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This is the story of the brief, shining history of the Asus Eee, the
first netbook—a small, cheap and mostly well-made laptop that dominated
the computer industry for two or three years about a decade go. It's not so
much that the Eee was ahead of its time, which wasn't that difficult in an
industry then dominated by pricey and bulky laptops that didn't always have
a hard drive and by desktop design hadn't evolved much past the first IBM
OLPC (One Laptop per Child) OS developer James Cameron announced the availability of a new stable update for the Fedora-based GNU/Linux operating system used by default on those low-cost, connected OLPC laptops.
Not to be outdone by the FSF and looking to appeal to more cosmopolitan tastes, Linux Mint will change over the course of the year to something a little more contemporary and stylish. It becomes Linux Merlot, with a bouquet that resonates from the north side of the vineyard. The distro will have a more celebratory nature and it will go a lot better with most cheeses.
Kano began raising funds in December of 2013. Their goal was to raise $100,000 to expand their ability to manufacture and sell a kit that not only taught kids how to use a computer, but how to build one and how to write code to use on that computer as well. It’s designed to fire the interest and imagination of future Anita Borgs and Linus Torvalds.
One Laptop per Child, the education not-for-profit that provides cheap low-cost laptops to children in developing countries, is building a new device in partnership with Datawind, makers of the $50 (￡29) Aakash tablets.
In 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, who previous founded MIT's Media Lab, founded One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), which works with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to deliver low-cost laptops to children in developing nations. But this week, OLPC announced something a little bit different.
The One Laptop Per Child organization’s 7-inch, Android 4.2-powered “XO Tablet” will go on sale at Walmart stores in the U.S. next week, according to a July 8 post by OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda on the OLPC’s blog. The device will initially be available exclusively at Walmart starting July 16, but will soon be offered [...]
A new version of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) operating system has been released. The Fedora-based Linux distribution now supports the forthcoming OLPC XO-4 Touch laptop...
The One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPCA) has announced the next generation of its Linux-based XO laptop and a new XO Tablet design at CES in Las Vegas. According to a report on The Verge, chip manufacturer Marvell demonstrated the XO 4.0 Touch laptop at the conference but did not show the XO Tablet which is being developed by Sakar International.
Educational initiative One Laptop per Child is to equip the next generation of its XO laptop with a Neonode touchscreen. No release date and no other details about the device have been revealed
(OLPC News Editor's Note: Over the past 2 weeks we have provided you with different views on IDB's ongoing evaluation of Peru's OLPC project and the many discussions around it by Oscar Becerra and Marta Voelcker. Now when we saw this blog post by Eugenio Severín and Julián Cristiá from the IDB's education blog we immediately thought that it was a great complement to the aforementioned perspectives. Thanks to Eugenio for kindly allowing us to re-publish their post here.)
I was surprised by the beginning of the Economist's article "Error Message" (based on the IADB study) that says the Peruvian Una Laptop por Ni?o project "did not accomplish anything in particular". The IADB study clearly stated that the project "substantially increased use of computers both at school and at home", "positive effects were found in general cognitive skills" and improved "competence in operating laptops in tasks related to core applications (like a word processor) and searching for information on the computer".
LXer Feature: 15-Apr-2012
The latest installment of the LXWR of the weeks big stories for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
A 15 month study of 319 primary schools in rural Peru by the Inter-American Development bank (IDB) has concluded that the One Laptop per Child project is not enough, at least on its own, to improve educational outcomes. This is believed to be the first evaluation of OLPC that looks at student learning and was performed by taking 320 schools of which 210 were randomly selected to get OLPC-XO laptops.
Much of the early development of Sugar took place in the MIT Media Lab. We began in the spring of 2006, in parallel with the work of the teams responsible for developing other aspects of the XO laptop’s software, including device drivers, power management, and security. One might ask how OLPC was able to create an entirely new learning platform from whole cloth, and do so with almost no investment in software engineering. The short answer is that they didn’t. OLPC solved the problem of how to develop the Sugar software with limited resources by attracting external resources—not creating them from scratch—while articulating clearly defined objectives. OLPC built upon decades of research into how to engineer software to promote learning and amplified OLPC’s staff resources by leveraging key partnerships within the Free Software movement.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) demonstrated a & fully functional& version of its long-delayed XO 3.0 tablet, equipped with a 1GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 processor running Sugar Linux or Android 3.x. Like OLPC's XO 2 laptop, the eight-inch tablet is aimed at educational systems in developing nations, and it will feature an optional sunlight-readable Pixel Qi touchscreen plus the ability to draw power from an optional solar panel or crank charger....
Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child initiative has historically been more about promise than fulfillment. But in the $100 XO 3.0 tablet, OLPC may have its first product that's not just practical, capable, or cheap. It's actually… good.
The performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 OMAP4460 configuration as found on the PandaBoard ES is quite commendable and in this Phoronix review the dual-core 1.2GHz ARM system with PowerVR SGX540 graphics is being compared to several Intel Atom, Pentium M, and Core Duo configurations running Ubuntu Linux throughout. To spice things up, the pre-production OLPC XO-1.75 was also thrown into the testing mix with its single-core ARMv7 800MHz Sheeva processor.
