Archive for June, 2008

OLPC Pilot in Nigeria: No XOs!

Computer painted on wallYesterday, Andy Rabagliati (a.k.a. wizzy) visited School Galadima in Nigeria which was an OLPC pilot. (The project there was breaking news at the time I first touched an XO.)

Unfortunately, the state of things today:

There are no longer OLPC laptops at the school. One of the consequences of being a pilot school for OLPC was that they were issued with beta hardware, and there were many problems with the unit, from cables coming unplugged, the wireless network disconnecting, and hardware failure. In preparation for its replacement, the hardware was withdrawn in December 2007. However, at that point, there was a lawsuit filed against OLPC by a Nigerian keyboard maker, claiming infringement of layout and something about keyboard scancodes. As a consequence – the children are still waiting for their replacements.

On my way out of Galadima I visited the chief of the area – Chief Habakkuk of the Gbagyi. He was gracious, and explained that his elder brother, who had been chief, had died 5 years ago, and the mantle of chief had passed to him. As a father of a child at the school, he expressed his thanks for the efforts of OLPC for bringing the laptops, and consequent attention, to his community. I explained that some friends in Cape Town, South Africa, worked on the software inside those laptops, and was visiting the school on their behalf as well to carry the message back. I hope that those children eventually get their laptops, and expressed this wish to the chief.

Read more of Andy’s post

So it seems that this girl, literally “poster child” for G1G1, from Galadima has no XO any more… and neither do these children

Update: I spoke to Darah Tappitake during a recent trip to OLPC HQ and she said the XOs were withdrawn because of the litigation against OLPC in Nigeria – and that once that is settled, OLPC will be back with bigger deployments than before. So the XOs will be redeployed in Galadima – the real thing this time, not just prototypes.