Thursday, January 8, 2009

OLPC downsizes half of staff

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project announced Wednesday that it plans to downsize half of its staff and reduce the salary of the remaining employees. OLPC will also halt its development of the open source Sugar environment and focus on building its next-generation hardware device. These plans are part of a major restructuring effort that has been necessitated by the financial downturn and the organization's dwindling resources.

Thats such a bad news, because this is one of the most underestimated projects ever. People always complained that children don't need a laptop, because they have no power and no internet in rural areas. Regarding the power its not really true, and the lack of internet doesn't matter. First, before there was internet we in the western world were pretty happy with computers, even if we were offline. Second, the laptop is a library of books. And that's the point: It brings knowledge in the rural areas.

1 comment:

Quirinius said...

I've never understood the financial aspect of OLPC: even If the laptop would have been 100 US$ (which is cheap), ordering 1.000.000 laptops by a developing country (which was the plan), would cost that country ... 100.000.000 US$ ... which is an enormous amount of money.

I think (old skool) printing a school book will only cost a few cents, max 1 euro per book.

I like laptops, and I like cheap laptops, but thinking all people need a laptop is a bit colonial. I think it's better to educate developing countries how to print, educate and develop themselves. Teach them how to develop a laptop. I think the locally developped and built 12 $ TV computer (based on the 6502?) is a better start.