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Portables Education

Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down? 111

An anonymous reader sends this quote from OLPC News about whether the One Laptop Per Child project can expect to continue much longer: "Here is a question for you: 8 years on, would you recommend anyone start a new deployment with XO-1 laptops? With the hardware now long past its life expectancy, spare parts hard to find, and zero support from the One Laptop Per Child organization, its time to face reality. The XO-1 laptop is history. Sadly, so is Sugar. Once the flagship of OLPC's creativity in redrawing the human-computer interaction, few are coding for it and new XO variants are mostly Android/Gnome+Fedora dual boots. Finally, OLPC Boston is completely gone. No staff, no consultants, not even a physical office. Nicholas Negroponte long ago moved onto the global literacy X-Prize project." A response from OLPC says their mission is "far from over." They add, "OLPC also has outsourced many of the software and development units because the organization is becoming more hardware and OS agnostic, concentrating on its core values – education."
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Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down?

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  • Winding down? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone ( 558574 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#46468327)

    I hate to be snarky, but did it ever wind up?

  • "Flagship" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:08PM (#46468401)

    Sugar is the horrible POS that made the XO-1 such a sluggish pain to use. If they had developed a lean UI rather than deploying some overarchitected academic project that was clearly never tested on the target hardware it would have been much more appealing.

  • Re:Winding down? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by penguinstorm ( 575341 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:10PM (#46468439) Homepage

    also: no one on slashdot ever "hate[s] to be snarky." Ever.

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:24PM (#46468605)

    The founder of the MIT Media Lab, which churns out nothing but useless ivory-tower crap, moved on to something more shiny?


    OLPC was nothing more than a way to pay for travel to academic conferences and get his name into stuff.

  • Re:Not surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:44PM (#46468791)

    It wasn't silly when it began. When it started, ethere was nothing of the sort even remotely available on the market. More like, market has caught up and can produce hardware cheaper now.

  • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:44PM (#46468799)

    OLPC was a project to get computers into the hands of children in developing nations. This was at a time when a laptop for a hundred bucks was thought to be impossible...... and then along came smart phones and tablets.

    The OLPC was made obsolete by these devices. You can now get Android tablets for under 50 bucks and have access to hundreds of thousands of apps on the Android OS. No longer are you stuck in a sandbox like system with limited hardware and software. Sure they arent as rugged but the low cost makes them more appealing and they are essentially throw away (though that is not necessarily a good thing)
    See this: []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:00PM (#46468917)

    The OLPC XO-1 enpirically demonstrated that one could manufacture a self-contained device that could credibly be called a "computer" for $100. While that's no big deal today, it was unheard of a decade ago, and the XO-1 stood as the empirical proof it was possible.

  • Re:Winding down? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:22PM (#46469467) Homepage

    What makes you think Pi is popular with the kids []? It seems to be a nerd-only thing that's popular mostly as a cheap XBMC box.

    Low power? Is this really an issue for children, like their parents only let them draw two amps at a time for their main computing device?

    And by the time you include a monitor, case, keyboard, etc, a netbook with monitor is going to be cheaper and draw less power and let them use the most popular and supported business/educational/entertainment software.

  • Re:Winding down? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by uncqual ( 836337 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:41PM (#46469579)

    Low power? Is this really an issue for children, like their parents only let them draw two amps at a time for their main computing device?

    In the third world, yes. If you live in a one room "house" with one solar panel, every watt-hour counts - if the laptop has to draw off the "house battery" because the laptop runs out of charge before daylight or another charging opportunity, that's going to mean you can't keep lights on to read by (although, with the advent of much cheaper LED lights, this may not be as much of a problem anymore).

  • Re:Winding down? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @07:49PM (#46469611)

    There is some thought, or hope, that the OLPC inspired netbooks (like the EeePC), and subsequently tablets, which are dropping in price. Hopefully some of these technologies might eventually advance education.

    I kinda view OLPC and EEEPC as the initial starting point of the "ultra cheap computing" movement.

    We look now and laugh, but the idea of a _$200_ computer was insanely luring just a few years ago.

  • Re:Winding down? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ingo Ruhnke ( 3575189 ) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @12:05AM (#46470757)
    Yep, the important difference is that the Pi is actually available to people who want, OLPC never sold to the public, only through time limited G1G1. Never understood why they would make it so hard to buy one.

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