'$100 laptop' production begins
By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News


Five years after the concept was first proposed, the so-called $100 laptop is poised to go into mass production.

Hardware suppliers have been given the green light to ramp-up production of all of the components needed to build millions of the low-cost machines.

Previously, the organisation behind the scheme said that it required orders for 3m laptops to make production viable.

The first machines should be ready to put into the hands of children in developing countries in October 2007.

"There's still some software to write, but this is a big step for us," Walter Bender, head of software development at One Laptop per Child (OLPC), told the BBC News website.

The organisation has not said which countries have bought the first machines.

Silencing critics

Getting the $100 laptop to this stage has been a turbulent journey for the organisation and its founder Nicholas Negroponte.


Since the idea was first put forward in 2002, the low-cost laptop has been both lauded and ridiculed.

Intel chairman Craig Barret famously described it as a "$100 gadget" whilst Microsoft founder Bill Gates questioned its design, particularly the lack of hard drive and its "tiny screen".

Other critics asked whether there was a need for a laptop in countries which, they said, had more pressing needs such as sanitation, water and health care.

Professor Negroponte's response has always been the same: "It's an education project, not a laptop project."

The view was shared by Kofi Annan, ex-secretary General of the UN. In 2005, he described the laptop as an "expression of global solidarity" that would "open up new fronts" for children's education.

And as time passed, even some of the critics have changed their stance. Earlier this month, Intel, which manufactures what was considered a rival machine, the Classmate PC, joined forces with OLPC.

Functional design

The innovative design of the XO machine has also drawn praise from the technical community.

Using open source software, OLPC have developed a stripped-down operating system which fits comfortably on the machine's 1GB of memory.

"We made a set of trade-offs which may not be an office worker's needs but are more than adequate for what kids need for learning, exploring and having fun," said Professor Bender.

The XO is built to cope with the harsh and remote conditions found in areas where it may be used, such as the deserts of Libya or the mountains of Peru.

For example, it has a rugged, waterproof case and is as energy efficient as possible.

"The laptop needs an order of magnitude less power than a typical laptop," said Professor Bender. "That means you can power it by solar or human power."

Governments that sign up for the scheme can purchase solar, foot-pump or pull-string powered chargers for the laptop.

And because it may be used in villages without access to a classroom, it has also been designed to work outside. In particular, the green and white machines feature a sunlight-readable display.

"For a lot of these children it's their only book and we want them to have a first class reading experience," said Professor Bender.

Name drop

The XO will be produced in Taiwan by Quanta, the world's largest laptop manufacturer.

The final design will bring together more than 800 parts from multiple suppliers such as chip-maker AMD, which supplies the low-power processor at the heart of the machine.

"This is the moment we have all been waiting for," Gustavo Arenas of AMD told the BBC News website.

"We certainly believe very strongly in the mission and vision of OLPC so finally starting to see it come to fruition is not only gratifying, it is also rewarding."

Test machines, on which the final design is based, are currently being put through their paces in countries such as Nigeria and Brazil.

However, the names of the countries that have purchased the first lots of machines have not been released.

The XO currently costs $176 (£90) although the eventual aim is to sell the machines to governments for $100 (£50).



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/6908946.stm
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post
Here is a little more detail for those who just can't stay out from under the hood.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6679431.stm

433 MHz should be able to run this just fine.



It's only 5 megabytes they just need a Linux version.

http://www.sciencefair-projects.org/solarsystem/solarsystem.html

This is equivalent to a hot machine less than 10 years ago. Better than mainframes from the early 80's. The only question is: How fast will we feed the little monsters good information?

umbra

PS - By little monsters I meant the kids not the computers.
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
Here is a little more detail for those who just can't stay out from under the hood.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6679431.stm

433 MHz should be able to run this just fine.

{SNIP}


Love it!

I want one of those pull-string charger things. That would come in handy here when a storm knocks out the power.

Wow, if I didn't think that a lot of folks would turn their noses up, I could put a few of these on a credit card and hand them out.
With the exception of the machines purchased and distributed by fouundations and such; who do you think will be making most of the purchases?

Why don't they make those machines for adults? Well, because adults have, and are willing to spend, $1,100 for a slightly "better" machine. Roll Eyes
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Why don't they make those machines for adults? Well, because adults have, and are willing to spend, $1,100 for a slightly "better" machine. Roll Eyes


The sole purpose of your existence is for Bill Gates to make money off you. Vista will not run in 256 megabytes.

um
Hey umbrarchist, I need a laptop man, im trying to figure out which way to go. They say the apple doesnt crash like the Pc and the graphics are superior .But a decent apple is $2,000 dollars. Whats the best thing for me to do, I need a laptop with good speed nice hard drive and decent graphic, I plan on doing some multimedia as well as other business things with it. Can you give me any suggestions?
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Hey umbrarchist, I need a laptop man, im trying to figure out which way to go. They say the apple doesnt crash like the Pc and the graphics are superior .But a decent apple is $2,000 dollars.


I'm going to tell you ahead of time, I'm kind of cheap. I don't like giving up the cash, especially if I know I'm going to lose it.

If you spend $2,000 on a laptop today in 18 months it will probably be worth less than $1,000. I would want to stay under $1,000. I don't know what operating system and application software you are already familiar with. Learning costs time and time is money. It doesn't do much good to save money on hardware and lose time learning new software.

I'm looking at this Dell Inspiron 1520 for $849.

http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.asp...=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

But it comes with Vista and I would rather have XP. The MACs are UNIX machines similar to Linux.

