It has been in many ways a tough year for the One Laptop Per Child project. Several of the original team that made the XO laptop possible left the organization, a new chief operating officer and president, Charles Kane, was brought in, some orders by some countries never went through and (worst of all, to some people) the OLPC agreed to run Windows on the XO.
But whatever one thinks of the OLPC or some of the personalities involved in it, its goals still remain laudable, and even a year after its launch the XO laptop is still one of the most interesting pieces of computing equipment available today.
Just like 2007 during the holidays, the OLPC is once again running its "Give One, Get One" promotion, where you pay $399 to buy an XO laptop for yourself and simultaneously provide another XO to a child in a developing country. However, last year's promotion had some problems of its own and some people waited months to receive their XOs.
Some who have seen images and discussions about the forthcoming XO 2.0, with its compelling convertible slate form factor, may decide to wait, though this laptop may not be available until late 2010.
So anyone who is interested in getting their hands on a unique piece of computing hardware, one that is super-thrifty with power and has a screen that can be viewed in direct sunlight, can order an XO for the holidays. And in the process, you'll be making life a little bit better for a child somewhere in the world.