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OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay
Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 04:58 PM EDT

OLPC has just been awarded an order from Plan Ceibal for 90,000 XO's for teenagers in Uruguay. Yes, there will be a new XO specially for teenagers. Uruguay already has 380,000 of the original XOs for younger children, and now the kids can graduate to one designed for them as they mature.

It's to be a dual boot laptop. Note not triple boot. No Microsoft in this picture at all. GNOME has leaped into the pool to help out. The press release says, "It will feature the learning-focused Sugar user interface together with the Gnome Desktop Environment to provide a dual-boot Linux operating system with office productivity tools." I wish I were a teenager in Uruguay so I could have one. If they do the partner program, I'm in.

It has a larger keyboard, larger keys than the XO for little kids, different colors, and it will come with specialized learning programs for older children. It has a rugged surface still, will be faster than the earlier XO, will use 3 times less electricity than usual laptops, and it can be powered by alternate sources like solar panels. It ships in September. OLPC lives.

You see? Even with Microsoft and Intel in the picture and some tacks strewn on the roadway, you can't kill off a project that's FOSS-supported. The code is out there, volunteers will continue to work on it regardless of what the Big Boys pay for, despite all the nay-saying in the media, even bogo-lawsuits, and in the end, it moves forward if there is a real need for the project. I really commend Sugar for the role it has been playing.

What a lovely story.

Do you remember that adorable picture of the little girl who got her XO in Uruguay? I never forgot her grin or her bow tie.

This announcement, I hope and trust, means that she can graduate to the high school version in due time.

Here's the OLPC press release, followed by one from Sugar and GNOME:


One Laptop per Child Will Provide XO Laptops to Uruguay High School Students

A New XO Laptop Designed for High School Students Offers Larger Keyboard, Specialized Learning Applications

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, has been awarded a bid by Plan Ceibal to provide 90,000 XO laptops for high school students in Uruguay. This is the first time the OLPC XO laptops have been specifically designed for high school-aged students and represents a major expansion in the learning program that will have a global impact. Plan Ceibal has provided a connected laptop to every primary school student in Uruguay with 380,000 XOs and will now begin to expand the highly successful One Laptop per Child program to its high schools.

The XO high school laptop (XO HS) has the same industrial design as the original XO 1.0. Based on a VIA processor, it will provide 2X the speed of the XO 1.0, 4X DRAM memory and 4X FLASH memory. The XO high school laptop is designed with a larger keyboard better suited to the larger hands and fingers of older students. It will feature the learning-focused Sugar user interface together with the Gnome Desktop Environment to provide a dual-boot Linux operating system with office productivity tools.

The XO HS laptops will be delivered with age-appropriate learning programs adapted to the scholastic needs of secondary schools. A new color variation for the laptopís case will be an option for the high school model.

The XO has been designed to work in the places that need it the most. It has a rugged surface which makes it well-suited for remote classrooms and daily transportation between home and school, uses three times less electricity than other laptops and can be powered by alternate sources like solar panels.

Deliveries of the XO high school edition laptops will begin in September 2010.

About the One Laptop per Child

One Laptop per Child (OLPC at is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are inexpensive enough to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.


Sugar Learning Platform and GNOME Desktop Now Shipping on the One Laptop per Child XO-1.5; Will Run on New XO-HS

ASUNCION, Paraguay, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Sugar Labs, the GNOME Free Desktop Project, and One Laptop per Child (OLPC) have announced an update to the software offered on the OLPC XO-1.5. The 1.5 million children already using Sugar on the original XO-1 can also benefit from the update, since Paraguay Educa has backported the software.

The Sugar Learning Platform promotes collaborative learning through child-friendly Activities that encourage critical thinking. The GNOME free desktop is a hallmark of all major GNU/Linux distributions, suitable for older children and grown-ups. Switching between the two environments takes only a single click. With GNOME on the XO laptop, the door is opened to thousands of additional educational and productivity applications.

The XO-1.5 has the same industrial design as the original XO-1. Based on a VIA processor, it provides 2x the speed of the XO-1, 4x DRAM memory, and 4x FLASH memory. OLPC has announced the availability of a high-school edition of the XO-1.5, the XO-HS, with a newly designed keyboard, more comfortable for older students. The first deployment of the XO-HS is set to begin in Uruguay under the highly successful Plan Ceibal in September.

Children familiar with the XO-1 will naturally grow into the XO-1.5 with its expanded functionality. "One Laptop per Child promotes open-source software so that it can grow and adapt to the needs of the child. The Sugar platform on the XO is key to our educational mission because it gives students a unique and intuitive learning software environment," said OLPC Association CEO Rodrigo Arboleda.

Stormy Peters, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, said, "We're really excited to be working with Sugar and OLPC to provide desktop software to children of all ages. GNOME's mission is to provide a free desktop accessible to everyone. Children from Uruguay to Ghana will be able to use their XOs to learn and to show their friends and families how to use Sugar and GNOME."

