The OLPC Give One Get One program lets you buy one OLPC that will be donated to a child somewhere in the world and get one for yourself for US$399 (plus shipping). $200 of that amount is tax deductible for US federal taxes. This offer is only available for those in the US and Canada. The G1G1 program ends on November 26, 2007. After mulling it over for a good chunk of the day, I made the order this evening and hope whoever gets the donated OLPC is able to make good use of it. My daughter gets to play with the one shipping to me.
I downloaded the OLPC LiveCD ISO file and tried it on a PC before actually making the order/donation. I was quite impressed by what I saw. The LiveCD was even able to detect the PC’s network card and let me browse the web. One thing that didn’t work 100% was Google Docs. I was able to login and open a document. However, attempts to save and close the document resulted in what first looked like nothing happening (the document remained open). It turns out that the document changes were actually saved. However, I could not close the window and return to the Google Docs list. I suspect it is because Google Docs opens a second window (or tab) on most browsers and then closes that window or tab. On the other hand, the ISO is dated April 7, 2007. So, the shipping version may be different.
Various reviews of the OLPC indicates that the keyboard may be too small for many adults to type on comfortably. I’ll give it a try when it comes to get a feel for it. Then, I’ll ask my daughter to take it for a spin and let me know what she thinks (maybe I should ask her to write a short review :-).
Here’s an overview of the Red Hat Sugar OS inside the OLPC:
Building the XO: Introducing Sugar
Here’s a link to the Sugar OLPCWiki.