One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has been a project long in the works. I recently got my hands on a device from Tim “Plutarch” Schultz. He ordered the device a few months ago and finally it arrived. The deal is you pay about $400 and you get a machine and another machine goes to a child that needs one.
I checked it out and I have to say this is one nice machine! Of course we all should know OLPC isn’t about the device as much as it is how to get educational tools in the hands of children around the world that normally would not get access to them, but I can’t help think “I want one of these!”.
The machine is small, light, has a decent screen, a nice software package based on open-source products (linux, python, open-office) and it actually comes packaged with programming tools! Since a lot of the software is built on Python – a full programming toolset of Python stuff (called Pippy) is included. You can get full details at http://laptop.org – or just google it.
Here’s a snapshot of the machine – sorry about the quality I had to shoot these with my b-berry. You can see that its pretty small, has an interesting keyboard made for small fingers. Its also “moisture friendly” and is ruggedized to some extent:
The screen can swivel around for sharing
and there is built in Wifi including mesh networking for easy connectivity to other OLPCs and stuff. There are some USB ports too and a mic/audio out jacks. Battery life is decent, but like all machines should probably be better.
Here’s Bryan banging away after just a few minutes:
Now is that a picture of a happy computer geek or what?
The machine’s custom linux distro is made for super easy and fast learning. Anyone can step right in and use this for general word processing, internet browsing, and programming…yes programming! I was hacking with fibonacci in no time on this. Wicked cool:
Overall this is a really nice machine. People (including my wife) say I act like a child all the time…maybe I can get one? 🙂