[Olpc-uk] Questions

Daniel Drake dsd at laptop.org
Tue Mar 31 11:02:43 EDT 2009

Hi Michael,

Please keep the OLPC-UK list on CC, there's no need to keep this
information private.

2009/3/31 Michael Jordan <michael_jordan50 at bigpond.com>:
> Thank you for your input to the UK forum, as Warren has said many times it
> is extremely helpful, in setting up an OLPC UK, to have the likes of you
> providing guidance and information.
> Daniel, I would like to know a few things:
> ·         Capacity – what is blocking OLPC’s capacity for deployment of
> laptops – cash, production or implementation? For instance, if we ordered
> 10,000 (min order as discussed) would OLPC be able to deliver in a timely
> fashion?

I don't work for OLPC so this is not official in any means... but my
understanding is that yes, it is possible to buy 10,000 laptops or
more. The usual minimum duration from paying to receiving laptops
in-country is 6 months. Right now I believe OLPC's production line is
fully occupied for 10 months... but maybe the production capacity will

Only in exceptional circumstances do OLPC play a strong role in the
implementation, I think that doesn't block the purchase.

> ·         Involvement – is it likely you will be able to attend meetings of
> OLPC UK in the future to provide the OLPC story first hand?

Yes, I'll attend any that I'm in the country for, other details (e.g.
schedule and distance) permitting.
I should be in the UK for the first 2 weeks of June so that might be a
good time for a 2nd meeting.

> ·         Deployment – how long after the system is up and running are you
> and other volunteers remaining in these areas? Do you see the impact of the
> laptops or are you gone before the kids really start to use them and gain
> the benefits?

My case is a bit unusual. OLPC is not in the business of sending
people to deployments, because they should be implemented by the
countries. There are a lot of people who offer themselves as
deployment volunteers but up to this point OLPC has not harnessed them
very well.

In each case there is a strong dedicated team in the country who are
behind the planning, implementation and followup of the program. It's
not just a case of giving laptops to children, its *much* more
difficult. I don't know of any deployment that doesn't have this.
Volunteers like me are not a core part of the implementation, since
you need permanent people for that.

> Any other points you see as being useful in hosting this first meeting would
> be appreciated; I am intent on keeping it casual and open but assume there
> will need to be some guidance given to keep everything focused on realistic
> goals.

Keep it casual... Start small and don't aim too high. For example I
think your questions about the purchase of 10,000 laptops are


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