Dreamfish Community Tech, a digital cooperative in Nairobi, Kenya, gets a "Grant" -- Grant Bowman, that is -- as the Technologist in Residence this fall. A tireless FOSS advocate and a board member for Partimus in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bowman will be getting things rolling in Kenya for the next three months, and Larry the Free Software Guy makes him promise to put his return ticket in a safe place.
... The goal is to develop low-cost, open source Wi-Fi software, and on Wednesday Geeks Without Frontiers--an initiative of the not for-profit Manna Energy Foundation--announced the final development of just such a solution. ....
OLPC is eyeing a range of features for its upcoming XO-3 tablet, including satellite Internet and solar charging.
Low-cost computers are to be offered as part of a government scheme to encourage millions of people in the UK to get online for the first time. [...] The cheap computers will run open-source software, such as Linux, and will include a flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, dedicated telephone helpline and delivery.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Project Founder and Chairman Dr. Nicholas Negroponte has confirmed that the launch of the next-generation OLPC XO tablet computer, the XO-3, has been delayed. In an interview at the MIT Media Lab, Negroponte said that, while the OLPC Project wanted to show the XO-3 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, at the beginning of January they will miss CES by 45 days. Negroponte says that the delay has to do with "finding an unbreakable material" for the device's display, noting that it may end up as glass rather than plastic.
The non-profit One Laptop Per Child has engineered laptops for the world's computerless masses. Given that billions of people don't have electricity, OLPC has designed laptops that can operate off-the-grid, perfect for Rwandan cities, aboriginal Canadian settlements -- and Amish colonies.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization has received a $5.6 million grant from hardware component maker Marvell to fund the development of an Android-powered mobile tablet based on a Marvell reference design. The product, which is expected to be ready for a public demonstration at CES next year, is intended for the developed world.
Martin-éric Racine has just announced the release candidate of the X.Org Geode 2.11.9 driver in preparations for the X.Org 7.6 Katamari. The AMD Geode driver is not to be confused with the AMD/ATI Radeon drivers for Linux, but rather this is the driver Geode GX and Geode LX embedded SoC such as what's used by the One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. When announcing this driver, Martin-éric has shared that AMD engineers are back to actually contributing work towards this driver.
LXer Feature: 09-Aug-2010
A roundup of the big stories hitting our newswire from the previous week.
One Laptop Per Child wants to join forces to help develop the Indian government's planned US$35 tablet. In a congratulatory note to the government, OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte said the world needs the $35 tablet, and he offered the country full access to OLPC hardware and software technology.
I applaud the Indian effort, just as I applauded the effort by OLPC to create an ever-lower priced entry into what people hope is a more inexpensive way and effective way to deliver information to the masses of people unable to afford a 400 USD laptop or 300 USD net-book. In some countries the cost of these devices is almost doubled through import duties levied by the government, so every dollar in cost savings is effectively two dollars saved by the end customer. And for people who make a very low wage (or who are unemployed), this amount effectively doubles or quadruples again. Having the “pad” manufactured in India will reduce those duties to zero, and the pride of having developed something in their home land will encourage younger Indians to contribute to computer engineering.
The government of India has unveiled a prototype of a touchscreen, tablet computer which it expects to sell for $35 initially... The Indian prototype is impressive--especially at a $35 price point. The device runs on a variation of Linux.
Christopher Blizzard, Mozilla's Director of Developer Relations and Open Source Evangelist, has announced that he has taken a new role at the company, the non-profit organisation behind the popular open source Firefox web browser. In a post on his personal blog, Blizzard, the former Software Team Lead for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, says that, over the last few months, he's "been focused on one aspect of that job more than others – helping to drive the web-facing side of our platform."
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) announced the inclusion of the GNOME desktop environment in its XO-1.5 line of computers. The inclusion of GNOME allows for students to quickly move from a learning environment to a productivity environment quickly and easily.
After achieving success with the OLPC XO-1 laptop, the One Laptop Per Child foundation is setting in motion plans to create a working $100 tablet for CES 2011. Marvell Technologies announced Thursday that it will partner with the OLPC foundation to create the hardware for the proposed tablet, currently named the XO-3.
One Laptop Per Child won't use Microsoft's Windows OS on its upcoming XO-3 tablet. Instead the XO-3 will run a Linux OS, according to Ed McNierney, OLPC's CTO.
The project to deliver One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) for educational purpose in developing countries is doing great in Paraguay. According to developer Bernie Innocenti, this success comes from a way to manage the development of the Sugar educational software that other countries (or any other similar projects, see for example the Teachermate or the italian JumpPC) could and should imitate.
Some months ago I described how the XO laptop is used in some Nepali schools. This time I interviewed Bernie Innocenti, an italian developer who worked on that project and now is doing the same thing in Paraguay. Says Bernie "Even if OLPC deployed here in Paraguay only 4000 laptops, I believe that the project is turning out as a huge success."
