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  • "$100 laptop" hits $200

    Full article
    BOSTON (Reuters) - A computer developed for poor children around the world, dubbed "the $100 laptop," has reached a milestone: Its price tag is now $200.

    The One Laptop per Child Foundation, founded by MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte, has started offering the lime-green-and-white machines in lots of 10,000 for $200 apiece on its Web site (http://laptopfoundation.org/participate/givemany.shtml).

    Two weeks ago, a foundation executive confirmed recent estimates that the computer would cost $188, which was already higher than the $150 price tag in February and $176 in April.

    The laptops are scheduled to go into production next month at a factory in China, far behind their original schedule and in quantities that are a fraction of Negroponte's earlier projections.

    ...
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

  • #2
    Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

    Will the laptops be the leaded or unleaded kind? :)

    xor
    Last edited by xor; October 30, 2007, 18:08.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

      Just goes to show you how the mighty dollar has fallen.
      DaKahuna
      ___________________
      Will Hack for Bandwidth

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

        Originally posted by xor View Post
        Will the laptops be the leaded or unleaded kind? :)

        xor
        Laptops with lead, making you smarter and dumber at the same time :)
        Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

          The SANS NewsBites newsletter reported this little tidbit this AM:

          --Microsoft Angles to Get Windows on XO Laptops (October 25, 2007) Microsoft is spending a significant amount of money to adapt a version of Windows XP to make it compatible with the One Laptop per Child Foundation's inexpensive XO laptops. The laptops, which will cost less than US $200 each in developing countries, currently run on a Linux operating system.
          Full article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071026/...t_laptops_dc_3
          Thorn
          "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

            If Microsoft doesn't do that, 20-40% of the world will grow up with Linux! xD
            - Member of DCG 31022 -

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

              There is also a famous Taiwanese constructor who announced an UMPC starting at 199$. It's also a Linux box with a solid state disk instead of hd.
              It seems to be sufficient for the most common usage.
              Unfortunately, we (in Europe) are the latest to get access to that nice stuff (as usual.)
              I think it might be a good alternative to the "One laptop per child" project.
              -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
              Version: 3.1
              GO/RE d- s++:++ a- C++ ULU L+++ P> E- W+++ w--- PS+++ PE-- Y+ PGP+ R+ tv+ b+ D G e++ h r++ y+*
              ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                I have three of these laptops on the way. 21 hour battery life, daylight readable, cow powered... I hope to bring them to DC16.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                  Have you seen the tiny keyboards on these things? For $200 they should throw in an extra set of tiny fingers for the occasional poor gravity challenged kid. Guess typing skills "won't" be one of the things these kids ever learn. Check out how baby fingers size up to one of these cutzie gems:

                  http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/D20D...chp_laptop.jpg
                  Last edited by Greyhatter; January 4, 2008, 12:22.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                    For the price and size, I prefer the ASUS EEE.
                    DaKahuna
                    ___________________
                    Will Hack for Bandwidth

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                      I used to have a Sony U-1. This will be fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                        Complete with keyboard stylus for the "heafty kid"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                          Originally posted by Greyhatter View Post
                          Complete with keyboard stylus for the "heafty kid"?
                          Correction... A PC keyboard stylus for the "many" obese US kids.

                          http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,14...l?tk=nl_dnxnws

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                            Originally posted by Greyhatter View Post
                            Complete with keyboard stylus for the "heafty kid"?
                            Correction... A PC keyboard stylus for the "many" impoverished obese US kids:

                            http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,14...l?tk=nl_dnxnws

                            http://www.reuters.com/article/healt...30531820070925

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: "$100 laptop" hits $200

                              100 years ago kids played with Lincoln Logs. Today it's Linux Logs.

                              I had the pleasure on Monday of receiving the OLPC G1G1 XO Laptop. The deal here is that if you buy one to donate to a poor child, you also get one (which you pay for) and T-mobile gives you a year of free hot-spot access. So for your payment of $423, the $199 laptop goes to a child, you get the tax deduction, an identical laptop, and $300 worth of hot spot access. Sounds like a good deal to me. It sure beats buying on Ebay for $600 like some folks are doing! I had no idea what to expect. Well I had my ideas but with something like this you are bound to be surprised.

                              Only one week earlier I received my new Dell XPS M1530 laptop. The latest and greatest, not to mention pretty awesome with its wi-fi, web-cam, high quality sound, 320GB hard drive and many other features a geek would love to have.

