You’ve probably heard about One Laptop Per Child, the visionary project intended to get computers and connectivity into the hands of children in the developing world.
Founder Nicholas Negroponte had a simple idea: He and his partners at the MIT Media Lab would design an inexpensive, basic laptop — something that could be made with about $100 worth of parts, and run open-source software that didn’t require programmer-level understanding — and make as many of them as possible. And then, with the help of some wealthy donors, he’d put them in the hands of children who need them the most.
A fine and worthy cause, this. And yet, as the New York Times reports this morning, progress has been slow:
â€œI have to some degree underestimated the difference between shaking the hand of a head of state and having a check written,â€ said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the nonprofit project. â€œAnd yes, it has been a disappointment.â€
So he’s doing what any computer company would do in this situation, and having a sale. As of November 12th, when you donate one of Negroponte’s laptops to a child for $399 at xogiving.org, you’ll get one for yourself, free, to be passed along to the child (or adult) of your choice.
Having never been able to resist a computer deal, I’m in. Anyone else feeling charitable this year?