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One Laptop sighted in Cape Town

By   |  April 22, 2007

The much talked about One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), a low-cost laptop computer for the developing world, was finally on show at the Digital Freedom Expo in Cape Town this week. The project is the brainchild of MIT media professor Nicholas Negroponte.

The laptop, a beta version of the final product, sports a green casing, a liquid-proof keyboard, a couple of dust covers for the ports and the Sugar operating system which is based on Fedora Core 6. While the design on show looks a little fragile the plastic used for the casing is in fact thicker than that used in most other notebooks.

There is also a plan to include a rubberised design in the near future.

The final OLPC is expected to cost around R750 (the exchange rate for US$100) when it is launched.

Antoine van Gelder, a South African developer contributing to the OLPC project, said the final OLPC is expected to be released at the start of 2008.

Van Gelder said that locally he is hoping a community of like-minded developers and educators will become involved in the project to get it adopted for use in South African schools. “Anyone who wants to to be involved can visit the local OLPC website that we are busy setting up.”

Globally the OLPC project is running a number of pilot projects and including in Africa. Van Gelder said the local team would be looking to run pilot projects for the OLPC in South Africa.


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