Update: Wired 14.08: The Laptop Crusade

Klaus D. Witzel klaus.witzel at cobss.com
Thu Aug 10 05:55:16 UTC 2006

About the 100$ laptop (not much about software, still in the hw design  

quote "In January 2005 MIT Media Lab cofounder Nicholas Negroponte  
unveiled the One Laptop Per Child project, an initiative to design and  
distribute an ultracheap, lightweight, and intuitive portable PC to poor  
children throughout the world, at the World Economic Forum. The project  
called for a highly ruggedized machine equipped with radio antennas for  
networking in the absence of satellites or towers; a dual-mode display  
that shifts to monochrome in bright light; and a way for generating power  
that facilitates indefinite operation without an electrical outlet. Among  
those invited to design the laptop was fuseproject owner Yves Behar, who  
suggested a compact and sealable form factor that, in his words,  
"shouldn't look like something for business that's been colored for kids."  
An earlier version of the laptop featured a handcrank to generate power,  
but this was eliminated after it was determined that gripping the crank  
with one hand and the laptop with the other would cause the machine to  
shake, placing excessive strain on the hardware. The latest version of the  
laptop, priced at about $140, features a kid-friendly design and colors  
that deter theft; a hollow handle that holds a shoulder strap; built-in  
VoIP and Skype; 802.11b/g antennas with a range of half a mile; custom  
batteries with a five-year lifespan; LEDs in place of a fluorescent  
backlight; a rubberized plastic shell to absorb shocks; 512 MB of flash  
memory and 200 GB of storage through a mesh-networked server; a 366 MHz  
processor and 128 MB of RAM; a bare-bones version of Redhat Linux; a  
seamless touchpad that allows handwriting and drawing; and the ability to  
swivel to ebook mode. Behar designed every laptop component to be  
multifunctional: For instance, the computer's antennas are movable "ears"  
that can swivel down to shield the laptop's ports.
" unquote.

- http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/laptop.html


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