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  • $150 computer with hand crank batteries

    Here are a few links to this story about the XO Computer:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/technolog...500038360.html
    http://inhabitat.com/2006/12/20/fuse...ing-xo-laptop/
    http://www.hemscott.com/news/latest-...38287486382922

    Here are the contents of the last link, which just shows the specs of the box:

    (AFX) - The XO computer, developed by the One Laptop Per Child project, is slated to ship to schoolchildren in developing countries in 2007. Hardware specifications are not final.

    A look at the current specs:

    Size: Comparable to a big textbook, at roughly 8 inches by 9 inches by 2.5 inches and approximately 4 pounds. The case closes tightly to guard against dust and water and the keyboard is under a sealed rubber membrane.
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    Central processing unit: An Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Geode GX, a low-power chip with a clock speed of 366 megahertz.

    Memory: 128 megabytes of system memory and 512 megabytes of flash-based data storage. Three USB 2.0 ports allow for additional storage or other peripherals to be plugged in.

    Display: A rotating, 7.5-inch liquid-crystal display that can toggle between standard color and a reflective monochrome. Resolution is 1200 pixels by 900 pixels and 200 dots per inch.

    Power: Has an AC adapter and a rechargeable battery as well as mechanical power via a hand-pull system like a lawnmower starter. Project designers expect to deliver about 10 minutes of power for every one minute of yanking.
    They are supposed to go out to developing countries, but I would love to get my hands on one. They would be the perfect thing to keep stashed away to bring out at that crucial time when you _need_ computer communications but would not otherwise be able to (because of batteries or leaving home without your laptop, etc).

    Has anyone seen one? It is a shame that such a computer is never made available to folks in the US. I can see a LOT of people wanting one, although I suppose there would be lots of complainers about it, creating hassles for the company. Even though the proc is pretty low powered, you really don't need 3.1Ghz of power to run word or a browser. Converge would sport one at Defcon, if we were able to get our hands one.

    Do you need much more than a browser, word processor, wifi and ssh? I just *love* that the battery can be human powered, even if it's a lot of yanking for computer time (is your battery low, or are you just happy to see me?) Water and dust resistant too... could be awesome for a car kit or go bag.

  • #2
    Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

    I am excited about this, for some reason. Wouldn't it be the PERFECT warrior box, .. hacked firmware/OS to dropped console would allow for maximum usage of the remaining hardware. Solar power and pull crank!! .. Whether lost in the woods or lost in Caesers Palace..

    Of other interesting note, I did a google search for 'XO Computer' and none other than the Sunjournal (Maine hometown newspaper) reports local excitement and possibilities of the unit. Yes, low-no income families and even school districts could use these right here in the states. A while back Maine Governer Angus King was pushing the idea to give laptops to schoolkids. I shot this down as well intentioned but highly stupid. .. but with a functional, rugged, yet cheap unit like this?? .. they should be expecting orders from 3rdworld states within the US. The wealthier states/cities/towns? .. now have an avenue to give ALL their students computing at any age of learning. fuck apple.

    Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the RETARDED TEACHER problem that plagues school systems .. but maybe it would get kids ignoring those faux authority figures at younger ages.
    Last edited by converge; January 7, 2007, 13:17.
    if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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    • #3
      Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

      Ah yes I heard of this about a year ago. I think this would be quite a useful tool and agree completely and totally with converge. Here's a similar link: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/12...=rss_education
      Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit-card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench. (Gene Spafford)

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      • #4
        Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

        • Unique open source operating system
        I like that it means these kids won't be exposed to windows, but it raise the question, how long will it take them to find ebay and sell them?
        Last edited by Rance; January 7, 2007, 15:39.
        There is nothing more dangerous than people with a little knowledge. Which means society is mostly safe.

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        • #5
          Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

          Originally posted by Rance View Post
          I like that it means these kids won't be exposed to windows, but it raise the question, how long will it take them to find ebay and sell them?
          Well, if they try to sell in the US, they may have a tougher sell. While there are lots of people out there who would love one (like converge and myself), many folks will turn their nose up at the 366mhz proc (and it probably performs a bit lower than that because Geode frequently cut their number of pipelines). That will probably help keep the price down.

          If someone does not want their computer, is it so bad to sell it for a couple bucks for someone to whom it is not otherwise available? Assuming that the original recipient was needy, they can now go buy something that is more useful to them.

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          • #6
            Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

            I just picked one up from a Nigerian ebayer.. he says I should have it asap and that he sent it superfast express.

            I could image them being a popular sell.. if I lived in a third world country, I'd much rather have the 150$US (or more pending demand)...
            if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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            • #7
              Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

              They have integrated wifi with a custom TCP/IP stack in a embedded chip. I remember hearing about this in 2004.

              The fact it's a fully functional BUS design powered of a generator is awesome.

