Steve sees an XO in Santa Clara and wonders about its power

“John Gilmore,a longtime FSF supporter, arrived during the talk, bearing one of the new green XO computers from the OLPC project. John is doing many, many projects and has paid for the development of Gnash, an open source embedded Flash player that will be in the XO. Gnash is a high priority project for Richard Stallman’s FSF. Most of the software in the XO is “Free.” The first thing I noticed was the lack of a crank to generate electricity. John said it had been removed from the original design because it was fragile and inefficient. Perhaps so, but energy alternatives for this device seem to be crucial if we look at the lack of electricity in many countries, even worse in schools and the living quarters of many of the students. We know that the XO draws little power, but the rate of recharge will be one factor that determines how much the user will have contact with the machine. Another will be school or ministry of education policy.

I don’t know if one laptop per child means each student will have access only in a couple of classes, the whole the school day, or will take it home in the evening and on weekends and vacations. I expect policies and access will vary greatly, depending on the culture, the environment, and the kids themselves.An older student is presumed to be more responsible than a six-year old.

The problems with electricity will determine usage in many ways. If the student cannot generate his own electricity (DIY) for the XO then sources will be the national or city grid, a local generator running on fuel or perhaps solar power. A few places have their own small hydroelectric systems.”

Published in: on March 28, 2007 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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