back to article Brits allowed in to OLPC's 'give one, get one' scheme

The One Laptop Per Child buy one, give one scheme kicks off again next week, and this time the offer's open to Europeans. OLPC's programme - dubbed "G1G1", for 'give one, get one' - allows wealthy Westerners to buy a pair of the Linux-based laptops but only receive one of them. The other is sent to a school in the developing …


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  1. Mark
    Gates Horns

    I'll pass

    I don't want to give one computer so that it will increase Microsofts market at my expense.

    If the kids learn computers on a non-microsoft system (like almost everyone who was at school before the 90's, and many over the 90's too), they can later BUY a microsoft system and sell their ability to use microsoft products, just like people in their thirties do here in the UK.

    But schools in my day didn't buy just one computer type. You had acorns, BBC B, IBM PET, C64, Amigas and Mac. And since none had the lions share, they all had to play at least somewhat with each other. MS doesn't want that and has the market share to force customers to follow MS's needs rather than their own.

  2. Tom

    Mark - worry not about Microsoft's coffers

    It runs a variant of Fedora Linux, isn't it.

  3. John Langham-Service
    Paris Hilton


    Thats a rather negative point of view, do you also want to ban comp lessons in schools because that might increase the M$ market? I'd rather catch 'em young and then at least they'll know there is an alternative to the M$ pigopoly and can make an informed choice. If they choose M$ then so be it but at least they'll have the choice.

    I have converted all my family and a few of my friends to Linux and only had one switch back because it was "too hard", the joke is he has had more probs with windows but is too stubborn to admit it.

    Paris because like M$ I wont touch it with a 20 foot disinfected barge pole

  4. hugh

    RTFA luv

    of course you're 133t as you hate M$, Microshaft etc, etc, etc.....

  5. Mark

    @Tom and @John

    The machine I buy would have Linux on it (because that would be the choice for such a machine).

    The profits therefrom will go toward whatever deployment necessary. Monies have already gone into retooling the OLPC just so that it can actually fit a really stripped down XP on it. R&D that would not be necessary.

    Money has already been spent on some small OLPC rollouts with Windows on it.

    If it were for a Tech college, this would not be a problem.

    If it were for the computer science classes, it would be a small but arguable problem.

    It is for the enablement of general teaching capability the OLPC was designed. And MS solutions want desperately to remove the interoperation necessary to cheap and effective discovery of how to do this, so that you have to buy an MS solution to solve your problem and MS profit thereby.

    It will hold 100 textbooks. No need for MS for that. It will hold homework for all the years at school. No need for MS for that. It will share work. MS don't like sharing unless you share to them. OLPC is a computer because the alternative would be books that cost more to send out than they cost to make, get out of date and wear out quickly. Notebooks of paper cannot be reused. But if you use electronic books, they can be updated.

    OLPC is not a computer. It is a learning device. You don't buy your type and spell from MS. And that it doesn't use the MS UI or produce MS Office documents doesn't mean your kids educational toy is worthless.

    But politics and pressure has been put to bear on ensuring that if there's a new market for computing devices, MS MUST be part of it.

    And I don't want my money used to help a company that can sell to the third world as it sells to the first, without having to shoehorn itself into a system it is completely unsuitable for.

  6. Charles Ullman

    OS Agnostic, right?

    Why does everyone seem to think they are installed with Windows?

  7. Harry

    dubbed "G1G1", for 'give one, get one'

    That comes very very close to the old adage "garbage 1n, garbage 0ut".

  8. Mark

    re: RTFA luv

    I know the one I would buy would have Linux on it.

    It isn't about hating MS, it's about the fact that MS's offerings are anti ethical to the reason for OLPC and why someone would do the opposite of "Buy One, Get One Free".

    And that the system had to be made from more expensive components just to accommodate the pitiful attempts to get an MS OS down to size is a waste of money.

  9. Sooty

    old fashioned

    can i just use the buy one... get one... system we normally use, I'd much rather have a cheaper laptop for myself.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ John Langham-Service & Mark

    You might want to have a look at this -

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Somewhat agreeing with Mark

    Although the article states that it is the Linux version (Windows is not out yet), if I were to participate would they guarantee that although I bought Linux the 'give one' bit would also be giving Linux, and not hold back until the Windows version is out?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    @ AC

    I remember that article you linked to and it's for that very reason i shall NOT be buying OLPC or recommending anyone does.

