[aprssig] APRS for One-Laptop-Per-Child
scott at opentrac.org
Mon Nov 12 01:04:56 CST 2007
Ray McKnight wrote:
> One laptop for every child on the planet.
> I have strong words which I cannot use.
> Other than utterly LUDICRIOUS!
There are many arguments against the project, and I agree with a lot of
them - I've certainly heard enough about it, with two family members
having Master's degrees in education, and one of those being directly
involved in educational technology design.
But whether you agree with it or not, the fact remains that these
laptops WILL be deployed in large numbers. Maybe not in the millions
they're planning (I suspect that'll depend on how things go in the first
countries to adopt them) but they will be out there, and Bob's right,
there's certainly value in designing systems with this hardware in mind.
I think the OLPC initiative probably has more merit than some other
programs, like the Simputer initiative in India. I kept reading about
how it was going to aid local farmers by keeping them up to date with
market prices so they'd know when and where to sell their produce or
livestock to make the most money.
Now, I may be a California native, but I've spent enough time in the
Midwest to know that that particular problem was addressed a long time
ago. Turn on any AM radio and you don't have to wait long to hear a
Last time I checked, you could buy radios for under $2 each in volume.
Maybe $6-$12 for crank-powered types that wouldn't require batteries.
No training required, and it's capable of delivering news, education,
entertainment, or whatever else you want to broadcast.
But if governments have decided to spent millions of dollars on
hardware, whether it's a good decision or not, we may as well make the
most of it. I would *love* to see an OLPC-compatible HF message node
that could be dropped in any village (or disaster area) and provide
worldwide email capabilities with a minimal investment in infrastructure.
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