It’s been a little more than four years since the One Laptop Per Child project was launched. Communications of the ACM 52.6 includes One Laptop Per Child: Vision vs Reality, a pretty good analysis of the project to date. Quick summary: OLPC failed to match their success in innovative technology (display, interface, the netbook concept itself) with strong marketing, deployment, and distribution. Strong anti-OLPC responses from Intel and Microsoft didn’t help, either, and should have been anticipated. The failed Intel-OLPC relationship was especially damaging. Where the essay falls short, I think, is specific evaluation of the current status of the project. Some data is provided, but only aggregates and overviews. I’d like to know more about where XO deployments are successful, and why. What role, if any, do original players like Nicholas Negroponte and Mary Lou Jepsen still play in OLPC? I haven’t been following sites like OLPC News, but a quick read provides some very interesting news lacking from the CACM piece.
The XO we bought? I like the computer a lot, but it’s been sitting in a closet. Madelyn is just too darned rough on her stuff to use it. I was planning to try it again this summer. But last week Erin brought home a couple bucks worth of stuff from a garage sale, and Madelyn destroyed most of it in minutes. Hrm. I suppose I could just let her ruin the computer, and call it a day.