May 8, 2008

Impossible thing #6: Freedom for all with the One Laptop Per Child project

For many years, there has been a growing concern about the emergence of a ââ¬Ådigital divideââ¬Â between rich and poor. The idea is that people who donââ¬â¢t meet a certain threshold income wonââ¬â¢t be able to afford the investment in computers and internet connectivity that makes further learning and development possible. Theyââ¬â¢ll become trapped by their circumstances. Under proprietary commercial operating systems, which impose a kind of plateau on the cost of computer systems, this may well be true. But GNU/Linux, continuously improving hardware, and a community commitment to bringing technology down to cost instead of just up to spec, has led to a new wave of ultra-low-cost computers, starting with the One Laptop Per Childââ¬â¢s XO. These free-software-based computers will be the first introduction to computing for millions of new users, and that foretells a much freer future.



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