Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

"For the child in your life". Yeah, sure...

Right -- just in case folks need the reminder, the Give 1, Get 1 program for the OLPC has begun. For $400 (plus hefty shipping and handling, minus a $200 tax deduction), you get one XO laptop and donate one to a child in the third world. A no-brainer for me: this machine is so experimental and innovative, I simply have to get one. They basically threw out all the rule books and built something pretty radical, with a tiny but extremely high-res screen, insanely good energy efficiency, a tablet for about 20% the price of most tablets, and so on. I suspect I'll only use it for limited functions, but at that price it's worth it simply as a toy.

I am very amused at the pitch, though. The program bills itself as a way to give one and get one "for the child in your life". I'd love to know how many of these are actually going to children. I'd bet that 75% of them wind up mainly in the hands of geeks like myself who want to experiment with the thing.

That said, geek-parents might want to give one a try: as Junior's First Laptop, it has great potential -- it claims to be durable as all hell (drop tests from 80cm onto steel, 150cm onto carpet, highly water-resistant, sealed keyboard, etc), and ships with a whole bunch of creative-educational software as well as a complete Internet suite. I suspect it's less compelling for a single child than for a whole classroom (since the software is highly collaboration-oriented), and there's explicitly no support to speak of (hence, I wouldn't recommend it to any parent who wasn't already a techie), but for the price of an XBox you can get something that may be rather more beneficial...
Tags: technology
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