Penguins & Netbooks – Budget Solutions For Education Birthed by Innovation!


One in every of my podcasting co-hosts, Mark Gura, and I’ve been intermittently discussing the $100+ pc mission for the final two years on our fashionable bi-weekly sequence. When you occur to not be accustomed to the $100 pc mission; it’s been spearheaded via Nicholas Negroponte previously of MIT. The significance of it’s the manner it has leveraged opened the tidal wave of adoption of open supply instrument and compelled pc producers to broaden low value netbooks. This education-related mission has really reworked the pc business and tech consumer expectancies!


Negraponte’s mission is now referred to as the One Pc in step with Kid mission (OLPC) since the elementary goal is to supply low value, sturdy pc computer systems to the youngsters of growing nations. The prototype of those laptops have long gone thru huge diversifications, and taken a lot complaint during the last few years and they’re by no means intended to be the “does the whole lot” pc.

Those are elementary fashions and but slightly innovative in numerous tactics. For one, they’re very small, have change energy assets, similar to hand powered, may also be related in combination to shape an intranet (wi-fi broadband that may mesh community) and maximum of all don’t be afflicted by what the founder dubs “Microsoft bloat.” Within the devoted efforts to stay the fee so very low, the instrument this is used is open supply, which calls for a way smaller set up footprint and {hardware} operation necessities.

The Unique Prototype 2007 Main points in Temporary: Linux-based running machine, a dual-mode show, a 500MHz processor, 128MB of DRAM and 500MB of Flash reminiscence. No arduous pressure, 4 USB ports and the wi-fi broadband that creates a mesh community.

Input: Wider Public Adoption of Open Supply Instrument!

In different episodes of the Lecturers Podcast we speak about the merging of any other one in every of my favourite generation traits with the OLPC phenomenon- open supply building and instrument. Open supply building happens when teams of folks brazenly percentage supply code within the building of the programming languages, running techniques, or any other utility. The aim is that the group will have the ability to take a look at and paintings collaboratively world-wide at the mission with many minds and views to be had that may now not another way have the ability to meet and paintings in combination. It really is a group and thereby the content material and the product stays “open” this is loose to be used. Very ceaselessly a Inventive Commons code license is used is to explain use and attribution of the instrument.

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One of the crucial well-known present instance is the running machine Linux (recognized with via its mascot of the penguin aka Tux). Associated with Linux which has rankings of programmers running on it world wide, there also are different Linux-like running techniques to be had additionally together with Apache, Ubantu, Linspire and extra. For the schooling sector open supply instrument has been manner in the back of in adoption as faculties have stayed mainstreamed totally on pcs and small quantity on macs in the more youthful grades. Then again, having visited a couple of instructional generation meetings the previous two years I’ve noticed a unique pattern after all being paid passion and the OLPC mission may just push it even a lot additional once more! Let me provide an explanation for.

At ed tech meetings we’ve skilled hands-on demonstrations of Linux or Ubantu community labs that are “dumb terminals” hooked as much as a server and all gaining web get admission to and programs from the server. This primary-hand revel in supplies some degree of access for plenty of lecturers, ed tech experts and college directors who may have by no means another way regarded as those choices. In those instances, members see that there’s no nice loss in serve as with this configuration while the fee for this apparatus is a small fraction of a traditional college lab. That is as a result of two evident primary elements 1), the {hardware} don’t seem to be stand on my own computer systems, and a pair of) the running machine is open supply. {Hardware} prices and improve prices also are a great deal decreased, in addition to the truth that instrument licensing and upgrades are eradicated.

Open supply instrument is now not only for the tech heads. Those platforms are level and click on very similar to maximum different methods. And there are millions of open supply methods freely to be had for us to satisfy trade, schooling, graphic, song composition, media design, utility wishes to call only a few As some Ok-12 superintendents are bringing in open supply networks (they name them Open Applied sciences) into their faculties we’re seeing the march of the penguins, pencils and laptops strut their stuff for schooling! At a time of larger scrutiny of faculty budgets and larger duty, I be expecting that 2009-2010 will probably be a time when open supply instrument, dumb terminals, in addition to digital terminals (to be mentioned in an upcoming e-zine article) will probably be charging forward at a double- or triple-time tempo.

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Replace Would possibly 2009

The large wave of netbooks (Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, and extra) that have flooded the pc marketplace within the final 16 months has been a welcome reduction for shopper and college budgets alike! Now we have Dr Negroponte to thank for remodeling the computing business just about unmarried handedly via pushing his OLPC mission to the vanguard of the company desk of festival. The main points spread out shut at the heals of the growth of Negroponte used to be the Asus staff and the discharge of the ee computer with Linux on board (at the start).

No longer only for tech folks those have been launched in the usual gray and black colours, but in addition surprising crimson and inexperienced, and white– we will be able to see the marketplace used to be broader than the usual pc business were addressing). Their product used to be enthusiastically won and so impacted the general public market that the foremost pc producers needed to reply – temporarily. Now in June 2009 we’ve netbooks to be had from each primary producer to be had for less than $500. The ensuing smaller, a lot more cost effective (kind of 77% relief in value) and strong {hardware} picks we now see throughout us in pc and administrative center shops, is at the start because of OLPC shake up of a sanguine, overestimated machine.

A linked wave of adoption may be proceeding in spring 2009, and that’s Open supply, from Open Place of to Linux, has noticed excellent 12 months to this point. No longer handiest are we seeing extra commercials for those merchandise in mainstream publications, however lay folks (non-techies) are asking, asking for, and the use of them. What does this imply for Microsoft? Will there in reality be a backlash towards steep improve costs? Now we have mentioned frustration for years, however is the time right here for it to have an important affect? Those are thrilling instances for the voice of the folk!

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The Connection

As increasingly more folks catch the imaginative and prescient of netbook and understand they are not looking for high-end computer systems for all scholar study rooms and as a substitute they might even supply computer systems to head house with kids; it is going to be open supply instrument penguins main that march as neatly. It is been a protracted day coming for our tutorial machine to peer that it is a a lot more economically approach to serve the academics and scholars and thereby have the ability to serve ALL of them.

The most important aside- very a lot definitely worth the learn and exploration- Negroponte is so open supply he’s now publishing a wiki the place he’s brazenly exhibiting the technical manufacturing notes, tech necessities, instrument, taking part nations, pictures of the prototypes and a lot more (see: ). Bringing such equipment into the fingers of multitudes of colleges and scholars world wide, close to and a long way, can in point of fact trade who the voices will probably be, and who will probably be within the international conversations in only a few months and in our international political long term.

Offering this sort of instrument and access to the out of doors international for now not simply scholars, but in addition for his or her households, for that is a part of the aim, can construct a rising wave of social trade thru many types of literacy and working out. When the partitions of Fairness and Get admission to are damaged down in even in those small tactics, the alternatives are many for folks to upward push in to new chances. Penguins, open supply, schooling and $100 pc have a lot empowering attainable for the youngsters of the sector, adults and countries.


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