By Martin Langhoff, Software Architect – OLPC
This means that if you have today XO-1 or XO-1.5 laptops you can purchase an upgrade kit that will turn it into an XO-1.75. It does require that you perform the motherboard replacement, but the savings can be significant.
With this upgrade you get a modern ARM CPU, much lower power consumption (it runs long hours on each battery charge, and performs fantastically well on solar panels). Depending on options, you can get larger RAM and storage. You can also choose to get the new grid membrane keyboard.
If you are thinking of doing this, get in touch with us. If you know the SKU number of the laptops you have, which you can find in the battery compartment, that will make the process easier.
At this time, there is a minimum order quantity of 100 kits. If you are interested in ordering 100 upgrade kits or more, please contact Leah@laptop.org at OLPC for further details. Make sure you indicate the SKU of the units you want to upgrade.
Order quantities of 1000 kits and larger can be processed faster and at lower cost.
If you have an early XO laptop and would like to see it run better and faster, our latest Operating System release can give it a new life, see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/
We thank you for your interest in the OLPC project.
David Bainbridge and Ian Witten of the University of Waikato in New Zealand published a paper last year about using the Greenstone digital library toolkit to help offline XO users share libraries of books. From their abstract:
The idea draws upon mobile libraries (bookmobiles) for its inspiration, which first appeared in Victorian times. The implemented technique works by building on the mesh network that is instrumental to the XO-laptop approach. To use the technique, on each portable XO-laptop a version of Greenstone is installed, allowing the owner to develop and manage their own set of books. The version of Greenstone has been adapted to support a form of interoperability we have called Digital Library Talkback. On the mesh, when two XO-laptops “see” each other, the two users can search and browse the other user’s digital library; when they see a book they like, they can have it transferred to their library with a single click using the Digital Library Talkback mechanism.
Alas, you need to be an ACM member or pay $15 to read the full paper.
The Knight Foundation yesterday announced it would join community leaders from Charlotte, North Carolina in contributing to Project L.I.F.T., a 5-year $55M+ project to improve education in West Charlotte schools. (It began last January with a $40M round of fundraising; and this year raised another $15M.)
Knight’s contribution will fund a community engagement coordinator to keep parents and local communities in touch with the project as it develops, and for an OLPC program (including XOs and training) for all students and teachers in grades K-5 in the L.I.F.T. schools: roughly 3,200 in all.
This builds on our work together earlier this year, to develop a digital literacy program at Holmes Elementary School in Miami. Our experience so far suggests that giving elementary students access to computers – and letting them take them home and use them with their families – helps promote better informed and engaged communities.
We are delighted to see this new project take off within the framework of the existing L.I.F.T project. And looking forward to working more closely with the Knight Foundation, whose input has already informed some of our practices. Their background is in community engagement rather than education, which complements the viewpoints of our other partners. And the added focus on community engagement is one of those necessary elements that can make all the difference in longevity and impact.
We are pleased to announce the release of OLPC OS 11.3.1 for XO-1, XO-1.5 and as a formal stable release for XO-1.75. Features, known issues, and installation details are covered in the release notes.
A heartfelt thanks to our many contributors, upstreams, testers, and other supporters. Comments and additional feedback are welcome on the devel mailing list; please download it and try it out.
If you have been following the release candidate process in the last few weeks: this is candidate build 885, released as final with no changes.
Thanks and enjoy!
The OLPC Development Team
Many incredible volunteers are still on their way to Boston, sacrificing their Passover/Easter holiday weekend, for our April 6-10′s Doc Sprint. Officially starting Friday at OLPC HQ in Cambridge, Massachusetts!
The 5-day task is Huge. So was the marathon preparation. Our goal here, and now: to engage thousands more active users worldwide, of all ages, to understand the POWER of the XO laptop and its Sugar learning system — 4.5 full years after this global XO kids learning movement truly hit the road.
It’s time. And our community tools are all rapidly coming together to make this all happen — so our community’s priorities boil down to documenting:
- XO Hardware
- Core OS, Sugar & Gnome
- Sugar Activities
- Learning Tactics, School Server, Volunteer Community
Our driving goal? Refreshing our touchstone manual that first appeared way back in early autumn 2008. No, NOT another deployment guide or deployment gossip. But something succinct+snappy, dare we say approachable+fun? With dramatic changes in store…
In the end? The most cool Sugar Activities on every continent will make our best Chapters visible, just 1 click away, for Years To Come.
