You may or may not have heard of the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative – also known as the “$100 laptop” project (though it turns out that it actually costs $199 to make one).

I very strongly believe in this project. I’m donating to it this year, one of several donations I’m making for tax purposes. But even if I weren’t getting a tax break on it, I would do it. The laptop has completely open software on it. It has a static copy of Wikipedia on it. It’s powered by a hand crank and has incredibly long range WiFi. Its operating system is designed specifically for children as an innovative learning environment. Several of these laptops over a very wide area can form a mesh network and actually bring the Internet to the most remote regions of the world. It’s tough, water resistant, and ideally ergonomically designed for a child.

It’s a relatively small amount of money, but the impact that just one or two of these machines could make to a village in a third world nation is enormous. The educational value of the information in Wikipedia alone could change so many lives for the better.

Please consider making a donation of your own for this project. It’s not something I normally would mention in my blog like this, but as I said, I think this could really improve a lot of people’s lives.


  1. This is such an amazing cause…if I were feeling a little more flush, I’d get one for sure. Maybe down the road.

    This is the kind of thing that helps to restore my faith in humanity, though. Very, very cool.

    • mik3cap

      Maybe consider making a donation in the names of one or two folks as a Christmas present for them? Four people getting $50 gifts could instead get a card that says “a donation has been made on your behalf to the One Laptop Per Child program.”

      • Oh, now that’s a nice idea…I know of at least two friends who would appreciate that. Thank you!!