Soon, children will get one laptop each

From Brazil to Nigeria to Thailand, kids in developing countries will soon receive their "XO" computers from One Laptop Per Child, despite complaints that they're not 'real' computers.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

After much ado, the One Laptop per Child project has announced that its $150 laptops in the hands of people in developing countries by July 2007, reports the BBC.

Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand are the first countries slated to receive the brightly colored laptops, now called the XO machine. Three more African countries may sign on in the next few weeks, said OLPC director Nicholas Negroponte, who launched the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab in 2004.

The laptop is powered by a 366-megahertz processor from Advanced Micro Devices and has built-in wireless networking. It has no hard disk drive, just 512 MB of flash memory. More storage can be attached via two USB ports. The laptop uses Linux and has a web browser, word processor and RSS reader..

"I have to laugh when people refer to XO as a weak or crippled machine and how kids should get a real one," Mr. Negroponte told AP. "Trust me, I will give up my real one very soon and use only XO. It will be far better, in many new and important ways."

"In fact, one of the saddest but most common conditions in elementary school computer labs (when they exist in the developing world), is the children are being trained to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint," Mr Negroponte said.

"I consider that criminal, because children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing, not running office automation tools."

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