A Short History of Low-Cost Computers: From the IBM PCjr to Simputer to OLPC

Historically, there have been numerous initiatives targeting the creation of "computers for the poor," but the quest for such devices has been an elusive one.


Arguably, the original "low-cost PC" was IBM's PCjr, which was launched in 1983 with much fanfare, including a magazine devoted to coverage of it even before its actual release. The product led to a wave of clones, some fairly successful, including the Tandy 1000, though it did not itself succeed in the market due to design issues.
Low-cost innovation

What We Are Learning From One Laptop Per Child

Brazilian OLPC
What has OLPC taught us?

Over on the Educational Technology Debate, we've spent the month of December analyzing what we've learned from OLPC after four years of deployments.

With input from a cross-section of interested parties - learned academics to experienced educators to volunteer implementers - here is the One Laptop Per Child impact we've found:

Hello Laptop, Hello World, Hello Nicaragua with OLPC

Hello Laptop Hello World (HLHW) is a Harvard student organization and nonprofit. Over the past year, HLHW has launched two successful local pilots in Boston and Cambridge elementary schools. See "Cambridge Friends School OLPC Pilot by One for All".

Expanding OLPC Content with DEMML XML Schema

Somewhere in a small village in some underdeveloped country there is a young boy. Let's call him Hidarth. Like over 121 million young children worldwide (1), Hidarth cannot go to school. There is no school in the village where he lives and it would take him far too long to walk to the nearest school several villages away. His village has no phones or internet connections.

Merry Christmas Microsoft: XO-1.5 to Run Windows 7

Buried under the XO-3 vaporware hype was more information on the very real XO-1.5 hardware that is a gift to Microsoft. Just read this paragraph from the One Laptop Per Child press release with my emphasis added:

XO-3 Laptop Fantasy Distraction from Education Reality

If there ever was proof that Nicholas Negroponte wants a laptop project, not an education project, its the slick XO-3 images that Yves Behar and Nicholas Negroponte strutted out in Andy Greenberg's fluff piece "The $75 Future Computer".


what i have done since i came home:

-worked out

-spent 12 hrs a day each day this weekend helping/watching a gymnastics meet

-learned to judge high school gymnastics

-ate, slept, and all that good stuff.

i miss high school when i could live and breathe gymnastics all the time, but at least i get a nice three week dose of it now :)

What Can OLPC Learn From Large Education Projects?

It is not a secret that education is one of the most viable ways to improve the quality of life. That is true at several levels and for the widest variety of communities. In developed countries, and in the US in particular, access to good education stands as the most important aspect for social elevation.

In developing countries that is even more so, considering that a lack of education (in the broader sense) may be at the base of social conflicts, discrimination, impoverishment, lack of stability, prevention socio-economic reform, increase in infant mortality, and lack of health, hygiene, and sanitation standards.

Ghana Together Update: XO Laptops Make a Difference

We now have 37 OLPCs in Axim, Ghana with Ghana Together. Twenty are in the hands of individual children, one for one. They have access to them at any time they're in their Children's Home and not otherwise engaged.

olpc ghana
Ghana Together with XO laptops

The others are being used in Saturday classes for neighbor children. They now have neighborhood children coming in, and they have one of their Western Heritage Home children teaming with a neighborhood child to "teach" them all things OLPC. So, we have a pool of about 40-50 children now who are involved.

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