OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong - The Verge


65 bookmarks. First posted by peterwhelan 2 days ago.


It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank.
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2 hours ago by iRunningguy
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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18 hours ago by joostw
Did you see this retrospective?
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23 hours ago by briantrice
Designers dropped the feature almost immediately after Negroponte’s announcement, because the winding process put stress on the laptop’s body and demanded energy that kids in very poor areas couldn’t spare. By the time OLPC officially launched in 2007, the “green machine” — once a breakout star of the 21st-century educational technology scene — was a symbol of tech industry hubris, a one-size-fits-all American solution to complex global problems. In 1982, Negroponte and an MIT colleague and key constructionist figure Seymour Papert paired up for an initiative at a French-funded research center in Senegal, teaching children to program on Apple II computers. President Bill Clinton popularized the idea of a “digital divide” between rich and poor, and some American schools began issuing students individual computers to close the gap. Instead of trying to reach an entire country, OLE Nepal has spread around 5,300 laptops across areas where OLPC’s hardware still has an advantage: remote rural districts with no data networks or wired internet, accessible only through hours of hiking.
yesterday by sechilds
The utopianism set unrealistic expectations around what the laptops should be able to accomplish,” says Morgan Ames, a Berkeley researcher who’s currently writing a book about OLPC. That included Negroponte’s laptop-tossing demonstrations. “When you’re talking about a laptop that kids are using surrounded by concrete floors and cobblestone streets — there was a ton of breakage that really blindsided projects, because they expected these laptops to be a lot more indestructible.”
education  hardware  olpc  product  medialab 
yesterday by yorksranter
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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yesterday by lou31
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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yesterday by rickschah
via Pocket - OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong - Added April 17, 2018 at 09:44PM
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yesterday by BastiRe
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world.
education  hardware  history 
yesterday by jorgebarba
Adi Robertson:
<p>In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. The device was the first working prototype for Negroponte’s new nonprofit One Laptop Per Child, dubbed “the green machine” or simply “the $100 laptop.” And it was like nothing that Negroponte’s audience — at either his panel at a UN-sponsored tech summit in Tunis, or around the globe — had ever seen.

After UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan offered a glowing introduction, Negroponte explained exactly why. The $100 laptop would have all the features of an ordinary computer but require so little electricity that a child could power it with a hand crank. It would be rugged enough for children to use anywhere, instead of being limited to schools. Mesh networking would let one laptop extend a single internet connection to many others. A Linux-based operating system would give kids total access to the computer — OLPC had reportedly turned down an offer of free Mac OS X licenses from Steve Jobs. And as its name suggested, the laptop would cost only $100, at a time when its competitors cost $1,000 or more.

“We really believe we can make literally hundreds of millions of these machines available to children around the world,” Negroponte promised. “And it’s not just $100. It’s going to go lower.” He hinted that big manufacturing and purchasing partners were on the horizon, and demonstrated the laptop’s versatile hardware, which could be folded into a chunky e-reader, a simple gaming console, or a tiny television.

Then, Negroponte and Annan rose for a photo-op with two OLPC laptops, and reporters urged them to demonstrate the machines’ distinctive cranks. Annan’s crank handle fell off almost immediately. As he quietly reattached it, Negroponte managed half a turn before hitting the flat surface of the table.</p>


So much went wrong: the design, the software (people didn't want a desktop Linux their kids would never see again), the price. And the concept: technological determinism would triumph, surely.
education  olpc  laptop 
yesterday by charlesarthur
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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yesterday by albinadev
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world.
olpc  computer  history  education 
2 days ago by ssorc
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by rothschi
By the time OLPC officially launched in 2007, the “green machine” — once a breakout star of the 21st-century educational technology scene — was a symbol of tech industry hubris, a one-size-fits-all American solution to complex global problems. But more than a decade later, the project’s legacy is more complicated than a simple cautionary tale. Its laptops are still rolling off production lines, and a new model is expected later this year.
history  hardware 
2 days ago by davebriggs
“Ames says the real question isn’t whether laptop programs help students, but whether they’re more effective than other programs competing for the same money. “I think that given unlimited funding, absolutely ... Learning about technology is very important,” she says. “That said, there’s always a tradeoff. There’s always some project that will be defunded or de-emphasized as a result of this.”

Thirteen years ago, OLPC told the world that every child should get a laptop. It never stopped to prove that they needed one.”
education  history  olpc  hardware 
2 days ago by cote
To kids who grew up around smartphones and tablets, says Karmacharya, OLPC’s XO design looks hopelessly outdated. “If their parents happen to have even a low-cost smartphone, they’re more interested in that than the laptop.” But the device is tougher than a cheap Android tablet, and its unique design makes it harder to steal. Users can rely on Sugar’s development community to maintain the software. And unlike a phone or tablet, it’s custom-built for making things, not consuming them. “We’re constantly looking out for any sort of alternative,” he says. “And to date, we have not found anything that compares.”
hardware  kids  philanthropy  history  mobile 
2 days ago by dancall
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to save the world. Whe…
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2 days ago by dr3wster
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong via Instapaper https://ift.tt/2JQw2dS
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2 days ago by johnke
Favorite tweet:

"OLPC had one job to do: make a laptop that cost $100. As the team developed the XO-1, they slowly realized that this wasn’t going to happen." https://t.co/kyAm2JRMKA

— Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) April 17, 2018
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2 days ago by yousaf.khokhar
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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2 days ago by leolobato
Bender thinks OLPC might have struck more deals if it had focused less on technical efficiency. “Every conversation we ever had with any head of state — every time — they said, ‘Can we build the laptop in our country?’” he says. “We knew that by making the laptop in Shanghai, we could build the laptop [to be] much less expensive. And what we didn’t realize was that the price wasn’t what they were asking us about. They were asking us about pride, not price. They were asking us about control and ownership of the project.” OLPC had created a computer that could withstand dust and drops, but it hadn’t accounted for political messiness.
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2 days ago by tonyyet
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by kohlmannj
RT : OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong via // I l…
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2 days ago by burritojustice
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong https://t.co/QgzXvJxUV5 via @Verge // I liked this well-reported history quite a bit.…
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2 days ago by tonyandrewmeyer
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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2 days ago by michaelkpate
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong via // I l…
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2 days ago by stinkingpig
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong via // I l…
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2 days ago by rukku
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong via // I l…
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2 days ago by freerange_inc
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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2 days ago by hansdorsch
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by tpsavard
Note as always: issues with supply chain, overpromising, and unwillingness to license it to countries for their own production.
olpc  hardware  history  from:verge  laptops  pmz 
2 days ago by mechazoidal
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2 days ago by ciocci
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by fogus
Utopian project to give laptops to kids in poor nations did not end well
medialab  negroponte  olpc  education  laptop 
2 days ago by nelson
OLPC's $100 Laptop Was Going To Change The World - Then It All Went Wrong
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2 days ago by adrahon
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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2 days ago by drewcaldwell
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. via Pocket
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2 days ago by cthorpe
Would love to read @audreywatters response/thoughts to this #edtech
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2 days ago by audrey
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by jrdodds
It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world. In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a…
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2 days ago by peterwhelan