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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

This pledge has been successful in 11 places!

Pledge “olpchackers”

"I will buy a 2B1 laptop for $300, and become part of a local OLPC hacking club but only if 2 other people in my town or city will do the same."

Deadline to sign up by: 20th November 2007
79 people signed up, successful in 11 places

More details
More than 3000 people signed the much larger pledge to buy an OLPC and subsidise the OLPC project at the same time.

This is a pledge using a new, unofficial feature called Cascading pledges. If you sign this pledge you'll be signing up to a local version of the pledge, whereve you live in the world. Other people signing up elsewhere will form groups where they are. Hopefully this can kickstart some OLPC hackers clubs, and provide some feedback on this new PledgeBank feature.

Pledge originally made by Tom Steinberg

This pledge has now closed; it was successful!

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Comments on this pledge

  • Can someone explain to me....

    Is it just 100$? What about -
    1. Shipping and insurance
    2. Logistics
    3. Training & support
    4. Administrative & management cost?

    Or will it (100$) cover everything (all of above)? Who will pay for the Laptops? Who will pay for after sales support? Who is going to gain from this project - The country spending some 150 million dollar (+ongoing support cost) for a million Laptops or the country receiving some 150 million dollar for a million Laptops?

    And a kid who's starving won't be taking the time to read. Even Bill Gates Sr. figured this out when some time ago he took a trip to Africa and was shown a poor village's proudest posession, a single workstation hooked up to the village's sole electrical outlet. He realised that what village needed most at that time was not a computer, but a refrigerator.

    Tech toys like these have theire place and moment can help but the basick foundation of the pyramid must be built first. You need decent health, places to sleep, and a dependable food supply before cranking laptops become not only a luxury but a dangerous drain on time and energy that must be spent on survival.

    Africa and the Third World aren't just poorer versions of your hometown, they're places in deep distress with a profound lack of the basic neccessities of life, and sweeping plagues which are taking an enormous toll. These are the problems that must be solved FIRST and foremost before the higher goals can be tackled.
    Aklee, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Why do so many people in the West have this impression that the world is divided into two halves, consisting of We, The Rich on one side and The Starving Millions on the other, with absolutely nothing in between?

    Yes, certainly, there are famine-struck places on the earth, and that's a tragedy that deserves attention and money. Here's a shocking newsflash though: not all of Africa is one great refugee camp full of starving children and flies.

    Many places do have a reasonably stable government, and water and electricity and Coca-Cola, but may be lacking in ICT infrastructure. That means more than just OLPC laptops -- it's mobile phones, and walkie-talkies, and even something as simple as a local radio station -- but there's no reason that the internet and the web should be the reserve of We, The Rich.

    Let's say I have a small carpentry business. I need some wood, but I don't know which of my usual suppliers has any in at the moment. What do I do? Without any ICT infrastructure, I spend an afternoon burning petrol that I can't really afford driving from place to place to find out. If they have a telephone, or a website, I get the information I need immediately.

    Scenario Two: we decide to supply text books instead of laptops to the countries concerned. They're full of information, certainly, but what skills can you learn from them? Can you learn to program a text book? Are we in the West busy outsourcing 'reading jobs' to poorer countries?

    Scenario Three: "Please help, my little sister has just drunk some of this stuff and the hospital's three hours' walk away. What should we do?" If there's absolutely nothing better locally, you could at least find out if it's best to induce vomiting, pump her full of water, DON'T pump her full of water, etc.

    What I'm saying is that I don't see any reason why the existence of *some* regions of extreme poverty means that nobody's allowed to help people on the rung or two above that state.
    Tim Morley, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • OLPC is about -education-, not laptops. These particular laptops are designed with that end in mind, and if anyone comes up with a better way of providing education to millions of children in need worldwide I would be glad to support that as well.

    Making these available to the public (which includes businesses) would not only greatly reduce the incentive for black market purchases, but I expect would also greatly increase the value of the laptop itself. I have a business, and would -love- to get one of these for everyone of my employees (including the maid!). Later on if people already knowing the programs/tools are available to hire vs people unfamiliar with them (the rest being equal), the choice is easy.
    It is the same as the fax/windows/ipod. More=better=more=...

    The more machines used, the more incentive to write programs/support the machine.

    Having experienced the "Black Friday" last year where good laptops were available for a bit under $400 (using one now), I expect there would be a LOT of demand for this laptop which is MUCH better in many ways. Most drawbacks can be fixed thanks to the USB2 ports.

    Sell them retail at $200 and use the millions it will generate to create better versions and matching programs!

    About this pledge itself, there -are- indeed issues, such as shipping costs/logistics and generating an order large enough to merit OLPC's attention, but the idea is good.
  • I would love to get hold of one of these laptops! They would probably do reasonably well at retail.

    Think about it - global warming and other environmental issues are currently causing concern. Here we have a laptop that should be fine for basic tasks (web browsing, word processing etc.) that doesn't need mains electricity, being charged through a hand crank. Not only could this reduce emissions (and electricity bills!) but it could also help keep people fit :)
    Matthew Forman, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Whatever you may pledge, the simple fact is that OLPC DO NOT WANT to sell these laptops to the public. They have good reasons, too, though I'm sure not everyone would agree with them.

    As has been stated above and elsewhere, this is a charitable education, not (primarily) a technology experiment or a business.

    OLPC's organisational structure, scale, nature of operations and funding is entirely based around this charitable, educational model. If they were to start selling these machines to the public, all that would change. Funders would want to know that their contributions are being properly ringfenced for educational use, not the business side. The organisation would have to scale up massively. Key staff would be distracted from the charitable mission. It's not realistic. It's not what they are set up to do.

    So, for the last time, please try to understand. The people running OLPC want to change the world and benefit a very large number of disadvantaged people. They don't want to provide cheap hardware to affluent westerners. You might reasonably think that their aims could be better advanced by doing both, but they disagree. They have said so many, many times. End of story, really.

    Mr Steinberg: why not offer £100 websites to small businesses? MySociety could crank them out at dozens a day and reinvest the profits in its charitable work. Of course, you'd have to hire more staff. You'd have to manage those staff. You'd have to square it with your funders and it would distract you from your specific, core stated mission. But why not? I really want one. I'm sure thousands of others would, too. Perhaps I should start a pledge.
    Adrian, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Bowling Green, Wood County, United States

  • Daniel West

Kefar Sava, Israel

  • 1 person who did not want to give their name

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Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Cape Town, South Africa

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