Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 1:37pm

Peru orders 260,000 OLPC laptops for kids, Mexico 50,000

Posted by Jordan Erickson –

The mass-media sweetheart of the laptop sector, OLPC (or “One laptop per child”) has been getting a lot of attention lately. Peru recently signed up for 260,000 of the $188 laptops for its youth, and Mexico follows at 50,000. This is significant, as the “One-laptop-per-child” program only started mass production last month.

The OLPC project is centered around the vision of providing the youth of the world with technology that will enable them to learn in otherwise educationally-defunct areas of the world. The laptops are unique in that they do not require external power to operate – they provide small electrical handles to turn to re-charge their batteries, as well as built-in wireless network functionality. The WI-FI networking of the laptops utilize a unique mesh-networking concept that allows the furthest range of wireless possible by piggy-backing on someone else’s strong(er) signal. This allows for fewer Internet “hot spots”, as they would most likely be less available in less fortunate parts of the world. Even without Internet connectivity, the laptops will have the ability to ‘see’ each other, networking with themselves and sharing information.

The laptops use unique Linux-based software (operating system), which takes most advantage of its hardware. It provides a special graphical user interface (GUI) that is very simple to operate, and includes such open-source software as the Open Office suite and the Mozilla Firefox web browser.

EDIT: 2007/12/04
An article located here:

Tells us that Birmingham City Schools just ordered 15,000 of the XO (OLPC) laptops for their students.

From the article:

“Our students will have access to global thinking now,” said Birmingham schools Superintendent Stan Mims. “It becomes a tipping point in the digital divide.”

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