The amazing reality? Key documents (and videos) are already being slapped into shape, and interlinked in far more meaningful ways, and far beyond core manuals. Consider Walter Bender’s newly concise summaries of his 25 favorite Activities, real world server-in-field tricks emerging into the light — with new kinds of project-sparking videos imminent from implementation experts like Kenya’s Ntugi Group.
Thanks to all running this race for the ages! Especially Christoph Derndorfer, Caryl Bigenho, Seth Woodworth and Laura de Reynal for their most priceless prep
Cameroon is about to become an OLPC hub for francophone West Africa! The Islamic Development Bank and OLPC today are announcing a pilot project to connect 51 schools in six regions, deploying 5,000 XOs to primary school children and teachers. The team will also design a program that could extend this deployment across the country in the future. The idea for the program was started back in 2008, and has developed steadily since then, with help from a strong national team.
The Islamic Development Bank is a multilateral financing institution: it pools resources and supports economic development and social progress among its 56 member countries, including Cameroon. The Cameroon project represents the first time that the Islamic Development has financed an OLPC deployment, and may serve as a model for other francophone countries in the region. A team from Cameroon’s Ministry of Education has already provided training assistance to an ongoing OLPC project in Mali. Other countries in the region are expected to launch XO deployments in 2012.
Rodrigo Arboleda, announcing the program, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Islamic Development Bank on the financing of projects that support our mutual objective of fostering economic development and social progress. We are seeing tremendous interest in OLPC throughout Africa and look forward to working with both public and private sector partners in a number of countries to launch, expand and support other initiatives in the months ahead.”
Cameroon will be the first country in Africa to receive the ARM-based XO-1.75, which enters mass production this month. These XO laptops have the same sunlight-readable screen and other design features of the previous models, but draw only half the power.
Walter and Melissa Henriquez ran Turtle Art and Scratch workshops las tweek, during a “vacation camp” for 3rd and 4th graders from Holmes Elementary School. It sounds like a it was a great success, with the children using Portfolio to make presentations of their work at the end of the week. Read more about it in the weekly Sugar Digest.
The non-profit Ghana Together has been repairing and deploying donated XOs in Axim, Ghana for years – now providing over 50 XOs in their Children’s Home. They and work with local techs and a student repair center at the Arts and Technology High School in Marysville, WA. They recently wrote about helping a nearby school that suddenly received XOs.
“What about Those One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Computers?”
In 2011 the Methodist School was suddenly given 30 OLPCs from the government of Ghana.. .They thought they looked liked toys, not realizing that they are actually very sophisticated “learning machines” for primary school children. The headmistress found out that I was coming to Axim, and asked me to come and do an impromptu two-hour workshop.
Consequently, two teachers worked with me to test and update laptops. I engaged Peter Asuah, one of the original WHH scholars, to help test all the OLPCs, chargers, etc. I left a very complete manual… These guys are computer sophisticated, and I’m sure they will do a good job orienting the children.
Since the machines are designed to be “self-exploratory”, it’s been my experience that once children understand the basic way the computer functions, they do very well on their own. In fact, this hands-on, exploration approach is perfect for these children, because they have been so immersed in rote learning from blackboard and exercise books. The science teachers told me they are trying to get away from that kind of teaching, but up to now, they didn’t have materials to work with… now they have materials and machines.
Later in my visit, when the science teachers came up for the brainstorming session, I spent the first hour on another impromptu workshop, introducing them to the basic workings of the OLPC. They were fascinated…
Meanwhile, if anyone reading this has an OLPC you’d like to donate, we’d like to have it, in working condition or not. The Marysville Club is very skilled — they repair them, or if need be cannibalize them.
Read the full post on the Ghana Together blog.
A new batch of photos of the XO-3 in use is up on the posted on the OLPC wiki, along with images of the alpha test boards and schematics.
Nothing like a little transparency to start the week off right… This is still not the final ID, there are still changes being made to the ports and cover, but we’re getting verrry close.
Also: The first Marvell ARMADA-powered XO 1.75 laptop will begin shipping in March to school children in Uruguay and Nicaragua
SANTA CLARA, Calif. / LAS VEGAS (Jan. 9, 2012) – Marvell Semiconductor (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, and One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping every child in the world gain access to a modern education, demonstrated a version of the much-anticipated XO 3.0 – a low-cost, low-power, rugged tablet computer designed for classrooms around the globe – at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.
