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$ 100 Laptop in Nepal

 Kshitij Regmi


‘Laptops are the pencils for the digital age. The sooner we can provide high quality learning environments for all, the better and more cohesive our societies will become.’ David Cavallo
Research scientist at MIT Labs, David Cavallo’s statement is relevant to the changing world which is relying on information technology for almost everything. The statements look promising but it is equally challenging to a country like Nepal where children do not have access to pencil and notebooks.  Providing the children with high quality learning environments and equipments is indeed a big challenge to our government who is fighting load shedding, constituent assembly elections and other political issues, the idea of providing one laptop per child might be the last thing on the governments list.

 There are agencies working on helping the children get better education and make sure that they use the best of the available resources and be able to enjoy the technologies humans have developed. There is a group of young people working in an organization by the name of One Laptop Per Child-Nepal who are determined in bringing the 100$ laptop and believe that it will revolutionize education in Nepal.
 We talked with Shankar Pokhrel to find out what OLPC-Nepal is doing to bring in the 100$ laptop to Nepal. At the moment Pokhrel says they are using a 100$ Laptop also known as The Children's Machine or XO-1 to develop programs in various languages targeting children of different cultural backgrounds. The text in the picture above is a Unicode presentation of Limbu Alphabets. Once the software is complete, the plan is to bring in more of the computers for distribution.

The XO-1 initiative was launched by faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)  Media Lab. It was first announced by Lab co-founder Nicholas Negroponte, now chairman of OLPC, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in January 2005.
100$ Laptop Specs
CPU:   AMD Geode GX-500@1.0W
SIZE: 193mm x 229mm x 64mm (as of 3/27/06—subject to change)
WEIGHT: Less than 1.5 KG (target only—subject to change)
CONFIGURATION: Convertible laptop with pivoting, reversible display; dirt- and moisture-resistant system enclosure
DRAM MEMORY: 128 MiB dynamic RAM
LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY: 7.5" Dual-mode TFT display
RESOLUTION: 1200 (H) x 900 (V) resolution (200 dpi)
WIRELESS: Marvell Libertas 88W8388+88W8015, 802.11b/g compatible; dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas; supports diversity Reception
BATTERY PACK TYPE: 5 Cells, 6V series configuration

 Kshitij Regmi

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