Donating our OLPC XO

Way back at 2008 there was a large OLPC XO giveaway, but with the rider do something wonderful with this, or give it to someone who will. Neither Andrew nor I received one directly, but Matthew Garrett gave his to Andrew essentially on the grounds that he wasn’t going to do anything wonderful with it. (If I have the chronology right, Matthew had a stack of laptops in his possession at the time and did things to them regularly, generally making them sleep on demand.)

In any event, neither Andrew nor I did anything wonderful with the XO: Andrew intended to look at some point at Python or Python application startup times (the Bazaar team have a bunch of tricks in that regard), but two years is a lot of intending.

Still, better late than never. In the spirit of the original giveaway, we’ve handed it over to be taken to New Zealand by someone going to 2010. It will be donated to the Wellington OLPC testers group, who meet weekly to work on various projects and who are somewhat short on machines.

If you are similarly (morally) bound by the 2008 giveaway conditions, aren’t doing anything wonderful with your XO, and are going to 2010 or can get your XO there, you could do likewise. You could drop off to Tabitha Roder at the education miniconf, the OLPC stand at Open Day or otherwise get in touch with her. (You probably want to let her know yours is coming anyway, so she has a sense of whether to expect one or two, or a truckload.)

Other possibilities include getting involved in the Sydney group or checking if they’d have a use for laptop donations. (They meet more regularly than that wiki page implies; they are now meeting at SLUG.) I don’t know what the status of the OLPC library is. The webpage being down is probably not a great sign, but perhaps collaborators would help John out there. You’d at least be doing something meta-wonderful.


This morning at Bruce Schneier’s keynote it was announced that they wanted to give a One Laptop Per Child XO laptop to the people at the conference who were going to do something incredibly cool with it. Except… they didn’t have a way of determining who those people were. So, they were given away to conference attendees whose names were chosen at random. The condition is that they recipients should either do something wonderful or pass it on to someone who will.

Did we get one? No. But Matthew Garrett gave us his. And by ‘us’ I mean ‘Andrew’. But still.

Ideas for wonderful things accepted.