Thursday, September 29, 2005

US$100 Laptops? Why not?

An MIT researcher, Nicholas Negroponte, is working to develop a $100 laptop [via Mom] with a pared-down Linux operating system, weatherproof case and hand-crank to supplement power. The intent is to spread information access and literacy to the underprivileged children of the world, but I suspect -- no, I guarantee -- that the rest of us will benefit as well.

As he notes, a huge portion of the "cost" of a computer in the industrialized world is in advertising and software licenses: strip those out, and make the hardware solid, and you've got a beautiful, cheap, reliable machine that costs less than a year's supply of textbooks. Existing education budgets, even in low income countries, could afford these in large numbers, and corporate sponsorship (which has been essential in the development phase, much to their credit) and developmental aid will certainly pick up some costs as well.

The world is changing...


bill said...

It's a bit dated by now, but also see The First 20 Million is the Hardest by Po Bronson.

Ahistoricality said...

Looks interesting, thanks.

If there were no slippage between great ideas and making money, I'd be a millionaire myself!