Thanksgiving GoGo, share your geekness


So one of many things I’m feeling thankful for on this Thanksgiving day (here in the states) is the computer and Internet technology I’m still fascinated by, and which is crucial to the way I enjoyably make my living. So I decided to participate in the One Laptop Per Child GoGo program. GoGo stands for “Give one, Get one” and means my $400 will get a nifty seeming XO laptop (Pogue take here) given to a child in the third world, plus one sent here to Panbo World Headquarters. Who knows, maybe some of the component technology—like the small but high res and inexpensive sunlight viewable display—will be useful on boats. Plus I’ve got a geekish little nephew who may soon be ready for his first computer. Maybe you too should GoGo?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

6 Responses

  1. Richard says:

    So, you say that $400 buys two laptops with sunlight readable displays? And I believe, according to the PBS documentary on this subject, these machines are water resistant as well.
    Tell me than, why are sunlight readable, VGA 12.1″ computer screens for mounting at the helm $3500? This is just the display for hooking up to a laptop not a chartplotter. I have heard all the industry excusses for the outragious price of a bright, water resistant, computer screen, but never believed a word of it. If Garmin, Furnuo, Simrad and others can make a complete radar/chartplotter screen with a load of features for $3500 why can’t I buy a single featureless screen for just $400?

  2. Eliboat says:

    Uh oh…here we go with it again. I actually agree with you Richard, but so long as the market can bear the current kind of upcharge, the prices will remain high. Ben, do keep us aprised of how capable this thing is once you get it.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Richard, Actually you can buy a 15″ waterproof Argonaut cockpit screen for $1,000, but I don’t think it’s quite as bright as the more expensive ones:
    And I don’t get your logic with the Garmin, Furuno, etc. 12″ displays. A very large part of their cost is the screen and waterproof housing, and they have a volumn advantage over the monitor makers.
    At for the XO, its screen is much smaller and only greyscale when in sunlight mode. Whole different animal. Which, Eli, I certainly will report about here.

  4. Brian Lane says:

    Under daylight conditions the display is not in color, it is more of a b&w or grayscale. Jesse Keating from RedHat brought one to LinuxFest Northwest 2007 and I got to see it in action.
    You can see some of my pics of it on my gallery page

  5. miltbaker says:

    For a meticulously researched and exceedingly well written sitrep on Nicholas Negroponte’s idea of getting $100 laptops into the hands of 150 million of the world’s poorest schoolchildren, read the front-page story in the Nov. 24-25 (weekend) Wall Street Journal: A Little Laptop With Big Ambitions: How a Computer for the Poor Got Stomped by Tech Giants. The headline tells it all, with Microsoft and Intel coming off as the bad guys when you read the story. Makes me want to sell the little bit of Microsoft and Intel stock I own, but it’s a good lesson in how these guys dominate the computer world.
    –Milt Baker

  6. George says:

    Reading the article proves that Microsoft and Intel cannot win no matter what they do. It really is a good thing that Intel is coming up with an inexpensive laptop for the developing world, and it is a good thing that Microsoft is finally coming up with some affordable software.
    There is a group of people in the software industry who believe that charging anything for your product is evil. They have successfully gotten this message to the media. How they expect programmers who don’t work for the government to pay their mortgages is something that they have yet to explain.

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