Thursday, April 30, 2009

Again OLPC Pune Gone Into Print...........

A news article about the project and OLPC-Pune has been published in the DNA News Paper dated 30th April 2009

One Laptop Per Child project comes to Pune

210 XO machines have been provided in India so far

Rajesh Rao(DNA)

The One Laptop Per Child Association Inc (OLPC), a US-based non-profit organisation, has started its Pune chapter.
A group of volunteers met in the city on March 1 to launch the project based on the pragmatics of child development and learning through laptops.
OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte, the co-founder and director of the Media Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to provide education to poor children. The Mumbai and Pune chapters are the only two active branches in India. The OLPC started its India operations in September 2007 through Digital Bridge Foundation (DBF), an NGO at Khairat village near Navi Mumbai. The members of OLPC India stay in touch with each other through the Google group forum.

"Currently, the biggest task is to find sponsors to fund this project. We also want volunteers to join us as mentors, forerunners and responsible players," said Amit Gogna from DBF.
Till date, 210 XO laptops (see box) have been provided in India, including 28 in Kairat, 100 in Latur, 10 in Nashik, 40 in Bangalore, 12 in Auroville (Tamil Naidu) and 20 in Dugawar (Uttar Pradesh).

The 15 members of the newly formed Pune group — who have divided their work under three areas of learning, technology and outreach — are in the initial phase of understanding the project and learning the technology. "We have decided to complete the activity by July 1; create a wiki page for top-level activities; work on the content and make a proposal for the funding of the project in Pune," said Pradnya Naik, one of the members of the Pune group.
The initial priority is to find potential sponsors for the first deployment of the XO laptops, she added.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

India has purchased 250,000 XO laptops. This move will boost the One Laptop Per Child project and could help the deflating effort get back on its feet

The government of India has signed an agreement with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and will purchase 250,000 of the organization's XO laptops. The machines will be distributed to students throughout the country. India's decision to embrace OLPC is a bit unexpected in light of the country's past antagonism towards the project.

OLPC is a nonprofit organization that builds low-cost education laptops to sell in bulk to governments of developing countries. The project, first unveiled in 2005, has faced many challenges and has been forced to significantly cut staff and reduce the scope of its vision. Despite these setbacks, the program is still marching on and continuing to sell units as it works on an updated model and an innovative next-generation version.

OLPC launched a pilot program in India in 2007 with 20 XO laptops at a school in Khairat-Dhangarwada village in the state of Maharashtra. Although the pilot program was successful, the country's Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) was highly skeptical about OLPC, and expressed concerns about the health implications of prolonged laptop use among students.

The MHRD later reversed its views about the health implications of youth computing and launched its own dubious program to build a competing $10 laptop. Unsurprisingly, the $10 laptop never materialized. When the country finally unveiled its highly ambiguous plans for its $10 "Sakshat" computing initiative earlier this year, it was revealed that the device would not be a laptop and would cost significantly more than $10 to produce.

India has finally decided to adopt OLPC after all, despite the government's previous skepticism and plans for building its own technology. PC World, which spoke with OLPC India CEO Satish Jha, reports that the laptops will be sent to 1,500 schools. Jha hopes to ship 3 million laptops in India this year. PC World also says that a small roll-out will be taking place in Sierra Leone, where a human rights group is paying to deploy 5,000 XO units.

OLPC recently announced a hardware bump and plans to drop AMD chips in favor of the VIA C7-M. The update will also boost system memory to 1GB and internal storage to 4GB. Prototype boards are expected to emerge in May. It's unclear if the order placed by India is for the current hardware or for the updated version. OLPC is also working on a more ambitious 2.0 model which is expected to land in 2010.

In total sales and deployed units, OLPC still lags behind Intel's competing Classmate PC initiative. India's purchase of 250,000 XO units will help OLPC recover some lost credibility. It demonstrates that major buyers still believe that the program is viable and that the laptops deliver reasonable value.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

About XO(laptop)

If you have used a laptop computer before, you will immediately notice some differences in the XO computer. For example, it has no disk drive, cd drive or dvd drive. However it has 3 USB ports that will accept flash drives and one SD port (hidden under the screen). There is just 1 GB of memory, so programs need to be tidy. Here's where to find out more about the technical specifications of the XO:

The XO uses a form of Linux which is an open source programming language which allows you to modify programs to fit the needs of your class. Here is where to find out more about the software:

The XO keyboard may be a little different from the ones you are used to. Not only are the keys designed for fingers of small children, they are customized for the languages of the countries where they will be used. To see information about the keyboard layout for English go here: If you would like to see Spanish, Portuguese, and several other languages, go to OLPC Keyboard layouts.

Unlike other computers you have used, the XO does not currently (January 2008) support printing directly from the machine. It is planned to add this feature later this year through a software update. Meanwhile, you can save files to a flash drive, plug it into another computer, and print.

The XO comes with a wonderful built in camera, capable of taking still shots and video. These can be useful for students who wish to illustrate their stories and projects, video chat, and send photos in emails. Here's where to find out more about using the camera to Record.

Monday, April 20, 2009

What is OLPC???????????

DEFINITION - The One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) is an initiative aimed at providing inexpensive laptop computers to children in the developing world as a means of bridging the digital divide. OLPC was founded by Nicholas Negroponte, also founder of MIT Media Lab. The initiative was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2005. The project group released XO, a beta version of the laptop, in February 2007. Initially, one million of the devices were rolled out to several countries.

From the OLPC mission statement:

  "OLPC is not, at heart, a technology program, nor is the XO a product in any conventional sense of the word. OLPC is a non-profit organization providing a means to an end—an end that sees children in even the most remote regions of the globe being given the opportunity to tap into their own potential, to be exposed to a whole world of ideas, and to contribute to a more productive and saner world community."