrumors 6502

    GavinTing

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore!
    #10
    Now be fair! I still buy Rubik cubes! I think this is more of a collecters item, like the old Apple IIs, eh?
     
  11. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
    Thanks for posting this, bluebomberman. I've signed up for the email reminder from OLPC about the program, and will give it some thought.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    I am kinda sad that it didn't end up shipping with the wind-up crank, though. It doesn't have one, does it?
     
  13. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13

    i signed up for their e-mail reminder. it seems not to be clear what model you get though. the specs say color screen or black and white screen, there are different battery types and they don't mention the crank. i would love to get one with the crank. since it has wifi and usb it should be quite nice for text editing, reading pdf's and email.

    and sitting on a plane in business class and the cranking up the green laptop and doing some work would be priceless!

    and after all somebody somewhere gets a laptop and maybe an education and a future. i absolutely support this idea.
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    I know. That would be the best! :)

    The OLPC website now just discusses one screen -- a 1200x900 dual-mode screen that has a transmissive / backlit mode (1W) and a reflective / sunlight-readable mode (0.2W). But what exactly this computer would look like has been in a state of constant flux.

    I really do hope that they work out a way to start selling these at moderate profit in the US to help bankroll their charitable efforts. These things sound like a tremendous amount of fun.

    Although much better if they have a hand crank. :D
     
  15. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #15
    I honestly don't have the cash, which is a shame because I think this thing is awesome.

    It's too bad I'm such a young guy (18) because I'd totally love to get this for my hypothetical children. :( The mesh networking and social aspects of it are particularly adorable.

    I know that the purpose of this project is to help the third world, but I wish they would release it commercially here for a bit cheaper, then take the profit and put it towards more OLPC's. Also, I imagine that this volume of production could reduce costs.
     
  16. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #16
    Okay, I'm going to try to answer people's questions, since I've also been a little frustrated by the official site's lack of clarity:

    An AP report states that the first 25,000 orders will be guaranteed to ship in time for Christmas.

    According to two writeups by Laptop (warning - site has horrific Flash ads):

    • the keyboard is rubberized and spill-resistant (but the keys are built for small fingers, so might not be good for adult-sized hands)
    • the Sugar OS (a customized Red Hat Fedora Linux) is pretty good, if a bit slow to switch applications
    • the screen has two modes for indoor vs. outdoor (sunlight) use
    • 640 x 480 webcam, mic, SD card slot
    • a screen that can fold over the keyboard to resemble a tablet PC or e-reader, but no true tablet PC touchscreen functionality
    • resistant to heat and physical damage
    • solar panel charger (it's pretty wide - solar's all about surface area) and some sort of big (as big as the laptop) pull cord attachment that you can crank - no idea what it looks like, I will look for photos
    • no crank on the laptop itself
    • 802.11 b/g wireless networking - "mesh networking" to connect to other computers as well as direct Internet connections - emphasis on collaboration, such as piecing presentations collaboratively
    • touchpad and stylus - stylus said to be laggy at this point
    Solar panel as pictured by Laptop:
    [​IMG]

    Laptop magazine just put up another review here which is substantially more negative. "My 8-Year-Old Reviews the OLPC XO."

    Not really sure what to do, personally. I really would like a $200/$400 portable mini-writing thingie, but judging from the 8-year-old kiddie review, there's some real sacrifices in speed and software stability (web pages aren't too speedy, video performance not so hot, and the system had to be rebooted after two hours because of degrading performance and an unresponsive keyboard - the reviewer compared it to the days of dealing with Windows 95 computers...)
     
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #17
    My grandparents are big on donating to 3rd world nations...hopefully when I send them this, they'll buy one for me, and feel good for donating one!
     
  18. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #18
    Okay, here's a pic dating last year for a prototype pull-string attachment. I think the aim is to get 10 minutes of juice for 1 minute of labor.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: Engadget has a link to a supposed review from a 12-year-old dating a few months back. The review is overall positive, but speed and stability are real problems.
     
  19. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #19
    David Pogue has a pretty glowing review of the OLPC:

    There's a ton of hardware innovation in the OLPC, but the software remains an issue for me.

    I switched to Macs 3 years ago primarily because of Mac OS X - I don't know how much tolerance I'll have for a computer whose software performance isn't fast and stable.

    Oh, and for all those grownups wanting an OLPC for their own personal use:

     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #20
    I'm still fiending after one.... :eek:

    In fact, if XO Giving is providing me with a way to buy the yo-yo power crank, count me in for the $400 program in November. :)
     
  21. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #21
    David Pogue's video demo of the XO laptop. (stream)

    There's also an iTunes podcast version. The individual video hasn't shown up yet on iTunes, but you can get it by subscribing to the podcast. (That's how I got it.)
     
  22. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Just because something is open source doesn't mean it isn't fast or stable. Ubuntu is a killer Linux OS that is both those things. Not sure what the OS is on the OLPC, pretty sure it's specific to the program, but it may still very well be excellent.
     
  23. bluebomberman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    #23
    If you had bothered to read the reviews that I linked to in this thread, you'll see that my fears of slow and unresponsive software is based on actual experiences with the machine and not based on my personal bias against open-source software.

    (Typed on Firefox 2.0.0.7.)
     
  24. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    I didn't say you had a bias, I said that it wouldn't necessarily be slow or clunky. No need to be snippy.
     
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #25
    Anyone thought any more about this? I'm really leaning towards making an experiment of using one for a year.
     

Share This Page