Friday, March 30, 2007

OLPC to sell in developed countries!

I always figured that the OLPC folks had to do this, if nothing else to prevent the arbitrage problem: sell their laptops to developed countries. Hooray! I think I'll definitely be buying one now. I'd like it even more if they jacked the price up another hundred dollars so that you could "sponsor" another laptop to someone in another country. But hey, this is a start.

And if you haven't checked out the specs on these laptops, they're not too shabby. In addition to running my favorite software (though not my favorite flavor), they've also got mesh networking, a built in video camera, flash hard drives (only 1 gig, but you're not running Photoshop or anything on these), and a dual-mode LCD, which will allow you to read the screen even when you're in direct sunlight. Not to mention they draw 1/10th the power of conventional laptops - I was a little disappointed that they had to remove the hand-crank, which would have allowed the users to generate the power themselves. But still, as a firm believer in combining first-world technology with third-world local knowledge, I think this project has the potential to be great.

Oh, and yes there's plenty of criticism of this project. It's not aimed at stopping every problem plaguing underdeveloped countries, but it is aimed at promoting education. Check the wikipedia entry for more info.

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