Some GNOME developers have gathered in Boston for for a Python GNOME hackfest that is hosted by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. The primary goals behind the hackfest include establishing a strategy for delivering Python 3.0 compatibility for the GNOME platform and advancing the Python GObject introspection project.
I was in the Peace Corps in Cape Verde as an ICT volunteer from 2006 to 2008, and while I was there, the One Laptop Per Child project came on my radar and I became pretty enamored of the prospect of bringing some XOs to the country, or at least raising awareness of the idea within the government. However, after considering all the obstacles with some fellow volunteers and local educators, including a Ministry of Education delegate, I kept running into the same issue: So we get the laptops, and then what? We discussed the potential of OLPC endlessly, but eventually came to the conclusion that the program was a mess, especially after the departure of some of their best minds and the insistence that the hardware is the only thing to supply. But if OLPC itself won't supply the rest of the framework, somebody must.
According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You've seen my video of Marvell's 4.3? Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10?).
One of the major innovations of OLPC consists in the idea that a computer given to a single child (also called 1:1 computing) is the best way to enhance the pupil's ability to learn effectively. It's called ONE-laptop-per-child after all.
A lot of the news I come across is contentious — of the Linux vs. Microsoft variety — and then there are the lawsuits, claims and counterclaims, and forum flame-throwing that go along with it. That’s why I was charmed by this little story by columnist Mike Cassidy from last week’s Southern California Linux Expo about three young girls who submitted proposals for their own presentations. Sisters Saskia and Malakai Wade (ages 8 and 12, respectively) and friend Mirano Cafiero (also age 12) talked about Gimp, TuxPaint, and OLPC XO computers. Malakai showed a stop-action Barbie video that she made with OpenShot.
Mirano Cafiero and Saskia and Malakai Wade really do believe that in the future women will play a more prominent role in the world of high tech and computing. No, the record to date hasn't been good. But you can afford to be optimistic when you're 8, as Saskia is, or 12, as Mirano and Malakai are. Still, the girls aren't leaving anything to chance. Which is how they found themselves last week standing before a crowd of people giving a presentation during the Women in Open Source segment at the Southern California Linux Expo, one of the biggest open-source software conventions on the West Coast. They were there to be seen and heard, never mind the old admonition concerning children.
LXer Feature: 26-Feb-2010
I was going to just cover the 2nd and 3rd days of SCALE 8x but after getting back home and sitting myself down in front of my favorite compy and started thinking about it, I figured I might as well go all out and give you a full recap of my road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles for SCALE 8x and back.?
If you have been following my live tweets today you will know that day 1 of the "New Millenium Learners Conference 2010" taking place here in Vienna at the moment was really interesting. The opening session led by people from the Austrian Ministry of Education introduced some of the projects that the Ministry has been working on in Austria. Our small Austrian OLPC project in Graz was also mentioned but unfortunately due to time constraints the information on all the projects remained relatively superficial.
So, the XO-2 has moved from promise to hope to scrap, and has made way for a tablet-style, iPhoneiPad-like XO-3 (Read about the 3.0 model at Forbes and Engadget, with the now-in-production 1.5 and the in-planning 1.75 XOs, both using the current design but with faster processors. OLPC, and Nick Negroponte in particular, love to use conceptual designs to create excitement. This works great in normal, commercial development a few times. Once you miss a few targets, people react very negatively too it, even if you do finally release a product. Why do you think Apple pairs announcements with already-planned release schedules?
One Laptop per Child Association will be gathering 300 MBA, graduate and undergraduate business students to develop innovative business cases for XO laptop deployment under the auspices of the Global Case Challenge. But I wonder why.
OLPC is widely known as the organization which - indirectly - started the netbook revolution by pioneering affordable, mobile computing devices. The second iteration of their low-cost educational laptop, the XO-1.5, is about to be released. "Released" in a sense, that it will become available to large scale educational projects but not to individuals or smaller, grass-roots projects. The current lean production cost of the XO-1 is at around $180, the XO-1.5 may go below that if a sufficient volume is achieved. The XO-1.5 is expected to provide full internet browsing with Flash support, ebook reading and the more traditional learning functions of the Sugar Learning Platform.
Back in early October a tweet by someone I follow alerted me to the fact that the deadline for submissions to the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) was less than 48 hours away. In a lunch break I whipped up a quick proposal for a lecture called "After the Hype - The current state of One Laptop per Child and Sugar Labs". A couple of weeks later I learned that my submission had been accepted.
Everybody's heard about the One Laptop Per Child concept, and the ups and downs of that project, its wavering connection to free, open-source software and the fact that it still hasn't reached the $100/unit price it set out to meet. But what if I were to tell you that another company not only is committed to offering a $99 laptop to the world but is already doing it. (Or so the story goes; there are problems, principally with a crucial part of this whole feel-good enterprise - actually getting the machines delivered to those who order them.)
In The Tragedy of One Laptop Per Child, Michael Gartenberg at Slashgear just called a million and a half computers in the hands of children, radically transforming education and social structures in dozens of countries, a tragedy. With another million on order. Well, that's not what he said, because he is apparently unaware of these and many other facts. Here.
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