The idea is that you buy one but pay for two, the second to be donated to a child in one of the recipient countries for the G1G1 project: Haiti, Afghanistan, Rwanda, or Cambodia.
I ordered two for me, two to be donated. They arrived on Wednesday, December 19. I will write more about my experiences in separate posts.
Not just because I am a big kid. Also because part of the feature set of these marvelous devices is the ability to communicate with each other as part of a wireless grid when there is not a wireless Internet connection directly available. (Another machine on the grid might have an Internet connection, and then it can be shared.)
Although there is no support and I don’t know what the documentation will be like, whether printed or on-board, I intend to explore. If the keyboard is not too cramped (being designed for use by children), I will have my wife try one. Our son Doug is a musician and he may be interested in the music software that is included and in other music projects that might be great for this device.
I have two kinds of projects in mind. The first has to do with the grid and connection into social networking systems. Then there is, for me, the second possibility of providing useful document processing software that’s completely standards based and usefully-compact for this device.
More than that, the OLPC organization is interested in building expertise in the developed countries that can provide more support and creativity for those youngsters using these machines world-wide. The idea, of course, is to reach a point where most of the creativity comes from the kids.
I don’t know when my two will arrive. I was disappointed that it was extremely easy to place my order about five hours after they threw open the on-line doors. I figured there’d be a rush. Maybe it is yet to come. And maybe they were well-prepared. There is a lot of clear deliberateness in this effort.
I’ll keep you posted.
[update 2007-12-19: My two XOen have arrived. They are cute little things. I am still making my first impressions. The unit is 9" wide by 9-3/4" deep and 1-1/4" thick, closed up. The display is 4.5" high by 6" wide in landscape orientation. The entire keyboard surface is 3" deep and 8" wide, with 6 rows of keys and 15 keys wide. That keyboard is too small for my hand and finger size. I will find a way to have that work anyhow. Without the battery in the unit, all of the weight is in the display section. With the battery, the unit weighs between 3 and 3.4 lbs, the closest I could get with my digital bathroom scale. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that all the smarts are in the display/cover – it is the thickest part of the computer. I powered up but didn’t create my user account or do anything else until I can find more start-up information. I’m on the wiki now, looking to find missing information, add information I discover, etc. Pictures and more are to come.
update 2007-11-13: I found the badge for G1G1 and added it to the page. I also think they were prepared for whatever volume they received, and I suspect that the initial production might well sell out. There is some lamentation that this is not a kids-ready supported system for US consumption. People need to understand that this is a seeding process and in the US the appeal is for bleeding-edge early adopters and those who want to help build the world-wide community of knowledge around the system and what can be done with it. Oh, and you can tell what my attention was on. It is Give One Get One, not vice versa. I had the nagging feeling I should look it up, but didn’t. The badge straightened me out.]