I was in Miami last week for Art Basel, and it was an odd coincidence that I had just purchased five of Nicholas Negroponte’s new XO computers and ended up at a party at Luminaire celebrating the XO. If you haven’t purchased an XO yet, don’t worry, as there’s still time left before December 31 to participate in the Give One, Get One program. Your $400 purchases one machine for a child in a developing nation, and it also buys you an XO for yourself.
These machines don’t run Microsoft Word and the Adobe suite of products, but they do run a fluent Web browser. And the machine has a wonderful key that, when pressed, “calls out” to other XO units in its vicinity to create a map of the literal local network that surrounds it. The little rabbit ears on the two sides of the screen form a wireless mesh network with other XO units, so if a single XO has Internet and the rest don’t, the single connection is shared by all.
In the distant past, I recall seeing many new computer launches, like those for the Commodore Amiga, the NeXT Cube, and the BeBox, but in recent times it is rare to come across a totally new platform like the XO. The price is right, so I recommend that you buy one while you still have a chance to do so.