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First Look at MIT’s $100 Laptop

MIT $100 Laptop

The world got it’s first real look at the working prototype for the much hyped $100 laptop today – and it looks decent.

The device is the brainchild of researchers at MIT as the cornerstone of the new non-profit organization called “One Laptop Per Child.”  OLPC’s mission is to bring inexpensive computers to children in developing countries.

For those of you interested in the specs on a  $100 laptop, OLPC writes:

“The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display—both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3× the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data.”

Unfortunately, the laptop will not be available to the general public. It will be distributed directly to schools via large government initatives.

As you might imagine, large software / hardware companies have had a lot to say on the $100 laptop project – some have viewed it as a means to gain market dominance in developing countries. Here are some examples:

Steve Jobs offers OSX Free of Charge to $100 Laptop Effort 

Intel Chairman on the $100 Laptop: The Poor Want “Real” Computers.

via Boing Boing 

Posted by Sean

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