One Laptop Per Child

Dec 7th, 2007, 04:45 PM
  #21  
 
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Boy, there are some Luddites out there. I believe I got e-mail addresses from every guide we had in Botswana, who are quite plugged in. Books cost a FORTUNE in AFrica, and computers connect people, kids and adults, to the entire world--newspapers, blogs, educational material, and on and on--in nanoseconds. Wake up and smell the gigabytes! :-C
LAleslie is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 04:47 PM
  #22  
 
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And I believe they use crank power to charge up, so no replacement batteries needed. This Negroponte is a good guy.
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Dec 7th, 2007, 05:20 PM
  #23  
 
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Well, good, I hope it works as intended. Time will tell.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 05:30 PM
  #24  
 
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I don't believe Mohammed, Tom or I suggested computers should be ruled out completely. Read again what Mohammed said.

I, too, hope the program is a success. But a couple of decades ago, there was a program to supply crank-powered transistor radios to developing nations. After the initial flurry of publicity, I heard nothing more. Does anybody know how this went?

John
afrigalah is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 09:00 PM
  #25  
 
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Okeedokee, it seems to have been more than a month ago -- Ahhh the speed of life!

The young man’s name is Wayan Vota.

This is what I originally read re: laptops at <a href="http://www.bellybuttonwindow.com/200...es.html">click here</a> however, the link, <a href="http://www.olpcnews.com">click here</a> is timely.

Yours in Service, Den
Denbasking is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 09:09 PM
  #26  
 
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Oooh, sorry about the coding…a tad late for me, the links will still get you there.

Asante Sana! Den
Denbasking is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 02:11 AM
  #27  
 
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Some of these posts are quite amusing! Nevertheless I see one thing clearly and respect all of you because all of you want to help uplift the lives of less fortunate people.

Another one of our projects this year is for the provision of "Safe Bottle Lamps". What is that you may ask?

Well, thousands of poor families use an old bottle with kerosene oil and a cloth wick to provide a small light during the night inside their small huts/homes. These bottles are very unsafe, and can easily tip over causing spillage and fire can spread. So many people get injured by bad burns as a result of this and a high proportion of the victims for some reason are women and children. Some of the burn injuries seen are really horrendous. This is totally preventable and we now have a small bottle specially designed to be safe, it cannot topple, and does not leak etc. The bottle costs Rs 40 each (US$ 0.36cents). In one district in the Eastern Province alone we have identified 35,000 families living in 13 villages that could use these bottles and are targeting to 2 bottle lamps per family. Learn more about this project at http://www.safebottlelamp.org this project has also been the winner of a Rolex Award.

If you really want to give laptops away for free better you identify the recipients carefully, make sure they have electricity and other basics needed to use one. Perhaps selected university students benefit from such a program.
Mohammed is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 03:06 AM
  #28  
 
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For a different perspective on what's at stake with networked information and communication technology (ICT) in Africa, may I suggest reading the following published earlier this week by The New Vision (top independent newspaper, based in Kampala) and distributed widely. Written by Philip Emeagwali, past winner of the Gordon Bell Prize (the Nobel of supercomputing).

http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/20/600541

Over the top in its rhetoric, IMHO, but the underlying sentiment and ambition need to be taken seriously in a discussion of OLPC. And the fact that this kind of language resonates locally (i.e., here in Africa) also should be kept in mind.

Kurt
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Dec 8th, 2007, 03:55 AM
  #29  
 
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I thought somebody would have jumped in now with news about hand-cranked radios. People must have seen them in use in Africa, surely.

It seems there could be hope for hand-cranked computers or similar, as I found several websites dealing with radios. I chose this one to link to only because it has a photo of a Rwandan boy listening to a cranked radio: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentor...lec_p016.shtml

John
afrigalah is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 08:42 AM
  #30  
 
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Mohammed's example of the kerosene oil bottle rather makes my point another way. Sometimes we think that what the poor people of the world need is what I have (laptop). While in reality what they need MORE is what my grandfather had (kerosene bottle). So let's give them bottles first and then laptops. But I know, this is not "technologically correct".

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 08:51 AM
  #31  
 
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I suspect that the Luddites don't contribute anything to charity.

Very tacky to criticize a program which is attempting to bring the third world into the 21st century.

IF you currently are contributing to UNESCO or some other program, perhaps you have a right to criticise. However, I would never criticise anyone else's efforts to alleviate poverty.
RBCal is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #32  
 
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RBCal - Am I criticizing the program or suggesting perhaps a better more useful way? It's very ok with me to do both. Just make sure we have the priorities of -the people we are trying to help- correct. Would you kindly like to offer suggestions to improve the programs?

Luddites again. Are you and LAleslie the same poster? And why do you have to resort to name calling? You don't know me from Adam nor to what charities I contribute to. FWIW, I would never contribute to any UN program. Unless I want the money to go to the corrupt egomaniac criminal dictators in the UN. (Oops, think I just did some name calling).

regards - tom

cary999 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 09:12 AM
  #33  
 
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Do you contribute to any program?

A luddite is a technophobe not an insult.
RBCal is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 09:15 AM
  #34  
 
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Personally I am insulted by the insinuation that supplying technology to the poor is too far above their intellectual capabilities to grasp.
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Dec 8th, 2007, 10:38 AM
  #35  
 
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The poor need lots of everything. I believe we can do more than one thing to help, be it food, education, housing, environment or technology. And, we can each choose to contribute in whichever way we see fit.
sandi is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 11:05 AM
  #36  
 
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Well said sandi. Bye all.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #37  
 
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this reminds me of well-meaning aid organisations giving out infant formula in disaster situations where there's no clean water to make it up, when what is needed is food for the mothers so they can breast-feed.

by all means give out laptops to those who have the facilties [and I'm NOT confusing that with intelligence] to use them. but in many "third-world" situations, they will end up just so much junk.

giving them to teachers who might be more able to access the required power sources could be a start.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 05:34 PM
  #38  
 
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I am not the same poster as RCcal. And I agree Luddite is not necessarily an insult and I didn't mean it to be so. But sniffing at technology doesn't help anyone.
I visited a village in The Zulu part of South Africa and was given a tour of a new computer facility. One room was piled to the ceiling with really old computers that a couple of villagers had learned how to scavenge from to fix or build newer computers. In another room about a dozen villagers were being taught how to use them. They sat at computer desks donated by Microsoft. These people had leapt from an very basic agrarian life to the post-modern world in a heartbeat. t was amazing to see.
Mohammed, you don't need electricity when you have crank power.
Leslie
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Dec 9th, 2007, 02:20 AM
  #39  
 
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no, leslie, but you do need an internet connection!

regards, ann
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Dec 9th, 2007, 03:21 AM
  #40  
 
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The computers are mesh networked. For the Luddites who don't know what this means following is a description.

"Built-in Wi-Fi antennas that automatically create a "mesh network" with any other XO computer within about one-third of a mile. A screen displays icons showing the other XO computers within range at any given time.

The mesh also means that if any one of the linked computers has access to the Internet, all of them will. That's important in places where Internet connections can be few and far between."
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