100$ Computer Presented

I have only very very basic knowledge of how things are in third world country so I’m sure I’m missing some issues but still, the 100$ computer looks like a fantastic idea and I’m looking forward to seeing the project evolve and what kind of success they will have. A couple of things though.

1. I thought this was going to be a giving thing, like Google giving 20 000 computers, Toyota giving 15 000. I don’t know. I didn’t realise they were going to be sold to countries. Which is good I guess, responsibility and all that but the minimum order is a million units, that’s 100 million US dollars. Huge limits for a lot of countries I’m sure. Is there some kind of program or parallel project being put together to organise donations of those systems? Will they even be sold to groups aiming to give them away?

2. The software is open source. I thought the whole design was also open source, given around so local companies/countries could also have a go at making them themselves? Haven’t seen mention of it. Did I make it up or was that written somewhere? Either way, I think it would make sense, I’m sure there’s pretty much zero margin on the computers (that’s one point of the whole thing) but still, having all of them manufactured by US partners seems a bit off to me.

One Comment

mtl3p November 21, 2005

side note – the tabbing order of fields is a bit screwy.

1) i don’t think it’s supposed to be a “give-y” thing. The model is that it is sold to education ministers to replace books. Not that they are to be limited to that – but that’s the salespitch/argument that will be used.

2)yeah – the OpenHardware thing. Nope – these aren’t open hardware. The simpters were – but that failed for i don’t know what reason. One of the guys that I met at one of these conferences is really steamed / disappointed that the simpter was sunk and this project has got the go ahead. i can give you more info if you want. also – ethan zuckerman just had a interview with negropoint about this last week.

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