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Melbourne based web specialist Stateless Systems has promised to pay for just over 2,000 XO 1.5 laptops which will be distributed to children in the Northern Territory by the One Laptop Per Child organisation.

While the company didn't want to say exactly how many dollars it had ponied up for the deal, OLPC's  Executive Director, Rangan Srikhanta today said the machines were worth around $240 each, suggesting Stateless systems' contribution could have been as high as $480,000.

OLPC has been working on a plan with the NT Department of Education and Training to roll out 2,500 computers to 45 schools in the territory with the Department and individual schools. This latest donation will help pay for some of those machines, and in addition the NT DET and schools receiving the machines will each pay $65 per machine which will also help  pay for support and training.

The first 45 XO 1.5 machines will be shipped to Darwin next week, and handed to teachers from schools across the region, according to Srikhanta. These teachers will then take part in training courses, to be ready for the rollout of the laptops to students, expected to start in late July.

Stateless Systems' operations manager Jo Kirk said that 'We decided that if we ever did make some money we would give some back.'  She said that OLPC was a good fit for the organisation as it was 'taking technology to children who don't otherwise have access.'

The company is the first corporate donor for the OLPC scheme, apart from its sponsors the Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and News Ltd.

 

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Beverley Head

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Beverley Head is a Sydney-based freelance writer who specialises in exploring how and why technology changes everything - society, business, government, education, health. Beverley started writing about the business of technology in London in 1983 before moving to Australia in 1986. She was the technology editor of the Financial Review for almost a decade, and then became the newspaper's features editor before embarking on a freelance career, during which time she has written on a broad array of technology related topics for the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Boss, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, Insite and Government Technology Review. Beverley holds a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University and a deep affection for things which are shaken not stirred.

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