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$100 Laptops will Help Educate World’s Children

OhmyNews recently ran a piece entitled:

Argentina Joins MIT’s Low-Cost Laptop Plan: Ministry of Education is ordering between 500,000 to 1 million low-cost computers for young students

The laptops, still in R&D stage, will according to the MIT lab:

“…will be a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. This rugged laptop will be WiFi-enabled and have USB ports galore. …”

The goal is One Laptop per Child. Of course, the impact of this will be amazing. Last summer I was in Ecuador and only two percent of the population is plugged in. What will happen when the poorest of the poor get access to the world’s great books that soon will be scanned online or any information on any topic they want?

The MIT’s FAQ include:

How is it possible to get the cost so low?

First, by dramatically lowering the cost of the display. The first-generation machine will have a novel, dual-mode display that represents improvements to the LCD displays commonly found in inexpensive DVD players. These displays can be used in high-resolution black and white in bright sunlight—all at a cost of approximately $35.
Second, we will get the fat out of the systems. Today’s laptops have become obese. Two-thirds of their software is used to manage the other third, which mostly does the same functions nine different ways.
Third, we will market the laptops in very large numbers (millions), directly to ministries of education, which can distribute them like textbooks.

When do you anticipate these laptops reaching the market?

Our preliminary schedule is to have units ready for shipment by the end of 2006 or early 2007. Manufacturing will begin when 5 to 10 million machines have been ordered and paid for in advance.

One Response to “$100 Laptops will Help Educate World’s Children”

  1. PJNet Today Says:

    Bill Gates: Poor Could Use Cell Phone as Computer

    Not long ago we reported on the manufacture of $100 computers to serve poor children around the world. Apparently Bill Gates is miffed that open source software will be used rather than Microsoft. So he is touting the use of…

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