Web 2.0 Enabled $100 Laptop Will Reach Children in February

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Friday, January 5, 2007

$100 laptopThe first batch of computers built for the One Laptop Per Child project could reach users by July this year. However test XO machines are expected to reach children in February before the formal launch.

The scheme is hoping to put low-cost computers (~ $100) into the hands of people in developing countries. The first countries to sign up to buying the machine include Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand.

XO machine is being pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte, who launched the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab in 2004.

The laptop is powered by a 366-megahertz processor from Advanced Micro Devices and has built-in wireless networking. It uses 512 MB of flash memory instead of hard disk drive. Additional storage can be attached through two USB ports. It will run on a custom build of Linux and its Sugar user interface will significantly differ in usability from Microsoft Windows and Apple computers.

XO embraces Web2.0 at its core. The machine comes with a web browser, word processor and RSS reader, for accessing the web feeds that so many sites now offer. Users of the XO machine are encouraged to work on an electronic journal, a log of everything the user has done on the laptop.

“In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint,” Mr Negroponte said.

“I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing, not running office automation tools.”


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