Monday, November 12, 2007

One Laptop Per Child: Give One. Get One.

Back in 2005, I was at the conference in San Francisco where Nicholas Negroponte first announced that he and others at the MIT Media Lab intended to sell a laptop for $100 with the goal of putting a laptop in the hands of every child the world over.

That mission has since become One Laptop Per Child, an organization that has just started manufacturing these machines for use around the world. Rather than describe at length the wonders of this little machine, I encourage you to watch this review from the New York Times' inimitable David Pogue.

On the theory that this machine is targeted at the developing world and that sales to rich countries would unduly divert computers away from kids who desperately need these devices today, it's going to be pretty difficult for you to get your hands on one. That's right, you can't buy one.

Well, that is, starting in two weeks you can't buy one.

For the next 15 days, you can buy one of these remarkable machines through a program called "Give One Get One." For $400, you can buy a laptop and pay for a laptop to go to a child in the developing world. As a bonus, you'll get a one year subscription to T-Mobile's Hot Spot service. (As Amos pointed out to me, the T-Mobile promotion, which can be used on any wifi-compatible device, appears to have a retail value of $360.)

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