As technology becomes more integrated into our lives, the “artificial intelligentsia” of the First World flourish while much of the rest of the world languishes in an information void. The One Laptop Per Child project aims to change that. The OLPC mission is to build a sub-$100 laptop designed with children in mind, and to get it into the hands of children in developing countries. The OLPC is a reality, and beta versions are already in the hands of children in launch countries.

The OLPC uses free software and innovative technology to meet the needs of children in developing countries. For example, each laptop serves as a wireless router for other laptops, so that a village needs only one internet connection. The mesh network created by the laptops does the rest of the job. The laptops use very little power, and can be recharged with a hand crank, foot pedal, or pull cord. They are designed for ruggedness and long life, with no rotating media (hard disk drives) to break down.

The OLPC project is a crucial step in ensuring that information is accessible to everyone. If your budget allows it, consider donating to the OLPC project this year.