“We’re proud to introduce the XO 3.0 tablet, showcasing the design, durability and performance features that make it a natural successor for our current laptops, which have been distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages,” said Ed McNierney, Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child. “The XO 3.0 builds on many of the technology breakthroughs we made with the XO 1.75, including the use of the Marvell® ARMADA® PXA618 processor, resulting in a significant decrease in power consumption-a critical issue for students in the developing world.”
“Marvell is committed to improving education–and the human condition-around the world through innovative technology for Smartphones, tablets and a myriad of new cloud-delivered services. Partnering with One Laptop Per Child is one way we can deliver a revolution where it matters most-to benefit children in some of the poorest places on the planet,” said Tom Hayes, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marvell, and a member of the OLPC advisory board. “Marvell has been with One Laptop per Child from the start, and we’re doing whatever it takes to help the organization realize its mission of providing meaningful educational opportunities to the 500 million school-aged children around the world.”
Marvell and One Laptop per Child also announced today that the XO -1.75 laptop will begin shipping to customers in March 2012. Over 75,000 units of the XO 1.75 have already been ordered by OLPC projects in Uruguay and Nicaragua. Both models use the Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, which doubles the performance of the earlier XO 1 while using only half the power. The XO 1.75 features a sunlight-readable screen, and all other features and design characteristics of the two previous versions of the XO laptop.
The XO 3.0 tablet will also feature the Avastar Wi-Fi system-on-chip.
It is also the only tablet that can be charged directly by solar panels, hand cranks and other alternative power sources
Other features include:
• Updated Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display
• Choice of Android or Linux operating systems
• Unique charging circuitry to support alternate power sources
• Choice of laptop covers, including one with built-in solar panel
GoGoNews, a site providing news summaries for kids, is developing an XO activity to showcase their news. Like the older NewsReader activity, it will offer regular updates from its online feed. OLPC plans to ship the activity with future XOs, in English and Spanish.
The activity is scheduled to be done by February. GoGoNews founder Golnar Khosroshawi says of the project “Together we will equip children with relevant technology and content, regardless of location, to promote learning and understanding, not just of academics, but of people, countries and cultures.”
Last week twenty volunteers joined the OLPC Asia team to return to the OLPC pilot school in Sichuan. OLPC donated 1000 XOs to children and teachers at the school, which supports students whose schools were destroyed by the 2008 earthquake. The visitors spent a few days at the school, meeting with the school community and helping them update and repair their machines. Here’s a snapshot of them at work:
In a quick 6-minute video, Charbax tests out the latest XO-1.75 prototype, while walking around outdoors in San Francisco.
Sridhar Dhanapalan is giving a talk next week about OLPC Australia, pitching it as “Australia’s toughest Linux deployment“. It certainly is that. He notes their aim to reach each of the 300,000 children and teachers in remote parts of Australia, over the next three years.
From his abstract:
OLPC Australia aims to create a sustainable and comprehensive programme to enhance opportunities for every child in remote Australia… by 2014.
[T]he most remote areas of the continent are typically not economically viable for a business to service, hence the need for a not-for-profit in the space.
This talk will outline how OLPC Australia has developed a solution to suit Australian scenarios. Comparisons and contrasts will be made with other “computers in schools” programmes, OLPC deployments around the world and corporate IT projects.
By promoting flexibility and ease of use, the programme can achieve sustainability by enabling management at the grass-roots level. The XO laptops themselves are… repairable in the field, with minimal skill required. Training is conducted online, and an online community allows participants nationwide to share resources.
Key to the ongoing success of the programme is active engagement with all stakeholders, and a recognition of the total cost of ownership over a five-year life cycle.
Since 2009, OLPC Greece has provided one laptop per child in 35 classes and groups around the country. 580 XOs in all, with the inolvement of many teachers. They have kept us updated via our wiki and regular emails, and shared some interesting work from their students.
My favorite post is from the 3rd graders at the Sminthi School — they made large tiles of stencil art, rearranged it on a school wall, and turned it into stop-motion animations with Scratch (video). Their professors Psychogios, Rigas, and Aspioti, brought this work into with their math, informatics, and art classes.
Recently the OLPC Greece team published a short summary of their work from the first two years, and their goals for the coming year. They note the need for local hardware labs, software updates, and technical support. You can follow their work, in Greek, on the public mailing list for the pilot. (An excellent practice!)