One Laptop Per Child Closer to Reality, General Public

Lora Bentley

Though some observers are still concerned about the security risks posed by the One Laptop Per Child project, they must not be huge concerns. Project leaders are reportedly working with eBay to cut distribution costs in the West so the laptop can be made available to the general public -- maybe even later this year.

 

That's a big shift from the previous stance of making the ultra-cheap laptops available only to governments.

 

With the goal of providing children in emerging markets with computers, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology partnered with the OLPC project to create a low-cost laptop that governments could purchase to distribute to school-age children.

 

A $100 target price per laptop in mind, developers planned to cut costs by using all open source software and restricting the laptop's availability to governments only. They snubbed both Apple and Microsoft, which offered versions of their respective operating systems for use in the project, in favor of Red Hat Fedora Core 6.0. The device also boasts a low-powered display that can be viewed in color or in black and white (the latter for easier computing in sunlight) and a keyboard and user interface designed especially for children.

 

PC Advisor reports that developers have shaved costs to $130 per laptop so far, and plan to reach the target by next year.



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