The falling of the OLPC

Ivan Krstiic a former programmer in the OLPC project explains his side of the problems OLPC is facing and why he thinks that the project is doomed to fail.

Peru’s first deployment module consisted of 40 thousand laptops, to be deployed in about 570 schools across jungles, mountains, plains, and with total variance in electrical availability and uniformly no existing network infrastructure. A number of the target schools are in places requiring multiple modes of transportation to reach, and that are so remote that they’re not even serviced by the postal service.
Laptop delivery was going to be performed by untrusted vendors who are in a position to steal the machines en masse. There is no easy way to collect manifests of what actually got delivered, where, and to whom. It’s not clear how to establish a procedure for dealing with malfunctioning units, or those dead on arrival.
Compared to dealing with this, the technical work I do is vacation.

Despite my disagreements with his view on Free Software (he thinks that Richard Stallman is kind of a lunatic), despite this, I find his report quite interesting and a good read to get more insight in a project of this scale.



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