XO Giving: helping children in developing nations

Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop per Child project, has announced that you will be able to buy pairs of XO laptops (the laptops they are selling to developing nations), one for you and one for a child in a developing nation, starting November 12 for “a brief window of time”. You can find out more at xogiving.org. I would highly recommend supporting the project through this. The OLPC project looks like a really good way to get education to children. For some background information on the project, check out Negroponte’s talk at TED.

I will definitely be getting one. Hopefully others in the area will get them as well so we can try out the interesting wireless meshing capabilities and sharing features that the laptops have.

It is important to note that an XO laptop is not designed for everyday use by the average adult. The web site suggests that you give your XO laptop to an interested child you know. I’m interested in seeing just how much of my usual computing I can do on this device, but probably not everyone would be interested in taking the time required to figure out how to do the things they normally do on it. For those that are considering using the XO laptop for everyday tasks, it appears that the XO laptop will come with a standard set of desktop applications, including a word processor, web browser, and basic graphics editor (see the application list for more details).

For the technically-inclined people out there, I think the XO laptop would be a very interesting piece of hardware to have for tinkering. It’s got a 433 MHz x86 processor, 512 MB RAM, and 1 GB flash (its only non-volatile storage). For more, see the full specs.

The announcement was also covered by Slashdot and the Associated Press.

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