              I'd like to know what kind of CPU, and storage it uses, so we can estimate the effort it'll take to port BSD to it. I'm not much of a Linux user. Pen testing it's TCP/IP capability's will be fun too.

              I guess it needs to be mentioned these are gonna be gave to kids in a country infamous for street level rioting, and gunfight. These thing's are gonna be profitable there.

              Also having thousands of mildly illiterate people on the Internet is gonna be interesting. If they form a grid.

              We flame the hell out of our own lower income, and illiterate over the net, and go all out on Europeans. Anyone who denies this please take a frequented form of socializing via the Internet as an example..especially chat services.

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              • #8
                Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                Originally posted by VAX_to_PBX View Post
                I guess it needs to be mentioned these are gonna be gave to kids in a country infamous for street level rioting, and gunfight. These thing's are gonna be profitable there.

                Also having thousands of mildly illiterate people on the Internet is gonna be interesting. If they form a grid.
                First thing that came to mind when I heard about this project is all the grid network spamming and new flavors of internet crime that will be enabled when these laptops hit the streets, add a little third-world micropayments and while the little rugrats are learning how to perfect their 419 pitches in school, their machines will be quietly DDoS'ing the DOD IP space for a few pennies more a day than Sally Struthers can beg off of TV...
                Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

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                • #9
                  Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                  Originally posted by VAX_to_PBX
                  I guess it needs to be mentioned these are gonna be gave to kids in a country infamous for street level rioting, and gunfight.
                  Maybe they should be made bulletproof. But hey maybe the kids will be too busy looking at porn to go out doors and get in riots so, world peace, and I'm going to invest in porno.
                  There is nothing more dangerous than people with a little knowledge. Which means society is mostly safe.

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                  • #10
                    Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                    I'd like to make it clear that I support the development of third world country's. I was stating some thing's that should be considered.

                    What's kind of depressing is for 1/11 of a Bank Of America CEO's annual bonus you could literally develop a whole third world country, and give it a working economy. They probably still have almost all there annual bonus income from the past decade stored in a off shore account. This is why I don't support a cure for cancer, and cybernetic research. Imagine if greedy inconsiderate rich people could be immortal.

                    The Most likely thing to happen to these is they get in the hands of Guerrilla's, and are used for secretive communications over SSH.

                    Pickles will probably inform us when 3rd world themed porn sites start being launched.
                    Last edited by VAX_to_PBX; January 10, 2007, 04:24.

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                    • #11
                      Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                      Originally posted by VAX_to_PBX View Post
                      The Most likely thing to happen to these is they get in the hands of Guerrilla's, and are used for secretive communications over SSH.
                      w00t! take that, war on drugs
                      if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

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                      • #12
                        Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                        Originally posted by VAX_to_PBX View Post
                        What's kind of depressing is for 1/11 of a Bank Of America CEO's annual bonus you could literally develop a whole third world country, and give it a working economy
                        If you think you can "give [a third world country] a working economy," then I have, well, a working economy to sell you. History and modern economic understanding has shown, time and time again, that giving away money won't suddenly make a mass of broke and non-producing people self-sufficient, happy, and productive any more than blowing a country full of craters and bulletholes can make them a stable ally and trading partner.

                        It's just like security - you can't fake it or throw money at it, the solution has to come with deliberate design and sincerity.

                        And for grins, Bank of America Corp. (BAC)'s CEO, Ken Lewis, was compensated with $19,095,484 USD last year (including a measly $5.6m bonus, but let's go with the bigger number - it'll make you look better). A tenth of that is 2 million big ones, which is a lot for a private citizen or small business, but how does it size up with a third world economy?

                        Perhaps Ethiopia will make a good choice - it has an almost 2% HIV/AIDS infection rate, and is basically your textbook third world country. Ethopia's GDP (as estimated by the CIA in 2005) is $8.8b or $65b depending on how you look at it (either from the perspective of their production valued at US prices, or from local valuation converted to US dollars). Your 2 million isn't going to develop the whole country and give them a working economy any more than you can build a 100-room mansion with a nasty old baseball cap and a broken spork.

                        Even Mr. Lewis's $53 million in stock options (as valued in December 2005) won't develop Ethiopia and give them a working economy.

                        Although I do agree that the developing world's problems won't be solved by toy computers either.

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                        • #13
                          Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                          Strange when I was working at there central office in Charlotte last year I seem to remember there being 8 CEO's. There has been at least 5 CEO's for the last 100 years. One of them acquired a $40M bonus in June of 2005.

                          Also have you ever seen what $200K does in a third world country? It does a lot. Please spare us the enlightenment routine.

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                          • #14
                            Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                            On the topic of third world development, this guy's book is a really good read: http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/endofpoverty/

                            db

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                            • #15
                              Re: $150 computer with hand crank batteries

                              I wonder why Negroponte rescinded on the buy two so you can send one to Africa idea. That sounded like a great way to fund the project.
                              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
                              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
                              [ redacted ]

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