Surely I must be joking. But you better trust me, because this one’s from MIT. They are launching the prototype in November, and the real thing late next year. Wonder what Mr. Gates feels about this new development, for this is a Linux PC!
The 500MHz laptop will run a “skinny version” of the open-source Linux operating system. It will have a two-mode screen, so it can be viewed in color and then by pushing a button or activating software switch to a black-and-white display, which can be viewed in bright sunlight at four times normal resolution, according to Negroponte [Nicholas Negroponte is Chairman, MIT Media Labs, which is behind this project]. He estimates the display will cost around $35.The laptop can be powered either with an AC adapter or via a wind-up crank, which is stored in the housing of the laptop where the hinge is located. The laptops will have a 10 to 1 crank rate, so that a child will crank the handle for one minute to get 10 minutes of power and use. When closed, the hinge forms a handle and the AC cord can function as a carrying strap, according to Negroponte. The laptops will be ruggedized and probably made of rubber, he said. They will have four USB ports, be Wi-Fi- and cell phone enabled and come with 1GB of memory.
The article opines that Brazil, China, and a few other developing countries would form the initial market for this product. Further it quotes Negroponte: “$100 is still too expensive.”
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