01 October 2005

1/10/05. MIT unveils wind-up $100 laptop

MIT unveils wind-up $100 laptop

Friday, September 30, 2005 Posted: 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (AP) -- Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are designing a durable laptop computer that will cost about $100.

MIT Media Lab leader Nicholas Negroponte hopes to give the machines, which would be durable, flexible and self-reliant, to needy children around the world.

The machine's A-C adapter would double as a carrying strap, and a hand crank would power them when there's no electricity. They'd be foldable into more positions than traditional notebook PCs, and carried like slim lunchboxes.

For outdoor reading, their display would be able to shift from full color to glare-resistant black and white.

And surrounding it all, the laptops would have a rubber casing that closes tightly, because "they have to be absolutely indestructible," said Negroponte.

Negroponte hatched the $100 laptop idea after seeing children in a Cambodian village benefit from having notebook computers at school that they could also take home to use on their own.

Those computers had been donated by a foundation run by Negroponte and his wife. He decided that for kids everywhere to benefit from the educational and communications powers of the Internet, someone would have to make laptops inexpensive enough for officials in developing countries to bulk purchase.

Within a year, Negroponte expects his nonprofit One Laptop Per Child to get 5 million to 15 million of the machines in production, when children in Brazil, China, Egypt, Thailand, South Africa are due to begin getting them.

In the second year -- when Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney hopes to start buying them for all 500,000 middle and high-school students in this state -- Negroponte envisions 100 million to 150 million being made. (He boasts that these humble $100 notebooks would surpass the world's existing annual production of laptops, which is about 50 million.)

While a prototype isn't expected to be shown off until November, Negroponte unveiled blueprints at Technology Review magazine's Emerging Technologies conference at MIT.

Among the key specs: A 500-megahertz processor (that was fast in the 1990s but slow by today's standards) by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and flash memory instead of a hard drive with moving parts. To save on software costs, the laptops would run the freely available Linux operating system instead of Windows.

The computers would be able to connect to Wi-Fi wireless networks and be part of "mesh" networks in which each laptop would relay data to and from other devices, reducing the need for expensive base stations. Plans call for the machines to have four USB ports for multimedia and data storage.

Perhaps the defining difference is the hand crank, though first-generation users would get no more than 10 minutes of juice from one minute of winding.

This certainly wouldn't be the first effort to bridge the world's so-called digital divide with inexpensive versions of fancy machinery. Other attempts have had a mixed record.

With those in mind, Negroponte says his team is addressing ways this project could be undermined.

For example, to keep the $100 laptops from being widely stolen or sold off in poor countries, he expects to make them so pervasive in schools and so distinctive in design that it would be "socially a stigma to be carrying one if you are not a student or a teacher."

And unlike the classic computing model in which successive generations of devices get more gadgetry at the same price, Negroponte said his group expects to do the reverse. With such tweaks as "electronic ink" displays that will require virtually no power, the MIT team expects to constantly lower the cost.

After all, in much of the world, Negroponte said, even $100 "is still too expensive."

12 Comments:

Blogger TS said...

Nice Blog!!!   I thought I'd tell you about a site that will let give you places where
you can make extra cash! I made over $800 last month. Not bad for not doing much. Just put in your
zip code and up will pop up a list of places that are available. I live in a small area and found quite
a few. MAKE MONEY NOW

02 October, 2005 18:45  
Blogger jon said...

After we paid for our kids summer camp maine we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

03 October, 2005 01:07  
Blogger Admin said...

Wow, what a great site. I will bookmark this site and return often. It's nice to see sites like this.

Please visit my website and let me know what you think. Disney World

03 October, 2005 15:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

northern california home builder
Information => northern california home builder

04 October, 2005 04:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, I added you to my favorites.
If you are interested in home business scams
, I have a home business scams
site.
Feel free to drop by and tell me what you think.

04 October, 2005 18:59  
Blogger Get-A-Free-House said...

How Would You Like To Know How YOU Can Live In A Beautiful NEW House That Is Custom-Designed To YOUR Specifications.........And At NO COST To You?

You CAN Do It. And It's Not Hard To Do.... IF You Know HOW.

Don't Let This Pass You By Without At Least Taking A Look.

The Only Catch Is That You HAVE To Have An Income ABOVE $21,000...... And......You HAVE To Follow The Easy Instructions Provided To You.

Get-A-Free-House.com

05 October, 2005 01:00  
Blogger Admin said...

Wow, what a great site. I will bookmark this site and return often. It's nice to see sites like this.

Please visit my website and let me know what you think. Disney World Tickets

05 October, 2005 23:39  
Blogger cash at home said...

Hello, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a email advertising software site. It pretty much covers email advertising software related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)

06 October, 2005 22:54  
Blogger Tom Naka said...

I've stumbled across your blog when I done some health insurance short term texas
research in Google. You're doing a pretty nice job
here, keep up the good work! check out health insurance short term texas

08 October, 2005 08:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##KEYWORD## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##KEYWORD## errors and related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

13 October, 2005 00:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dicecities.net
Large selection of Websites for sale, starting as low as $19.99 come by and check it out.

14 October, 2005 04:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Find solutions to common computer errors and problems.
www.PCAnsers.us

15 October, 2005 06:58  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home