20 February 2013

I got a new Samsung Galaxy Note today. I upgraded from a Blackberry, which is a little like going from a horse and buggy to a car. I’m quite sure I was the last living person with a non-company-mandated Blackberry.  When I was growing up in the south, if we really wanted to brag about some machine’s capabilities, we’d say, “It does everything but whistle Dixie.”  Here’s the thing, I’m quite sure that my new Note would whistle Dixie if I could just figure out the right keys to punch. 

This is not meant to sound like a Samsung endorsement, I just didn’t know how to explain the quantum leap without actually mentioning product names. The switch made me think about technology and the information it brings to our fingertips. Even with my Blackberry, I had access to so much information. It felt like I was carrying the whole word in my pocket.

One of my favorite charities that I learned about years ago, maybe through a story on “60 Minutes,” is called One Laptop Per Child. Started by the MIT Media Lab faculty, OLPC’s goal is to provide every child with a low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. The company designed its own hardware and software. It’s called the XO and the company distributes them to entire schools in third world countries.  As they say, “we make a small computer to serve a big cause.” 

As of 2011, according to its website, One Laptop has distributed more than 2 million laptops. This is truly the case of a very small group of people taking an idea and changing the world. Remarkable.

51 down, 314 to go.

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