Four Countries Order 4 Million Linux-Powered OLPC Laptops

An article by staff includes::

A spokesperson for the One Laptop Per Child program reported July 31 that the countries of Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand have each committed to purchase 1 million Linux laptops through the U.S.-based program.

Several media outlets reported last week that Nigeria had committed to buying 1 million of the laptops, and others reported (incorrectly) that $1 million worth of computers -- or about 10,000 machines -- had been requested by the African nation.

There was an informal presentation by OLPC at the Ottawa Linux Symposium, and the project looked quite impressive. The hardware had true peer-to-peer wireless networking, meaning that if two children happened to be near each other -- with no wireless access points or servers around -- that they could still share files. The hardware was also designed to take power consumption extremely seriously, suspending the main CPU while someone was simply reading text or the machine was forwarding network packets. The software was all Linux based, with the intention being that the more advanced children will be able to dive into the source code and learn intimately how the machine and all the software works. This is not intended to be a "hand out" for technology (as too many projects in the past have been), but a "hand up" allowing these children to grow up in a world where knowledge sharing and being able to personally manipulate technology is the norm.