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Hardware Technology

OLPC Mass Production Begins 187

chris_mahan writes to tell us that mass production of the $100 laptop is finally being ramped up. "Hardware suppliers have been given the green light to ramp-up production of all of the components needed to build millions of the low-cost machines. Previously, the organization behind the scheme said that it required orders for 3m laptops to make production viable. The first machines should be ready to put into the hands of children in developing countries in October 2007. "There's still some software to write, but this is a big step for us," Walter Bender, head of software development at One Laptop per Child (OLPC), told the BBC News website."
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OLPC Mass Production Begins

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  • Blah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:05PM (#19959863)
    Most of these people would probably better off getting $100 which is like 5 years wages where they live.
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:27PM (#19960189) Homepage
    Anyone that's done any business in government would anonymously back me up when I say that this whole project moved into mass production so quickly I find it hard to believe. From the olpc wiki, they list some countries.

            * 2.1 Romania--No
            * 2.2 Argentina--Yes
            * 2.3 Brazil--Yes
            * 2.4 Korea---driven by a few citizens
            * 2.5 Libya--Yes
            * 2.6 Nigeria--Yes
            * 2.7 India--No
            * 2.8 Uruguay--Yes
            * 2.9 Rwanda--Yes
            * 2.10 USA--Talking

    Anyone that's worked government IT would tell you that it's incredibly difficult to get paid in a timely manner. On top of *just* getting paid, they've been paid so much the entire OEM chain is ready to mass-produce?

    Someone somewhere has a lot of influence (e.g. money) to get this going because OEM's certainly don't work for free and governments rarely, if ever, are enlighted enough to see a good thing an let it pass. Who's pushing this and where's the money coming from?
  • Re:Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metlin ( 258108 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:31PM (#19960233) Journal

    Quite obviously, western-style education hasn't worked out for you.
  • Re:Will it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yvajj ( 970228 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:31PM (#19960237)

    When did porn become a bad word? Society's today seem to be fixated on how sex is bad for you.

    I don't see how having access to porn should deter these users from eventually using it for learning. Its pretty much the same as when we first got access to computers and the internet (or in my day, bulletin boards). The first thing you do is look for porn, and once you've exhausted yourself, start learning to use the computer for other stuff.

    As for illegal activity... the users who would normally gravitate towards this will do so whether they have access to these PCs or not.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:35PM (#19960293) Homepage
    Since it seems that there are so many people interested in getting one of these for themselves, would it be possible to set up your own non-profit to distribute them to regular people? Possible things include charging extra and donating funds to the OLPC project or other such organizations. Seems like they refuse to sell them to end users, but why miss out on a market that is obviously there? Especially when it means increased production, which will bring down production costs, and allow extra funds to bring down the cost for the 3rd world countries.
  • The Diamond Age (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#19960403) Homepage
    The OLPC project reminds me of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" found in The Diamond Age []. In the book, a poor girl is given a nanotech book that basically teaches her everything should could ever want to know. Later on, it gets mass-produced resulting in an army of intelligent young girls. The OLPC is kinda like that.
  • Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @03:44PM (#19960417) Journal
    1. if they produce electronic text books on this, that it will be lower cost education than what is currently happening. IOW, the country will have more to spend on improving total education, on health factors, etc.
    2. This is a case of give a man a fish vs. teach a man to fish. It is difficult to get an education in many countries. If this raises education levels, then it will raise the country as well.

    Considering that you are a brave AC, I am guessing that you already know this, and are just opposed to THIS project.
  • Re:Imagine that!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:01PM (#19960731) Homepage
    Wouldn't building better water, road and electricity infrastructures be a better way to help the world? Most of the articles I read about OLPC mention Africa which is a place that often lacks the basic systems I just mentioned.

    Better? I don't know if you can even put them in the same category.

    The fact is, these computer hardware manufacturers and the OSS community are pulling their own resources together for the vision of bringing technology and information to parts of the world that don't yet have it.

    How about asking the major electricity/water industry powers to pull together like Intel, AMD and others are doing to help better the world with respect to their specialties? I'm sure they have plenty of money to spend, and THEY are the experts in those fields, not AMD/Intel/others in the technology market.
  • by jeevesbond ( 1066726 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:11PM (#19960847) Homepage

    Throwing laptops at kids in shithole countries may sound like a great idea, but that's making a LOT of assumptions (that they'll only use them for good, that the officials in their countries will actually distribute them rather than sell them, etc.).

    Whereas you are quite happy to assume everyone that lives in a developing nation is corrupt, evil and not worthy of a chance at a better life. Of course all of us middle-class people in the West, our business leaders and politicians are all whiter-than-white. We're incorruptible!

    Ever heard of a self fulfilling prophesy? Treat someone like a criminal and you'll generally force them to act like one: but try to help, do some good and a lot of people will respond. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the OLPC--and projects like it--will decrease the amount of crime in developing nations. People will be empowered to work on worthwhile projects, and it will build communication bridges with people in the West.

    Wake up and stop dehumanising the rest of the world. There are arseholes everywhere, but there are plenty of good people too. Yes some OLPCs will appear on e-Bay, no doubt a few will be used to run scams (although most scammers already have computers), but the vast majority will be used for education. The benefits far outweigh any potential problems, it's really sad people like you can't see that and insist on branding whole nations of millions of people as scum (probably without having ever even visited the continent).

  • by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:27PM (#19961107)
    Why do all these stories keep calling this the "$100 laptop", when it actually costs $176 even in quantity?
  • by sleigher ( 961421 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:39PM (#19961281)
    I am really sick of reading from all you who think this doomed to failure. You know what??? They are not going to drive village to village and hand them out to the kids playing futbol in the street and say " here ya go kids, good luck!" Can we at least wait until it does/doesn't fail and say "I told you so" or "Great it is working"?

    We have been handing money and food to many of these third world countries for decades. Problem is they are still in need. Well I say it's high time we try another method. Maybe this will help, maybe it won't.... but quit the, this will never work and is stupid crap....
  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:38PM (#19962023)
    He's doing it with the biggest PR splash he could possibly make. He's a shameless self-promoter. It's obvious that this project isn't about education. If it were, he'd be busy opening up and staffing actual schools taught by actual local people, not selling plastic gadgets to 3rd world nations. The effect of this project will be negligible, at best for the targets of this "project".
  • by delphi125 ( 544730 ) on Monday July 23, 2007 @08:51PM (#19964023)
    Probably because all these stories call this One Laptop Per Child, and only a few of them mention a $100 target cost.

    Considering what a 1GB storage laptop would have cost 10 years ago, let alone 20, I think we can safely say that the COST target will be reached relatively soon - within 2-5 years.

    As for the "per child" target, it may take a bit longer. Maybe 20-50. Consider the ever-increasing changes since 1945, less than a lifetime ago. If Nigeria has a million OLPCs next year, it will have close to a million times the processing power of Bletchley Park in WWII.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"