One Laptop Per Child

I was blown away by the efforts of the One Laptop Per Child initiative, after first seeing this incredibly touching and inspiring video of Abel, a young Peruvian.

This clip was featured in Ridley Scott’s YouTube feature film, “Life in a Day”. The moment when he excitedly pulls out his laptop was one of the most unexpected and beautiful moments of the entire film. The OLPC organization bundles together a large amount of my interests all in one place: education, technology, art, science and philanthropy… so it seemed like a very natural fit to volunteer my time to this wonderful organization and to support the noble work they do in developing nations.

The XO Laptop

Here’s a picture of OLPC’s “XO” laptop, which is deployed in many countries around the world. An impressive amount of work went into this design, running on low amounts of power, and with options like solar and hand-crank charging for developing nations without reliable electricity. Parts (such as the keyboard) have been designed to be easily removable and replaceable. These are pretty sweet.



I am currently working on an application the XO Laptop. Apps on the XO are called “Activities”. I’m working on an activity which will allow children around the world to take video clips created with the built-in front-facing camera on the XO, and edit together these clips into short movies.

Activities for the XO are coded in Python to run on the Sugar operating system, which is built on top of Fedora Core Linux. Excitingly, I do this exact thing -- write Python code on Linux -- for a living! So this really seemed like the perfect volunteer organization for me to work with.

XOFilmmaker Poster

XOFilmmaker is coming along well! I will update this site with download information for it when work on it is complete. I have received some excited emails from both OLPC Canada and Peru, where teachers are excited to encourage their students to be creative with it. When it’s complete, I look forward to getting it out into the wide world.

When I was young, early access to computers and movies forged a deep desire in my mind to follow my career path into computer graphics. I’m hoping that by having this app, a similar kid halfway around the world might have a new opportunity to dream big. :)

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