Uruguay buys first '$100 laptops'

The first official order for the so-called "$100 laptop" has been placed by the government of Uruguay. The South American country has bought 100,000 of the machines for schoolchildren aged six to 12. A further 300,000 may be purchased to provide a machine for every child in the country by 2009. The order will be a boost for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organisation behind the project which has admitted difficulties getting concrete orders.

"I have to some degree underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a cheque written," Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the organisation, recently told the New York Times. However, he said he was "delighted" with the first deal. "We commend Uruguay for being the first country to take concrete actions to provide laptops to all its children and teachers and look forward to other countries following this example," he said.

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I think Neowin has cool images for their articles, but in this case, why not have a pic of the actual $180 laptop instead of some generic thing? It looks cool and small children will love it!

I have to agree with you... that country is pretty cool. and its in no way as poor as ppl might think it is.
A good friend of mine is uruguayan... i always tell her she comes from the southern guyana

So, you think that this group takes away food and water from people in exchange for the PC?

It is school equipment. The government buys books for schools without taking away food. They buy chairs and desks. They build huge buildings called "schools". This is just another optional tool that countries can use to aid education, not a replacement for rice, meat or water.

Without education they will struggle to become self sufficient. They don't necessarily need laptops but they needs tools to provide the youth the education and skills which will help their country develop. That may be the laptops above, it may be books or more staff or whatever.

It's as the saying goes. Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime.

Thats the agenda and reasons behind these computers. Yes, $100 in food would benefit them a lot but in the long run these laptops will hopefully help enough of their kids that they in the future will be able to work their own way out of poverty. It's not like they'll be playing games on the systems or anything like that. Besides I'm not sure these are aimed at those who are starving to death. Theres varying levels of wealth and while this is aimed at the lower line, obviously food and the like would be a priority if it was urgently needed.

Uruguay isn't suffering from a famine; it may be a poor country but it isn't starving.

These PCs may be even better than books in some respects, as the students can get to online resources they would not need to paid for, stored, etc., freeing up resources for educational infrastructure (buildings, etc.).