$100 Laptop (OLPC)

I listened to Ethan Zuckerman on IT Conversations who heads Geek Corps. One thing I agreed with Ethan was that he said they had much more success helping the middle-class in urban cities than trying to help the rural poor.
When I hear people complain that the OLPC project will never work because the poor in Africa don't have electricity let alone internet connections, but they are talking about the wrong Africans. At the start the OLPC project should go after the children on the edge of tecnology. Those who can almost afford a computer at home, say, but don't have one yet. I feel that these children are more likely to take advantage of what the computer offers. The children in middle-class families are more likely to graduate and enter a white collar job than lower-class families. Eventually, as more and more of these laptops are bought they should be spread out to every child, but this may take years.
Ethan's blog has even more information about the latest from the OLTP project. What caught my eye was that laptop will be bundled with support for gcc, javascript, logowiki and python! I'm really happy that they choose to preinstall python on the laptop. They will be using the Gnome interface and Evince for viewing documentation (PDF, Postscript, DjVuLibre).
The keyboard is 60% the size of a normal keyboard which explains why some of the photographs look a little funny.
I think what's missing now is getting some material ready so that when the laptop is available we'll already have lot's of books and software for the kids and teachers to use. We could even class test some of them using normal computers to find any issues.


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