:: OLPC Links & News ::
OLPC official website
OLPC on Wikipedia
OLPC Learning Club DC
Why support my project ::: March 9, 2010
There are MANY reasons why the OLPC team, the MIT university, the computer industry, the poor or developing countries, etc. should support MY Low Cost PC project and, the first of these reasons is, that, since I've a very rational and inventive mind, I'm the ONLY (or one of the few) person in the world able to turn the (substantial) OLPC project's failure in a BIG success!
Thanks to my ideas and suggestions the OLPC team and the MIT could succeed in their philanthropic program aimed to give a computer to every children in the world (and could also earn enough royalties to invest in new MIT projects and researches) the developing countries could buy several millions of low cost (but very good) computers to help their peoples and their economies to evolve more quickly and the computer industry could greatly increase the number of its (present and future) customers and, also, seeing its total revenues to grow by up to $50 billion more in the next ten years!
What went wrong ::: March 8, 2010
Why an useful and brilliant idea like the OLPC has substantially missed its goal in last 5 years with only 1.6 million PCs sold?
As I've already said in my first post, it was due to a wrong, poor and too exotic design, with the result of a too high price to being a computer for "poor peoples", but, the #1 mistake of the OLPC team, has been the decision to be the "entrepreneurs" of the project, also awarding the production of the XO-1 to just ONE company (Quanta) without any competition between several companies that has always been the "key" for the mass production and the prices reduction of large scale products.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a very long tradition of technology spin-offs with hundreds advanced hi-tech companies founded by MIT professors and students, thanks to venture capital funds and born around a good idea or an advanced research or an innovative product developed by MIT labs, so, it's absolutely not clear, why, a so important project like the OLPC, hasn't followed the same commercial way of many others, successfull, MIT-born, products and companies.
Probably (but it's only a hypothesis of mine) the OLPC inventors and team have wanted to strongly keep the control of the OLPC project and of its design in their hands and/or wanted to try to earn a profit (aimed to reinvest in this and other MIT projects) and/or wanted to avoid any speculation around the OLPC prices and distribution by commercial companies, however, whatever are the reasons why the OLPC project substantially went wrong in last five years, these bad choices have (in my opinion) nearly killed the entire project.
When it will be ready ::: March 7, 2010
My wish is to make MY Low Cost PC ready available within one year or less, but, clearly, the real date depends from several factors like (e.g.) IF the OLPC team supports it, IF the computer industry will be pro or against this project, IF I'll have enough time to devote to the project and also (if not mainly) IF I can find enough funds to cover the project's development costs.
Unfortunately I've not so much time, now, since I want to follow many different projects (the most important of which is to try to start up my own NewSpaceAgency) infact, I've registered the OLPCdesign.com domain about one year ago, but, only this month I've found the time to design, write and put online this blog.
With very low or no funds, the time I can devote to MY Low Cost PC project and to write this blog could be around two-three days per month, while, if I find enough funds I can outsource great part of the development of this project, reducing the time to have a working device to less than one year or (if lucky) just six months.
Every contribution and technical support to this project, must be given without any condition, like (e.g.) want the choice of a specific configuration or technology or component or design or software for my low cost computer.
What is my goal ::: March 6, 2010
My goal is to turn the very good (but PRETTY CLOSE TO FAIL) basic "idea" of a LOW COST PC for the poor countries and the peoples to a GIANT SUCCESS, trying to allow, as soon as possible, HUNDREDS MILLIONS of childrens, EVERY YEAR, to have or use one of these low cost computers, instead of the very few OLPCs sold, so far, per year and in total.
To reach this goal, I did NOT want to start from the current or future OLPC designs, I did NOT want to use any OPLC hardware or software, I did NOT want to infringe any OLPC patents, rights or logo, but I only wish to use my experience, my know-how, my ability to think in a rational and pragmatic way and my original ideas, to design a COMPLETELY NEW and very affordable LOW COST COMPUTER that (someday) "could become" an OLPC if my design will be adopted or (just) officially approved by the OLPC team, while, if my project won't have the OLPC team support, I'll try to develop MY LOW COST PC anyway, and to offer it (as an INDEPENDENT PROJECT) to one or more international PC makers that want to produce and sell my ORIGINAL design.
Of course, to allow this project to succeed, it needs also (or mainly) a completely different (and more winning) production and marketing (clear and rational) STRATEGY that must leave out of the door any ideological or personal preconception related to the computer industry and its hardware and software standards.
Why this blog ::: March 5, 2010
I liked the idea of the OLPC from the first day that I've read a news about it, but, unfortunately, five years later, the project is a nearly complete failure, not mitigated by the 1.5 million of XO-1 sold, so far, that, since, the design of the OLPC is wrong, while, the production and distribution strategy, has been even worse.
The main reason of the weak results of the OLPC project, clearly, is its (higher than promised) unit price, that never dropped to the expected "under $100 price" announced in the early days, direct consequence of a too "exotic" design, made around a niche-market processor (now out of production, then, replaced with another CPU) a non-standard LCD (and screen resolution) a (semi-proprietary) pared-down version of Fedora Linux (with a, just recent, option of the too "heavy" Windows XP) and so on.
Also, while the price of the (old, weak, exotic, ugly, non-standard, modest and wrong) XO-1 has reached the $200 level, all the (better, powerful, beautiful, standard, full-featured) portable computers (Notebook, Netbook, MID, Tablet PC, UMPC etc.) have dropped to today's $200-400 price tag, putting the XO-1 completely out from competition.
The OLPC team at MIT is aware of the XO-1 problems, so, they have proposed a new OLPC concept called XO-2 (in cooperation with Pixel Qi) that would had have a better hardware and two screens to be used as laptop and as ebook reader, but, the new version has been quickly deleted, very probably, since, the new design was going to be less standard and more expensive than an XO-1 (despite the announced, but absolutely unreal, $75 price tag).
And, last, just few months ago, has been announced the development of the XO-3 that should be a Tablet PC version of the OLPC to be available in 2012 for a price of only $75 (later increased to $100) and with performances comparable or better than the new Apple iPad... well, assuming they will be (really) able to make and sell an iPad-like Tablet PC at a fraction (just 20% of the $499 of a basic iPad) of the Apple price... the new (and, we hope, "final") OLPC, "should" be available for selling to the poor countries ONLY in 2012 (or much later, if we add the classic delays of every project) so, ALL, the two billion of childrens and young people of these countries, could (finally) see one of these devices in their hands in 2020, 2025 (or much later) adding (at least) 3-5 more years, to the (already lost) five years from the OLPC project's launch!
So, my question is: "do you REALLY want to allow to poor countries' children to have an OLPC and SOON or the project's ONLY goal is to do many public meetings about it and to gain the pages and the covers of many tech (and non-tech) magazines and TV shows with your face and your toy-computer"???
That's why I've decided to open this blog and start MY own project, aimed to develop a LOW COST PC that should be available and sold MUCH SOONER to these poor countries and (also) to the poor people of the richest countries.