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OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe 134

Posted by kdawson
from the can-i-play-tictactoe-on-that dept.
Christoph Derndorfer writes "Last year OLPC's XO-laptop was among the hottest Christmas gadgets thanks to the organization's G1G1 program, where you could donate $399 to give one XO-laptop to a child in the developing world and receive one yourself in return. However in 2007 the program was only available for US and Canadian citizens. This year's program, which takes off November 17, is also available to citizens in the EU member states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey. This is certainly awesome news for all the OLPC / Linux / gadget enthusiasts here in Europe! P.S. Before anyone asks, these XOs will come equipped with the child-friendly Sugar platform, which is based on Fedora 9, and not Windows XP."
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OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:12PM (#25725945)

    Also, is there a guarantee that the OLPC you donate will not be running XP? I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

    This needs to be said! There is obviously no such guarantee, as Colombia is getting Windows-XP based OLPCs... And soon others will follow...

    Boycott OLPC!

  • Pandora is better (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:14PM (#25725953) Journal

    Few years ago the OLPC was my wet dream, but it took soo long for it, to be available for buy, that it's plain crazy. The Eee and ASUS stuff appeared. But they are all plain junk - very heavy, and very short battery life. OLPC at least is rechargeable...

    But, oh well, fortunately now there is Pandora, I have ordered one and got to wait until december to receive it. I think that Pandora is revolutionary to Portable / Personal Micro Computers as Sinclair ZX Spectrum was at its own time. I may be wrong, but there's something in it. So it might be true. Time will tell.

  • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#25726071)

    If you're a kid, it may be a usable computer, but I'd advise against getting one for personal use. The sun screen is incredibly awesome and the hand crank is neat. If I could just pay $600 for an eee that could take variable power source and had the OLPC's sun viewable I'd totally do it (yes overpaying, but it would have incredible utility to me).

    Thing is, it's a cheap computer (for obvious reasons), big, heavy, and has terrible battery life*

    A steal at $200. Not so much at $400. This of course ignores the social impact. Getting one for a kid is not a terrible idea, my cousins seem to get sugar quite intuitively:-)

    * Tested last spring. Software improvements may have changed this. Also no suspend to RAM at that time.

  • by bangzilla (534214) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:31PM (#25726149) Journal
    Starting November 17 Amazon.com will off the OLPC http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=A34NLXJLC88VVS [amazon.com]. Quite appropriate since it was Jeff Bezos that came up with the buy-two-get-one program.
  • Re:100 $ laptop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rhyder128k (1051042) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:36PM (#25726213) Homepage

    I've never understood the coy attitude of the OLPC. Why do they go to such lengths to make it difficult for the average Joe to buy one of these things? A couple of years ago this would have been the ideal stocking filler for kid with nerd parents. Actually getting these devices into the hands of the geeks who were clamouring for one would have benefited the project in so many ways. For one thing, by allowing such a group to buy the things, they could have begun to cultivate a hobbyist development scene for the platform.

    What possible harm could it have done to make it available to anyone who wanted one?

    It's probably too late for the project now anyway. It's lasting legacy might be some awareness of the importance of IT to developing nations in addition to helping kickstart consumer interest in netbooks.

    From now on this should be referred to as "pulling an Amiga". I.e. killing off a good idea by restricting access.

  • by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:38PM (#25726259)

    As one who participated in the first G1G1 I can attest that they were totally unprepared to handle the orders. It was a huge mess. That said, it was eventually made right, the little green guy showed up, and although the initial software kind of sucked, the new build [laptop.org] is a lot, LOT better.

    And as a bonus it came with a year of T-Mobile Hotspot access free, which is nice.

    I presume the new OLPC this year will not look like the 2.0 "all touch [engadget.com]" dual-screen design previewed in May?

    Actually somre more info re: the new G1G1 is here [laptop.org]. From TFA, looks like Amazon will be handling the orders [amazon.com] this time, which should be a major improvement. Is T-Mobile going to throw in like last time?

