Mass computing – electronics and the internet for the 3rd world, and beyond

So off the top of my head there’s three projects this fall that appeal to the general public at a size/cost/convenience point.

# XO laptop @ $400 to the general public
# Asus Eee laptop @ $400 to the general public
# gOS PC @ $200 to walmart patrons

XO laptop @ $400 – $200 of this counts as a tax deduction, though you might be able to count it as a free gift for donating a laptop to a child in a 3rd world country. Won’t run XP or x86 based linux, runs firefox, runs 9ish hours on one battery charge, and can run off of solar power (if plugged in to one). Includes WiFi, SD memory slot, most standard features. Hacker’s delight, but not quite up to the tasks of being a primary machine for someone in the first world.

This thing is tiny. It’s hard to find comparison pics, but damn, it looks small even next to a taiwanese lady’s hands.


Asus Eee laptop – Designed to appeal to the iBook crowd, but on a budget. 7″ 800×480 screen, 4gb internal flash drive, wifi, sd memory slot, WILL RUN XP, comes with linux preinstalled, as far as I know you can install any version of linux on here if you have a USB CDROM drive to plug in to it. 2.2 lbs. 1.2 (?) ghz processor intel centron or centrino or celeron or whatever. > 4 hr battery life

Pretty sexy. I’d buy one, if the screen were 1024×640 or so .

asus eee

gOS PC – Desktop machine. Via 1.5ghz processor, SATA and ATA connectors, onboard network, video etc blah blah blah, 80gb drive half gig ram, ubuntu (gOS) preinstalled, DVD/CD-RW drive.

The motherboard is avalible (this includes processor + heatsink + fan preinstalled as one unit, keep in mind) for $60. Add $20 worth of ram, recycle an ATX power supply and a new hard drive for $60 and you have a nice little machine for $140 + S&H. Little being the keyword here, both in size and power. But enough to get the job done, and even run windows vista (though slowly). Then again, the minimum sys requirements for Windows 95 were a 386 and 4MB of ram.

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