$100 Linux Laptops Have Arrived

    November 29, 2006

The One Laptop Per Child project received its first shipment of $100 Linux laptops yesterday, making the dream of providing free laptops to children around the world a reality.

Project member Chris Blizzard reported on his blog yesterday that the first shipment of the $100 laptops were received.

“Today we received the first large shipment of laptops from the factory,” said the Fedora Core developer. Blizzard also added, “I’m told it’s about a thousand pounds. The boxes are all labeled with the countries the keyboards are built for: The U.S., Nigeria, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Libya.”

Designed by a Taiwanese laptop manufacturer, the laptops for children are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of third world terrain.

These “tough machines with a handle” feature a webcam, speaker and microphone, WiFi connection, a screen designed for easy visibility, 128 MB of memory, 512 MB of storage and are run on free Linux OS.

The first ten hand-built models were produced at a cost of $150 and shipped to children in several third world countries who tested them.

Governments from around the world including Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Libya, and Thailand signed up for the program that would enable them to distribute 1,000 laptops per participant to educational districts in each of their countries.

Recently, however, a political coup in Thailand resulted in the country reporting to the Bangkok Post that they do not want the laptops, “even at $100 per box.” This action is believed to be based on rejecting the former government’s policies, and not open sourcing.

Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the project, says they hope to have produce and distribute at least 900 more of the $100 laptops by 2007.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.