No longer excited about OLPC

I eagerly ordered one of the One Laptop Per Child laptops in late November. While the unit looks really novel and many features (daylight readable screen, long battery life, swivel to e-book reader screen) make me drool, I’m a lot less enchanted this week.

For starters, my November order still hasn’t arrived. After spending 55 minutes on hold last week, I was told that the reason for the delay was that I listed a post office box for an address (it had to match my credit card) and that they weren’t equipped for that until just a few weeks ago. But after reviewing my bank statements, it appears they refunded the donation back in December. Why are they still shipping it if it isn’t paid for?

I have had the opportunity to see a few units from friends, and while they are all very impressed with the unit, I’ve been underwhelmed by the speed. It seems like you spend a lot of time waiting. It frequently runs so slow that they just reboot it. Granted, my friends mostly try to stretch the limit on hardware, but I have yet to see it load anything quickly, even the bundled applications.

The feature that really made the deal worth it was the free year of T-mobile HotSpot service. I already buy that service, so the laptop was just a few bucks more. But this week, Starbucks announced that they will switch to AT&T (which I think will provide crappier service), so the T-mobile service looks less appealing.

For a company backed by so many tech people, their web site can’t tell you if your order shipped or not. Right now, after entering my tracking number, it says “Your donation is ready to be shipped and is in our shipping queue. Please check back with us every few days for updates If you have received this same response after several days (2 weeks or more) please contact Donor Services to verify your shipping information.” Why it would still say it is shipping to me when they refunded my money is beyond me.

So, I really don’t know if I’m getting one or not… but I this point, I kind of don’t care anymore. If it arrives, I’m sure it will be useful at Burning Man. If not, it’s $400 towards my next iBook.

Anyway, this is why I was excited about it several months ago, but am not talking about it anymore these days.

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2012 -1354585408