    W

  • by EWAdams (953502) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:51PM (#25726425) Homepage
    I'd love to ditch my laptop and replace it with an XO just for the cool-value at conferences, but I need to give presentations. Any way to get SVGA out of it?
  • Re:Pandora is better (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:06PM (#25726597)

    When I saw this, I thought: why did this spam get modded up?

    Then I saw the device, and thought: wow, that's small, but I probably won't buy one because that woman is wearing a top I can't see down.

    Then I saw that it's a British company (?!!!!) that's making something useful, and it runs on an ARM processor with reasonable specs ...

    Then this happened [youtube.com], now I just have to persuade the wife -- after changing my pants -- that she should buy me one for Christmas.

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:23PM (#25726799)

    Funny story,

    I got laid off at the beginning of the year and took the time to come up with this, with my now-copious amounts of spare time:

    www.gentooxo.org

  • Disillusion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XB-70 (812342) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:25PM (#25726829)
    I bought into the dream last December. Sent in my money and got a unit in Jan/Feb (I forget). I played with the unit like crazy - learning all its idiosyncrasies. Then the whole OLPC program started to unravel. Key people dropped out. The O/S and Sugar had not evolved much as of June '08. OLPC sent ONE (1) person to Peru for a roll-out of thousands of machines - many of which had problems or needed upgrades. Intel got involved - and dropped out... and now Microsoft...

    -I have managed to upgrade the software exactly twice - a complex, virtual dance of death if the upgrade doesn't take.

    -The machine is DOG slow.

    - The keyboard is useless for high school kids.

    - There is not enough memory for much A/V.

    - Connecting to WiFi is counter-intuitive if security is involved.

    - There is no native printer support.

    Quite frankly, I'm sceptical that this thing can fly long-term because other, full-fledged products are catching up (ASUS) to the OLPC price-point will fully loaded Linux on a better machine.

    Now, the positives - battery life has been amazing. The screen is truly a wonder and great as a reader flipped over and turned sideways.

    One issue troubles me: In this and other projects, no-one has solved the problem of supplying internet connectivity in remote areas. I know that Google is launching a constellation of Ka band satellites - but they will be commercial. One idea that I saw was to use a WiFi server on either buses or motorcycles. Local servers pump email etc. to the mobile servers which then dump the data when they get to a hot-spot - and visa-versa. Sort of a sneakernet for the back woods.

    I'm concerned about the entire support infrastructure. Further to that, why don't these things come pre-loaded with regional Wikis and the full slate of curriculae as set out by the country involved?

  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:26PM (#25726837) Homepage

    If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

    If you're buying a laptop you don't like and won't use much only for the sake of making the donation, you're also doing it wrong. The environment doesn't need more junk, if you don't want it then buy one you do want and give some other way. I think most here on slashdot use their computers too much to have one they're not happy with, it would get replaced.

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:43PM (#25727025)

    repeated broken promises as to delivery dates, support staff who couldn't provide any answers and an end product less than what was initially promised (e.g. no separate power generating devices).

    No shit. A client of mine ordered *TWO* G1G1 packages, and they never showed up. Repeated calls to the company resulted in: "we lost your order", but they couldn't even figure out how to refund his money. He ended up having to do a chargeback.

    Given that loads of people never got theirs, what do you think the chances are that the *other* party in the whole "G1G1" scam*cough*, I mean, "program", got theirs?

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @10:05AM (#25732773) Homepage

    The G1 still goes to someone

    Citation required.

    As far as I can see, OLPC makes no guarantee at all that they will "give one" for every one that's bought. Rather, they sell you a "$100" toy for $400, and plough the profit back into their business. Given the colossal serial fuckup they seem to be making of that, I doubt that a free device will ever pop out the other end due to your generous "donation".

    Maybe that's good enough for you, but if I'm going to pay $400 for an obsolescent widget with no support, I'll damn well expect at least some cybering with the hot South American teenager that's "got" the companion device.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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