The so-called $100 laptop, developed by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is a great idea that’s been dogged by problems along the way. As it’s developed, it was apparent the cost would be higher than believed, it’s suffered competition, and for a long time it was a product without a buyer.
At least the last factor has started to change. According to a BBC report, Uruguay has placed an order for 100,000 of the machines, which it will distribute to school-aged children. That’s to be followed by a further 300,000, meaning every child in Uruguay will have a computer by 2009.
The distinctive green and white machine, which actually costs $188, can be bought in several ways. Even individuals can purchase one under a Get 1 Give 1 program that also distributes one to a child in a developing country. The sale to Uruguay is the first confirmed sale for the computer. The machine is designed to be waterproof, and powered by a string pull or foot pump batter charger or by solar power, and features a sunlight-readable display.
“We commend Uruguay for being the first country to take concrete actions to provide laptops to all its children and teachers and look forward to other countries following this example,” OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte told the New York Times.