Why can't I have $100 laptop

Published: Thursday, November 8th 2007

Don't you hate it when you can't get something you'd really like?

I've been following the OLPC project more or less since its inception. When I first heard about it I was mostly interested in how they were going to pull off building a laptop for only $100 per unit.

After realising they were going to do it I was interested in how useful the machine would actually be (it has no hard drive so it can't be that great right?).

After seeing it was running Linux and was designed to be wireless from the start, run on mains or able to wind it up to power the laptop and it was designed to be durable in harsh environments I was mostly interested in how I could lay my hands on one (or two even).

My disappointment was immense when the OLPC guys decided not to offer them for sale, and then when they u-turned and started the G1G1 initiative (Give One Get One) I had a momentary blip of joy until they said it would only be available in North America.

Why they've not rolled this out to Europe is beyond my comprehesion - I don't even care if I don't have a £ key - I can always map it to a key stroke anyway. And I'd even be happy to Give 2 Get 1 if shipping was the issue.

The other thing that amazes me is that given the connectivity of these laptops Western nations aren't falling over themselves to get them for schools - even if they had to pay a higher rate along the lines of the G1G1 programme it would still be cheaper than buying Dell machines into all the schools.

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"Why can't I have $100 laptop"
Published on
Thursday, November 8th 2007
government OLPC
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