The first images of Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) $100 laptop have started appearing on the web, as the first working prototypes of the device were unveiled at a Seven Countries Task Force meeting.
The images show just how far the OLPC initiative has come, although the new name of the initiative, changed from the $100 laptop project, now suggests that the device will cost more than originally planned.
"The first 15 A-Test boards were successfully assembled and tested, and are en route to OLPC's facility in Cambridge. Some 500 developer boards are being assembled in Shanghai and will be shipped as they are tested," the OLPC developers stated on their website.
"Several enhancements have been made to these boards to make them more 'developer friendly', including the elimination of all known errata, the addition of a reset switch, the inclusion of stand-offs for electrostatic discharge prevention, and individual packaging for simplified distribution.
"Wide-scale distribution of the developer boards is expected by mid-June."
The team has also been tweaking the Fedora distribution of Linux that runs on the device.
"The distribution continues to get smaller, and is now down to about 250MB uncompressed (from 400MB last week). With Journalling Flash File System 2 compression, we can expect this to go down another 50 per cent," the organisation said.
"Good progress has been made on mount times of the file system, which started at 20 seconds and has now dropped to about 10 seconds."
Mass production of the laptop is expected to begin in early 2007.
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