Q & A from XO Camp

XO Camp attendees, and many taking part from afar, were invited to submit questions about OLPC’s future.   Nicholas answered a limited number during two sessions; the full list are posted below.  Now we have to figure out which wiki FAQ to add them to…


1. Current programs and general questions

* What efforts will OLPC make to support the XO-1?

The XO-1 will be fully supported, including hardware and firmware up-dates, spare parts and ever growing activities. OLPC is in discussion with several of the large deployments to understand how they help beyond their own national boundaries.

* For how long is the XO-1 going to be in production?

The XO-1 and its planned revision, which we fondly call 1.5, will be in production for at least two more years, and is expected to remain available to existing deployments beyond that point for replacements and spares.

* Is the production of XO-1s at risk if the sales stop? Do you have a plan to sustain the demand for XO-1s in this atmosphere of uncertainty?

OLPC itself is independent of sales. At the moment, there is a back order of 500,000 laptops. At the current rate of production, which is 50,000 per month, the world could stop and there is 10 months of life in the supply chain. Yes, there is a global economic slow down, but we do not expect sales to totally stop. Rwanda just ordered 100,000 laptops. Give the focus of OLPC’s mission, many of our sales are to entities where funding is a concern even in the best economic times.

* Will the XO-2 be developed as an important free software project as the XO-1 was?

The XO-2 will continue OLPC’s tradition of open development including Open Firmware and open-source operating system support.

* In what ways are you planning to involve the community in the development of the XO-2?

We may need the community more than ever for XO-2, because we are exploring the degree to which the hardware of XO-2 can be open source (whatever that really means in hardware).  OLPC’s strategy for XO-2 support is to build a broader community of interest in the technologies used, to provide greater benefit to participants.

* Whats your timeframe for having the XO-2 in the market?

Two years.

* Are there any updates on dual-boot deployments of XO-1?

We expect them soon, less than three months, taking advantage of existing XO-1 hardware.

2. No-cost connectivity program

-Great idea, as connectivity is one of the largest challenges for a country or region to implement a one laptop per child program. What technologies are you aiming at?

Continue reading Q & A from XO Camp

Slash fic

Ed Cherlin is a volunteer and community member.

There is a fairly long and rambling thread on Slashdot starting from the recent announcement from OLPC.  That discussion contains a lot of uninformed naysaying, but there are also some good posts.  I just spent some time there answering questions and correcting misinformation. Since most of the naysaying on Slashdot (the polite parts, anyway) is pretty much the same as what you read in the respectable business press, I thought it worthwhile to review some of these opinions, correct confusions, and highlight the good parts.

Now you may wonder why we aren’t hearing any comments on the layoffs. Well, that’s Slashdot. I have to take the comments as they come. This is what people are talking about.   OLPC is dead, according to the naysayers, killed by some combination of Intel, Microsoft, Asus, Arrogance & elitism, scale, or not selling to the first world.

    Greatly exaggerated, as Mark Twain put it. Curiously, none of the commentators said, “All of the above.” Each has a favorite theory, and is sticking to it. This smacks of The Blind Men and The Elephant, except in this case without the elephant.

    OLPC the organization has its share of problems.  OLPC “It’s an education project” is in great shape, from my point of view, and OLPC XO the product has had a fantastic launch year, in spite of hardware and software issues, high expectations, and so on. How many new computer models get a million orders in the first year? How many non-profits have ever received a million orders for a computer?  But let’s take these one at a time.

    Continue reading Slash fic

    Outside linking in : roundup

    A lot of other blogs are linking here, and a lot of articles are linking to the wiki or recent post.  A selection:  ipodindia, dualiko, the-informer.info, ajun.org, inteeer gadgets, freegadgetnews, spotgadgets, gps-navigation, wiredpen, ontorebd.

    Internationally : e-day.it and pasteris.it, and a few German-language posts

    Yama posted one of his inimitable essays, pony and all, on the blog that everyone can edit.   John Paczkowski wins the prize for the catchiest post.

    Comment here if you want your own thoughts added to this list.  I’ve also seen a few good threads for pulling out more ‘best of OLPC commentary’ quotes… some of them with helpful reflections.  Those are worth listing, as well.