                              Anyway the box for the XO seemed rather small, but with its eggshell style cardboard packaging, it was well protected. You gotta hand it to the engineers who can design padding for deliveries around the world. I still remember when things were packed in sawdust.

                              Yes, around the world. This is the first reported XO in Tajikistan. I took it to the USAID Directory at the US Embassy, Carolyn Bryan. I have more on her opinion at the end of the unit's examination.

                              First thing I noticed is the color of the power cord. It's green! And I'm not just talking green, but a real bright green that a child may pick to drawn morning grass. It makes me wish other manufacturers got more creative than gray or black. The power adapter is of quality too. It has the little break-away look like on a Mac, where a small coil of the cord wraps on itself for a safety measure. The end of the power cord by the adapter itself is reinforced so as to not tear or bend if pulled. Granted it is made in China, but isn't everything nowadays? Seeing a nice adapter like that, which may go for $29 alone, gave hope that the unit is tough enough and resilient enough to live in the fields of poor continents.

                              Right on top of the packaging are the directions, which I promptly toss aside. The laptop is in a small plastic bag, measuring about 12 inches square. Removing the unit from the box, it felt like I was lifting an old family Bible. You can feel the workmanship, it is not loose or flimsy, it has a good build to it, and the weight is enough to let you know you have quality without burdening you down.

                              The handle grip is large enough for an adult to carry comfortably. Smaller openings adjacent to the grip cry out for a lanyard, or fingers so you can twirl it like an old sixgun. The entire surface has raised dimples which make you want to roll a golf ball across it to see what will happen. The color combination says that this is a child's item, but the lines draw you in to seek out more details.

                              Without moving anything, one can see references to computers on the unit. The top has a wi-fi signal lamp, a power light, and a battery light. I take it the 4th symbol is am access light. Like I said, I have not read the directions. The side shows a power adapter plug, and it appears to be the type you can get from about anywhere. The battery on the bottom has two locking switches. One is a sliding lock that actually locks the unit, the second switch is a momentary sliding switch that must be held while the battery is removed.

                              To open the unit, you first raise the wi-fi ears. Rotating these towards you does a few things. First, it unlocks the screen portion from the computer portion. It also exposes more ports. Under the left ear is a USB port and audio mic and earphone jacks. Under the right ear are two USB ports. The are at right angles to one another which is nice in case you get two fat plugs to use at the same time.

                              Raising the screen, it reminds me of the laptops from 20 years ago. Kind of clunky and bare, yet easy to identify and adapt to. My eyes jumped all over the unit to attempt to identify the different buttons and switches. Starting from the top going down, I quickly noticed the video camera. On the screen opposite the camera is the microphone. Below that are speakers. We have stereo! Below the speakers on the left we have a four-position rocker switch, and on the right we have four buttons with somewhat familiar markings. Turns out this is a game pad and the square, circle, check, and X all mean something. I guess I am officially old now. And at the very bottom of the monitor is the power button on the right and a screen rotate button on the left.

                              The entire screen is affixed to a center post which allows the screen to rotate 180- degrees in either direction. But if you rotate the screen to your right 90 degrees and turn the unit over, you can see an SD card input slot on the bottom side of the screen. In any other position the access to the card is restricted so it will not fall out or get lost. Nice.

                              Rotate the screen 180 degrees and lay it down and viola, you have a tablet PC! This is the first tablet PC I ever owned. And I really like the fact that I can decide which was it up with a single press of a button.

                              The keyboard reminds me of the squishy roll-up ones that you can buy. For those of you who know how to type, you are going to hate it. To get an idea of how crowded the keyboard is, raise your fingers up and press them together around your thumb in a semi-circle, and hold it there. Now remove your thumb. This is how tight your fingers need to be to type on it. But for those of you like me that type with three fingers and just learned to add a thumb to hit the space bar now and again, you will be fine.

                              The keyboard has some proprietary keys that are proving to be very interesting. But their use is best explained by looking at the software.

                              I was told to press the right gaming button and the power button at the same time. I did so, and the screen told me to release the gaming button. I was then give a game of pong from the 1970s! I cannot tell you how many quarters my Dad spent on playing Pong with me at Alpine Village. Each game pad controls the player on each side.

                              Well now I wanted to see what else there was, so let's start at the top left of the keyboard. I see a X. Maybe this is escape. As pong has ended I press the button only to relive my PC Tools days. It's a disk table, by blocks, and shows the bad blocks and how much of the disk is used. Can a Mac or a PC give you that data in 5 seconds after turning it on? I press the X one more time and get the boot screen and a small animation to show me how far along the boot up process is. I'm liking this little guy!

