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One laptop per child

'One laptop per child' is a long running strategy which evolved from a desire to "provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves".

"One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others formerly at the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to acknowledge and modern forms of education. The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. These machines will be rugged, open source, and so energy efficient that they can be powered by a child manually. Mesh networking will give many machines Internet access from one connection." [1]

"Features a 7.5 inch, 1200x900 pixel, TFT screen and self-refreshing display with higher resolution (200 DPI) than 95% of the laptops on the market today. Two display modes are available: a transmissive, full-color mode; and a reflective, high-resolution mode that is sunlight readable. Both of these modes consume very little power: the transmissive mode consumes one watt-about one seventh of the average LCD power consumption in a laptop; and the reflective mode consumes a miserly 0.2 watts.

Can selectively suspend operation of its CPU, which makes possible further remarkable power savings. The laptop nominally consumes less than two watts-less than one tenth of what a standard laptop consumes-so little that XO can be recharged by human power. This is a critical advance for the half-billion children who have no access to electricity." [2]

"As first conceived, the laptop display used LCOS (liquid crystal on silicon) in the form of a projector" It began to evolve in June 2005 Mary Lou Jepsen "began considering a dual-mode display: one a conventional color LED laptop screen; the other a sunlight readable, black-and-white e-book. The concept made abundant sense for the developing world, where outdoor classes are common and the cost of shipping textbooks is a major part of the education budget." In July 2005 Design Continuum "presented an array of innovative prototype designs that would lead, by November 2005, to the famous Green Machine, with its distinctive pencil-yellow crank, that was unveiled to the world by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the World Summit on the Information Society at Tunis."

"The yellow crank, while cute, in the end proved impractical; it migrated to the AC adapter as it also morphed into one or more other types of human-power devices. Its status as an icon for OLPC would be supplanted by the mesh-network antennas, or "ears." At the same time, Quanta Computer, our ODM, made a strong case for fitting the laptop with a so-called transformer hinge to simplify the machine's transformations from classic laptop to game device to e-book reader and so on. In the spring of 2006, Yves Behar, the noted San Francisco industrial designer, came aboard to complete the final design of the Generation-One XO.

In November of 2006, the first XO test machines, the B1 build, rolled off the Quanta assembly line in Shanghai.

The B2 iteration of XO, stronger, sturdier, with a slight increase in tilt, is nearly ready for its debut."

[1] http://laptop.org/vision/news/january_12_2007.shtml, accessed March 2007
[2] http://laptop.org/laptop/hardware/highlights.shtml, accessed March 2007
[3] http://www.laptop.org/laptop/design/index.shtml, accessed March 2007

Design Consortium
www.laptop.org/download.en_US.html
(accessed March 2007)

More information

For more information and the latest updates on the project visit - http://laptop.org

Blog chat - http://www.olpcnews.com/people/leadership/mary_lou_jepson_on_b.html

[Created by Dr Vicky Lofthouse, Loughborough University (March 2007)]