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OLPC laptops delays due to technical glitch

Posted: 30 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OPLC laptops  manufacturing delays  XO computers 

Budget laptop computers produced by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Foundation have run into a manufacturing glitch, and the production delay could likely impact the OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1 program," organisers said last week.

The program was to begin Nov. 12 and run for two weeks. But production in China won't get under way till later, meaning that XO computers will arrive too late to catch much of the holiday season when charity giving is at its height. The delay will also make it difficult to catch the summer season in Uruguay and Peru, where children would have been expected to use the machines in their summer vacation season.

"We had some last-minute bugs.... We've resolved them," Mary Lou Jepsen, OLPC's chief technology officer said in an interview with Reuters. Jepsen added that an unspecified number of XO laptops will be shipped in time, however.

The program announced earlier this year lets North Americans purchase two OLPC XO laptops for Rs.16,138.87($399)?one of which will be donated to a child in a developing country.

The XO, originally planned to cost Rs.4,044.83 ($100), has seen its cost rise to Rs.7,604.28 ($188). The computer has been designed to withstand tough treatment by children and has several innovative features, including a pull-string power system and a keyboard that switches effortlessly among languages.

In addition to the string pulley power source, the XO appropriately coloured green uses just 2W of power. The display can be viewed in colour indoors and in black and white in direct sunlight.

- W. David Gardner

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