    Paris.. because I suspect even she will one day learn !!

  13. Dave

    Already Got One

    I've already got one (well, technically it belongs to my son), courtesy of being able to ship it to a US address and then collecting it. It is based on Linux, is easy and fun to use and for those who understand how to get VMWare or other virtual machine stuff running, you can get an emulation version to run on your own machine so you can learn without having to use the child-sized keyboard. And you can interact between your own machine and the XO exactly as if you were running an XO yourself.

    I guess it's a year old now, the original offer was November last year.

  14. Alex

    Why so anti Microsoft?

    I don't get it: 95% of all computers run Microsoft OSs yet you seem to want to lumber kids in poor countries with OSs that hardly anyone uses. You might not like the fact that Microsoft has such a large installed base but it does and that is a fact you can't deny.

    A Microsoft OS is exactly the OS that should be installed on these machines because that is where the marketable skills are.

    I've used Linux (and Unix) on a number of machines but I'm the only person I know who has and I work in a large IT department. I have 2 freeNAS servers running headless in a cupboard and I think it's an absolutely fantastic OS so I do have plenty of experience of other OSs.

    Linux is all very well for having a tinker with but it just doesn't have the market penetration to make it a viable alternative.

  15. Chris C

    re: Why so anti Microsoft?

    Wow, can you be any more obtuse? Just because a company has a monopoly (an ILLEGAL monopoly, in case you've been living in a cave for the past 12 years or so) doesn't mean that people should continue to support them in that capacity. According to your logic, we shouldn't be looking at alternative fuel sources since everybody uses oil and gasoline.

    You said Linux "doesn't have the market penetration to make it a viable alternative". OK, fair enough. So what would it take to make it a "viable alternative"? And don't you dare say increased market penetration because you spent the first half of your comment rallying AGAINST increasing its market penetration.

  16. bluesxman

    Give a child a fish...

    ...and he can eat for a day. Give a child an XO and he can run 419 scams and buy all the bloody fish he wants.

    jk ... heyzeus, you're all so sensitive :P

  17. Ian Johnston Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It's that time of year...

    Give a turkey for Christmas.

  18. Nick


    Mark wrote:

    "the system had to be made from more expensive components just to accommodate the pitiful attempts to get an MS OS down to size is a waste of money."

    They added an SD reader. It cost a few quid and I'm very grateful because it means that I can run Ubuntu on my XO.

    Mark wrote:

    "OLPC is not a computer. It is a learning device."

    This is very true. The XO with Sugar interface is a very good collaborative tool for teaching.

    But what it requires for this to work is local infrastructure in terms of expertise, support, teaching resources, etc. Dumping in a bunch of machines does not make an educational program. The OLPC project seems to be relying on Open Collaboration to make this magically happen. But that requires nuturing by willing and capable people on the ground before momentum takes over.

    What it is not is a Web 2.0 multimedia laptop experience. If countries want to use them as laptops in the traditional sense then I don't see any problem with that.

    They're struggling to get enough volume to get the cost down. If they can sell twice as many by shipping Windows then that will bring down the costs of the Linux versions.

    I'm sure that Microsoft is pushing as hard as they can but that's capitalism for you.

  19. Mark


    "They added an SD reader. It cost a few quid and I'm very grateful because it means that I can run Ubuntu on my XO."

    And more memory. And "only a few quid" doesn't cover thousands of copies of said device: unlike software, hardware costs per item.

    Did it get re-tooled for free?

    Doubt it.

    And XP is already out of order and Windows7 *may* be targeted as "the only OS" next, but it won't fit on the same machine, and will require another re-tooling.

    The project isn't "give a kid a laptop" it's "help children learn". And FOSS helps that when Windows doesn't. So why should I put money towards a project that doesn't achieve the aims? It would be like being asked to give money to RNIB for "cats for the blind".

  20. Nick


    I suggest you read

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