One Million Laptop Orders for Needy Children

Quanta Computer Inc., the world's largest contract laptop PC manufacturer, already has confirmed orders for one million notebook PCs for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, a company representative said Thursday.

The OLPC project is aimed at ensuring children around the world don't miss out on learning how to use computers. The fear is that the high cost of computers is keeping too many people in developing countries from learning how the software, Internet and communications benefits of computing can improve their economies, job prospects and lives, a conundrum commonly referred to as the digital divide.

Quanta is manufacturing the OLPC laptop, and mass production is the key to slashing its cost. Currently, the laptops cost around US$130, but the goal is to whittle down the price to $100. The groups involved in the OLPC project, including the MIT Media Laboratory that launched the effort, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and Linux software developer Red Hat Inc., believe they can reach that goal once millions of the laptops are being produced annually, and had set a target to reach that price sometime in 2008.

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News source: PCWorld

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Really hilarious when people on a technology website get offended that someone's trying to bring it to other countries to aid them in their growth. Very definition of elitism.

Ain't that the truth!

And to those who complain about giving the poor a laptop instead of a meal, I'd like to remind them of the old saying:

"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day; teach him to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime."

Knowledge is power; and power is precisely what the poor people of the world lack. In the long run, the gift of a laptop (and Internet access) is infinitely more valuable than a lifetime of handouts from wealthy nations.

It really is a gift that keeps on giving!


yeah, i can see it now: a starving, homeless kid would figure out how to hack into a nearby starbucks' wireless network - from their crate hidden behind a dumpster - and upload security tips and workarounds for vista. or, when they've finally realized that microsoft doesn't care, they could always browse for better crates and cartons on ebay or watch episodes of ren & stimpy on youtube. just like the soup commercial declares: "poss-i-bil-ities!"

"Hey kid, I know you don't get to eat very well, live in a shabby home, and don't own a pair of shoes yet, but he's a laptop!

  1. These don't replace food, medicine or other aid.
  2. If you can actually believe it there are things called "cities" in these countries buying the laptops, and these cities have buildings they call "schools" and stuff.
The world is not made up of only the polar opposite "affluent" or "starving" people. There is a whole spectrum in the middle.

markjensen said,
  1. These don't replace food, medicine or other aid.
  2. If you can actually believe it there are things called "cities" in these countries buying the laptops, and these cities have buildings they call "schools" and stuff.
The world is not made up of only the polar opposite "affluent" or "starving" people. There is a whole spectrum in the middle.

A spectrum that is always forgotten because most of the organizations advocate their efforts to the more needy. This could help impulse that middle class to a better life, so like this project.

I wonder if children of Europe, Japan and the US started their education with computers.... I think the fact they had roads, food, electricity and medicine helped them achieve and build their countries into what they are today.

Actually, before there was electricity, the countries were built without electricity! So, obviously, buy your line of reasoning, this "electricity" thing is unnecessary.

The thing is, those countries you mention today all use computers as tools in education. Why would you think that other countries could not use these tools, too?

Beastage said,
I wonder if children of Europe, Japan and the US started their education with computers.... I think the fact they had roads, food, electricity and medicine helped them achieve and build their countries into what they are today.

Sigh... Does this tired old argument have to get trotted out every time OLPC is mentioned?

Alright, once more, and please listen this time: the target is the Second World, not the Third World. Yes, obviously there are higher priorities for countries/regions that have no wealth and severely lack vital infrastructure, and those countries are focusing on those things. For those that already have *reasonable* resources on which to survive, low-cost methods of efficiently schooling their children (on any subject at all, not just in Computer Science as some folks seemed to think in previous threads!) are a very natural next step. Without effective mass education, development is a lot harder to achieve, let alone sustain.

It escapes me how so many people can't see this.