This morning the Give One Get One program went live, and after reading the terms and conditions of the program, I was ready for not one, but two laptops. Why two? You can read my ( parent . thesis ) blog to find out. (And you should, after reading this one.)
I have seen some remarkable ways that Open Source has opened the frontiers of innovation and given not only scientists but whole communities of educators, business people, civil servants, and NGOs alike new tools to perceive and create new technical horizons. But the One Laptop Per Child project is one of the boldest vision yet—the idea that giving children a computer of their own can transform the future of the world in which they live.
As I have written previously, the laptop project really excites me because I was a child who grew up with a personal computer—five years before the IBM PC was announced. That early familiarity, and the excitement of learning to program by reading source code, remains with me today. Having experienced it myself, and seeing my daughter demonstrate her own intuitive mastery of technology-enabled fun, I cannot wait to see how she decodes and internalizes the XO. And I look forward to reading stories of how children in other countries do the same with the computers that I am donating through the program.
Nicholas Negroponte deserves a special shout out for using his platform to establish this vision, as do the amazing team of open source developers who have made this vision a reality. Even if you don’t bring an XO into you home, you can see the magic by running an emulator. I have seen this in action on Greg DeKoenigsberg‘s desk (he also works at Red Hat), and it’s so cool I can’t understand how he gets any work done at all.
Seriously, this is a great day for Open Source. And now it’s up to you to promote this news to the world. I believe the first time that open source software ever made the front page of the New York Times was this article published in 1993 on the front page of the New York Times. Let’s make this the big story of giving this holiday season!