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Of course, communication infrastructure is one of the first targets of any invading military force to control or destroy. Therefore, one may say, a nationwide cellular network would not survive the depredations of any military force.


Mark Simpkins note struck a chord, but perhaps not what he meant. My first system was a TS1000, and the XO has reminded me since I got it of that one, and what I hoped it could have been, with a screen! It even uses the 'chicklet' keys similar to later sinclair models, and it was also targeted at the 'magic' $100 price point.
This was where I really dug into learning programming, and other aspects of computing. I took my G1G1 XO to a family reunion in Texas recently, and the half dozen kids in the XO target age range kept it tied up by themselves for about 4 hours, exploring -without- internet access.
Lee, your attitude is just a variation of the 'food instead' pundits... Just because NN's vision is not yours does not mean it will not work in many areas. These XO's may not fulfill NN's vision completely, because he also thinks in his version of one-size education fits all, but if it makes a significant difference in even 1 of 10, or even 100 kids given one, OLPC's efforts will have been worth it. Once they are out there, local teachers that are interested can use them, bolstered by others, to work up locally relevant lesson plans, mentoring aids, and emergent methods of teaching and learning.
Lee, with your history of helping folks interested in learning make connections to network with each other, YOU should be right in the middle of the OLPC wiki, or someplace similar, pointing these teachers, educators, tech interests, volunteers, sponsors, etc. toward each other to make this work -RIGHT- now, from the grassroots up.
Pilot programs need some real evaluation, first gen Gov programs are in place, Haiti NGO sponsored program is starting, City of Birmingham, Al program should soon be going in. GET TO WORK!!!, Help make this work from here, leverage these tools NOW in place, or else you are just trying to help fulfill your predictions by your inaction. Your talents can make this work. Synergize this with your OLPV effort... whatever it takes.

BTW, this was written on that G1G1-07 XO, with the orig pwr plug cut to an adaptor to RadioShack M size adaptor for alt energy source experiments, updated to 703, several added activities, with 1gb SD card in the slot.

mark Simpkins

I was thinking something similar. At the BBC we have a set up called the 21st Century Classroom ( It has a set up of computers (mostly windows based) to show how they can be used in classrooms (creative uses, video, music, radio etc).

I was thinking that running an experiment where the kids were given access to the classroom and then also OLPC's. Lets see how they engage with it after using the kit that is closer to the media desktops that staff at the BBC use?

I think it will be a significant problem, kids today play on PS2/PS3, XBOX, Nintendo DS (my 6 year old wants his own DS). Will they be interested in something that to me is closer to my old Sinclair ZX81?


As a slightly older American kid, I chipped in on the Give-One-Get-One program and have been having great fun for a couple of weeks musing about how kids 45 or 50 years younger than I am would use the thing -- IF they were in a community of users with that "mesh" networking... assuming it works.

Paperless collaboration with text editor, e-book reader, a camera, audio recording, a couple of programming environments: It just seems like a very powerful educational mixture, especially if you leave the distractions of the Internet and entertainment industries out of it... and add some inspired teachers.

A good "teacher's guide" library seems to be the most-needed "feature." But then I'm old-fashioned. :-)

As for games, there's a "SimCity" copy for the XO, but for me it's "eyestrain city" -- opportunity to rebuild San Francisco after the Quake or not...

(OsborneI owner 1982-88)


I just wanted to say, that "No,you can't run 'World Of Warcraft' on it" might be clearer.


> No, you can't run games on it.

Minor correction:

Lee replies: "Admittedly, games can be played on the XO. I was making the point that high-powered graphics won't run on XO as they do on the kind of machines gamers use (usually not laptops anyway)".

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About Lee Felsenstein

  • Based in Silicon Valley, Lee currently does electronic product development, due diligence, expert witness assistance as well as speaking engagements and participation in conferences such as the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conferences. The most unusual places he has spoken were at the Waag in Amsterdam and a squat in Milan, Italy. He was named the 2007 "Editor's Choice" in the Awards for Creative Excellance made by EE Times magazine. He holds 12 patents to date.