                              Now I already set up the unit before with my name, so I have the normal screen. I guess you can read about it online from folks who write better than I do, but let me just say that the coders really did some nice things. Four circles at the top of the screen represent Neighborhood, Group, Home, and Activity. The best equivalent would be that Neighborhood is Network. It displays the wireless availabilities in your area. I see five signals out there while my Dell sees only two. It looks like Group will give me my connections to other computers, though I have none now. Home is my desktop, and Activity is any program that I am currently running or ran recently. These are all selectable by keys or the icon on the screen.

                              Now the mousepad was driving me up the wall so in frustration I plugged in a Logitech wireless mouse adapter. I no sooner grabbed the mouse and it was working! Hey this is nice. The display does a nice job of showing me what programs are running.

                              The photos taken by the unit are better than cell phone cameras, but just that. Only one step better. The video is terrible, it reminds me of artifacting you find in jpgs that have circulated for years. I would only use the video to show someone something obvious, like an elephant falling over. Anything else will not be very discernable. I have not tried the audio.

                              If you ever surf to too many programs or get stuck, just press the home button.

                              Now I admit I am very impressed by the word processor. Plenty of fonts, sizes, colors and effects to choose from. I would have no issues taking notes on this little guy. Save the data to a flash drive and take it to your fancy shmancy machine. No one will know.

                              The calculator is easy to read and displays the functions you use on the screen like a tape on a calculator with a printer. Look back to see an error you may have made, or see how a certain number was obtained. Now why MS could not do this I have no idea. I have stared at the tiny – and * on MS calc for way too long. And get this. Tabs in the calculator offer functions for Algebra, Trigonometry, Bolean, and constants (pi and e). Combining these functions allows you to enter a large calculation. If I knew trig I could play with it, so this machine already has me beat, and impressed. Have you ever been impressed with MS calc? I didn't think so.

                              In other unique software, a sonar icon measures the distance to another one of these little units. It's a little dolphin icon. And it will measure the distance down to two decimal places. Before you measure you can also enter the temperature and the relative humidity. I guess this changes the calculation. Pretty interesting.

                              I appear to have stumbled across some music here. Elevator music. I suppose that is good, some of the kids who get these will never see an elevator. Now they won't miss it. I think that songs to the world ought to always include "Free Bird", "Stairway to Heaven", and anything by My Chemical Romance. Then again since my donated copy shipped as a gift from a US citizen. Maybe Blue October's "Hate Me" would be in keeping with the tradition. Okay I found another piece of music here, it is a little better. Pretty nice special effects graphics too.

                              I'm liking this. I can tell that the more I dig, the more there is to dig. It would take me weeks to write up all my thoughts and by then you'd feel like I was showing you Grand Canyon slide shows. So get your own!

                              The more I look at this, the more I am glad it came to a place outside the USA first. It was obviously produced with the minimal amount of legal input. I do not see warning stickers all over it. I do not see Authentic Software stickers or legal threats. This is an example of what can be done by a big business with a big goal.

                              I am also very glad that Microsoft is not involved in this at all. The third world has disease, pestilence, corruption, and famine. Why would we want to increase their problems ten fold by bringing them the blue screen of death?

                              Today I showed the unit to the USAID director Carolyn Bryan at the US Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. She had wondered about the unit and was curious. She did see the value of it for the children who can absorb the technology and take the time to learn with it. Unfortunately Tajikistan is not presently in the situation where they can use these computers. They would most likely be sold for food. With teachers earning about $17 a month, schools closing due to no heat or electricity, food prices increasing 150%, and winter just starting, this country has much bigger issues than wondering if they will get a laptop or not. In fact, infant deaths have increased at the local hospitals because there is simply no way to care for some of the newborns without electricity to power medical devices. Rather than send 100 laptops this way, the $10,000 price tag would be better served for food and shelter for the wintertime. Maybe in a few years this region can enjoy suck a luxury as the XO, but for right now, waking up tomorrow morning would be a nice thing for these people.

                              This truly places into perspective the luxuries we have in the USA. The OLPC XO has no hard drive, in fact it is the first laptop to use NAND memory! It is limited in many ways, and there are those on the web who think it a waste. Yet I am in a country where the XO is not only a luxury, but a luxury that is barely imaginable by many of the people. Six month's pay for a laptop? At that rate do not expect these people to buy their own. And yet we have this XO unit, so much closer to their price point and education, just a grasp away, and they would pass on it for a piece of bread to make it to tomorrow.

                              Pics here: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v290/astcell/xo/

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