After writing about my XO laptop for the larger newspaper in Western Massachusetts last month (view article in Springfield Republican newspaper), the other local newspaper (which had rejected my piece) came knocking on the door, asking to do their own article. I was more than happy to respond because the more people know and understand about the One Laptop Per Child program, the more likely it is that people might support other endeavors of this sort.
This article was very balanced, I thought, and talked as much as the possibilities of the laptop program as the difficulties. (I am still frustrated that the program that my kids and I showed her did not work when she was sitting here but as soon as she was out the door, it started up fine. Doh)
What is interesting is that, following the first article, I started to receive a few emails from folks in my area who either have an XO or are waiting for theirs to arrive (shipment has been frustrating for many people). One of the folks waiting for their XO happens to be a friend who lives right across the street from me, and we didn’t even know that we were both on the XO bandwagon. He is very jealous that I already have mine and he and his children were over here the other day, fiddling around on mine.
Also, one of my best friends from college, whom I see very year for a friendly Pool Championship of the World, emailed me to say that he also has one of the little machines and thinks I should have been more technical in my article. (He’s a geek). A college professor who used to live in my city and who used to work at a newspaper where I also once worked emailed me, too. One woman wanted some technical advice (as if I could help — hey, I’m a writer!).
Anyway, the second article runs, and my neighbor and I get an email from yet another person in our part of the town who also has an XO and who walks her dog along our street at times. So we are making plans to start up an a little XO club in the coming weeks. Pretty nifty how connections can be formed. It makes me wonder how many people in my city of Northampton have an XO and it demonstrates a few weaknesses of the XO program.
The OLPC organization should:
- find a way to allow folks in similar geographic areas to connect
- tag the second computer (it was give one, get one) so that the donor knows which country it is going to
- do a better job with customer service (my neighbor is being patient but is frustrated with the delivery network)
Peace (in XOs),