The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative on Monday kicked off its short-term "give one, get one" project that will send one computer to the purchaser and a second to a child in a developing nation.
The initiative started at 6 a.m. EST Monday and will last for 15 days. Those who donate $399 to the laptop project will receive a laptop of their own and a second will be sent to a child in need. Participants in the United States will also receive one-year free access to T-Mobiles HotSpot Broadband Internet service.
OLPC said it will make "every effort" to deliver the laptops by the holiday season, but cannot make any guarantees. "Early purchasers have the best chance of receiving their XO laptops in time for the holidays," the group said.
OLPC is the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte, founding director of the MIT Media Laboratory. The initiative, which provides fully loaded laptops to school children for $200, kicked off in 2005 at the World Economic Forum with partners like AMD, Google, Brightstar and Red Hat.
Quanta Computer agreed in December 2005 to produce the machines. Several versions have since rolled off the assembly line, with the final beta version debuting in July 2007. Mass production of laptops started this week in Quantas new factory in Changshu, China, according to OLPC.
The project has received safety certification from several countries and can now ship legally in the U.S., Canada, Uruguay, Peru and elsewhere. Approval from the European Union is expected in "approximately a week," OLPC said.