David Weinberger says he just received his OLPC XO. He rates it very high on the cuteness scale:
[Anthropological note: The OLPC laptop serves the social function as puppies: When strangers see you with one, they just have to stop you, stroke it, and say “Awwww.”]
For those who haven't heard, this is the One Laptop Per Child program created by Nicholas Negroponte with the eventual goal of producing a $100 laptop that children can use wirelessly in developing nations. The laptop is called the XO. They are now offering their Give One Get One initiative which has been extended to Dec. 31st. It's a two for one deal where you buy two for $399, get one while the other is donated:
From now through December 31, 2007, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. This is the first time the revolutionary XO laptop has been made available to the general public. For a donation of $399, one XO laptop will be sent to empower a child in a developing nation and one will be sent to the child in your life in recognition of your contribution. Up to $200 of your donation may be tax-deductible (your $399 donation minus the fair market value of the XO laptop you will be receiving).
For all U.S. donors who participate in the Give One Get One program, T-Mobile is offering one year of complimentary HotSpot access.
If you participate in Give One Get One today, you will receive your XO laptop(s) in early 2008. Your donated laptop will reach a child in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia or Rwanda in the same early 2008 timeframe.
The Mobile Linux Info blog reports that "[t]he Linux 2.6 kernel and GNU software make up the operating system, but the graphical interface is called Sugar." They link to a whitepaper offered by IBM about developing for this device. In the OLPC world applications are called "activities, " and you can create them using the Python programming language.
I tend to think that this will eventually morph into a handheld as the universal converged device. Tim O'Reilly basically says the same thing in his recent op-ed piece in the NY Times:
In the future, the cellphone and similar wireless devices, not the personal computer, will be the primary interface to the cloud of information services that we now call the Internet. The demand for Internet-style applications on the phone — e-mail, maps, photo and video sharing, social networking and even Internet telephony — is exploding.