Walter Bender, Executive Director of Sugar Labs, said, "The fluidity of movement between the two desktops gives learners the ability to transition from a learning environment - Sugar - to a production and productivity environment - GNOME. They have the means of honing the creative skills acquired in an elementary education setting into entrepreneurial skills in a secondary education setting."

"Sugar on a Stick" allows children who don't have an XO laptop to benefit from this new software. Available for download from Sugar Labs in the new, v3 Mirabelle flavor, it can be loaded onto an ordinary USB thumbdrive and used to start a PC in Sugar without touching the hard disk. The XO laptops and Sugar on a Stick run Fedora GNU/Linux.


OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay | 150 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections thread
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:12 PM EDT
This would be a good place to post any corrections
should any be needed. It may be helpful to
summarize the correction in the title if possible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks here
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:16 PM EDT
Should you have comments on newspicks, this might be
a good place for them. Please remember to let us know
which newspick you are referring to. Providing the
link may be helpful if the plethora of news forces
a given pick off the main page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic posts here please
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:20 PM EDT
A fine place for posts off the topic of this article,
while still being on-topic for Groklaw in general.
Refer to the HTML posting hints and please not only
remember the comment policy, but strive to observe
it as well. Thanks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

COMES can go here
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:24 PM EDT
If you are helping out by summarizing or transcribing
a COMES document, please place it here. It is most
helpful to use HTML markup posted as Plain Old Text
to make it easy for PJ to put it where it should go.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Excellent news
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:33 PM EDT
I sure hope there will be some way that we can again do
something like the give one get one program. This stuff
just keeps getting better all the time. I finally got a
chance to see one of the original models about a month
ago, and the screen is exceedingly crisp. I wish this
project great success and hope they eventually succeed
in their overall goal.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay
Authored by: lnuss on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 05:47 PM EDT
It'll be interesting to see how this new version actually compares with the
original XO. If it's as good as it says, I'll be interested in a G1G1 version of
this to go with my original G1G1 XO.

Larry N.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hurrah for OLPC!
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 08:21 PM EDT

The OLPC team have changed the computing landscape - despite opposition from the
large computer manufacturers, Microsoft, and others. And the changes will
continue to reverberate around the world.

Thank you OLPC!


[ Reply to This | # ]

How many "boots" are there, really?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 08:34 PM EDT
I see no reason why this machine would have to be dual-boot, which makes me
suspect that said claim (which curiously appears in the excerpt from Business
Wire but not the one from PR Newswire) is just marketing ignorance. Both
excerpts are from press releases, which are the last place anyone should look to
get the answer to a technical question; so I simply can't take their use of the
term "dual-boot" at face value. The PR Newswire excerpt even contains
the apparently conficting claim that "Switching between the two
environments takes only a single click."

Can anyone tell me whether this reference to "dual-boot" is just a
typical PR misstatement, or if the XO HS really will be dual-boot between Sugar
and Gnome environments?

And if it's really dual-boot, WHY? (This is not a rhetorical question; I really
want to know the reasoning behind such a decision.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay
Authored by: JamesK on Tuesday, June 15 2010 @ 09:40 PM EDT
uses three times less electricity

I hope the students get a better education than whoever wrote that line. I've
often seen this sort of statement and it indicates an ignorance of basic
arithmetic. It can use one third of the electricity, but that statement above
is meaningless. It reminds me of those doing the weather forecasts claiming
that 20 degrees is twice as warm as 10 degrees. Unless you're referring to
kelvins, it's nonsense. And if you are referring to kelvins, there's no need
for the word "degrees". It's amazing how ignorant so many are of
simple arithmetical relationships.


(I am not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV)

[ Reply to This | # ]

OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 16 2010 @ 04:22 AM EDT
Uruguay is already one of leading Linux countries in the world: StatCounter link.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Learning and Subversion.
Authored by: Ian Al on Wednesday, June 16 2010 @ 04:44 AM EDT
This strikes me as very important. The Sugar environment provides the
encouragement to see, read, think, play and create. Not that I would know of
course; I've never used it. Well, hardly ever. It's kids stuff. The animation is

Anyway, I hope the Gnome environment allows a rich range of Linux repository
items. Then a fired-up teenager can get into recording his/her garage band, get
into robotics, social networking, following the careers of music artists and
creating a library of music, video, pictures and text. Learning becomes living.

Some might get excited about programming.

Should kids with rich parents get XO1.5? No, they can get their choice of laptop
and desktop and run Linux and Sugar on that. The Catch 22 is that the rich
parents are hostages of Microsoft or Apple and do not know about freedom.
Deprived rich kids, who'd have thought?

Ian Al
SCOG, what ever happened to them? Whatever, it was less than they deserve.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OLPC's New XO for 90,000 Teens in Uruguay
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 16 2010 @ 08:57 AM EDT
What is the green thing on the table next to each computer?

[ Reply to This | # ]

One Laptop per Child updates design for older pupils (BBC)
Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, June 16 2010 @ 07:23 PM EDT

This is the BBC's version of the story. Note the 10000 Intel Classmates for comparative evaluation, and the forthcoming XO-3.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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