I think you should list software first then look at hardware. A 1.5 GHz Dual core sounds plenty powerful to me. Another thing about me is I am not on the desktop replacement bandwagon. I think a powerful desktop with a cheap but good enough laptop may make more sense than an expensive laptop. I have seen too many laptops with smashed screens or milk or champagne poured in them. They actually smell kind of nice with cooked champagne. lol

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Hey umbrarchist, I need a laptop man, im trying to figure out which way to go. They say the apple doesnt crash like the Pc and the graphics are superior .But a decent apple is $2,000 dollars. Whats the best thing for me to do, I need a laptop with good speed nice hard drive and decent graphic, I plan on doing some multimedia as well as other business things with it. Can you give me any suggestions?
Just a thought... If you are doing some sort of work that could be considered a business with the laptop, then consider the Mac and write it off as a business expense...
If you purchase a Dell, be sure to purchase the tech support that requires them to come to you. And if you're not paying cash, use any other finance method other than them. Their accounting department CAN'T COUNT!

I co-sign with AG, fully depreciate it the first year. 1
quote:
I'm looking at this Dell Inspiron 1520 for $849.


I hope I didn't give you the impression I was looking at the Inspiron with the intent of getting one for myself. I only checked it out because you asked.

I have a Panasonic Toughbook. It's only 500 MHz and cost me $250 off ebay. It is only 800x600 resolution and can't play DVD movies. It dual boots Windows 2000 and Suse 10 Linux. I could probably smash in the windshield of a car with it and the thing would still work. I consider most laptops to be flimsy garbage. They annoy me.

um
cool thanks you guys. I checked out the usanotebook warehouse, none of that stuff seems to have any power. whats up with that. Refurbished for what? Anyway, tell me this does any decent pc notebook come with really good graphics and audio visual capabilities?

Is Adobe one of the better graphic and media softwares out there? anybody?
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
cool thanks you guys. I checked out the usanotebook warehouse, none of that stuff seems to have any power. whats up with that. Refurbished for what? Anyway, tell me this does any decent pc notebook come with really good graphics and audio visual capabilities?

If money were no object, 1 Alienware (recently bought by Dell).

Okay . . . back down to Earth. When you say 'multimedia' are you going to be editing video, editing audio, creating websites, editing graphics?

I made the switch to Mac going on 2 yrs ago. I have beautiful graphics and audio. But Apple is proprietary, so as you've seen, the price was higher than a similarly outfitted Windows PC.



Is Adobe one of the better graphic and media softwares out there? anybody?

Adobe software is sort of a de facto standard for graphics and media. Can you be more specific about which Adobe software you would be using? There are open source alternatives that are free/donationware that will accomplish what most folks need.

www.gimp.org = Gimp is a bitmap editor like Photoshop
www.inkscape.org = Inkscape is a vector editor like Illustrator
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostscript = Ghostscript allows you to print to pdf
http://www.nvu.com/index.php = NVU is a full-featured web editor


Um, I have to go. I'm going to ask our IT guys and see what they say.
Hey well I want to do a lot of video editing and I want to create a magazine layout. As far as the Adobe, I talked to my man, who is a graphic designer and he will give me all the software. He told me to just get a very good video card and build from there. I think im going with the pc, its in my budget. What are some good video cards?
quote:
Originally posted by ZAKAR:
Hey well I want to do a lot of video editing and I want to create a magazine layout. As far as the Adobe, I talked to my man, who is a graphic designer and he will give me all the software. He told me to just get a very good video card and build from there. I think im going with the pc, its in my budget. What are some good video cards?


Wow! Your man is THE man. If he's giving you the entire Creative Suite, that's at least $1,100 of software. That is a really nice gift towards getting your business started.

As far as video cards, I've always been partial to nVidia. ATI is the other major player. When I had my Dell desktop (PII 450), I had a Hercules card with an nVidia chip and 64Meg of RAM and it screamed. All the PCs I've seen lately are typically coming with 128Meg. For video editing, I would suggest at least 256Meg. If you're using Windows Vista and editing video, I would also spring for 2G of RAM. Windows is a memory hog and I'm guessing at some point you're going to want to do some HD.

Be sure to view the system requirements at Adobe.com.
Here's the one for Premiere: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/systemreqs/

Also check out hardware compatibility:
http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/dvhdwrdb.html



http://www.nvidia.com/page/home.html = nVidia
http://ati.amd.com/ = ATI
Im gonna get a laptop this week, im asking for suggestions, I really dont want to spend a lot of money, and people are telling me the Vista package has a lot of glitches in it. I saw this Acer with 1g ram 160hard drive , 512mb shared memory. But its comes with Vista Home Premium, is there anyway to have the outlet remove vista and install XP to save memory? Is that a good idea, also if not is it possible to use external or add memory? Thanks anyone
quote:
Originally posted by ATPWordPro:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
Here is a little more detail for those who just can't stay out from under the hood.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6679431.stm

433 MHz should be able to run this just fine.

{SNIP}


Love it!

I want one of those pull-string charger things. That would come in handy here when a storm knocks out the power.

Wow, if I didn't think that a lot of folks would turn their noses up, I could put a few of these on a credit card and hand them out.


What I really need is the Laptop from Hell...that comes attached to an exercise bicycle as its only means of power...
Im gonna get a laptop this week, im asking for suggestions, I really dont want to spend a lot of money, and people are telling me the Vista package has a lot of glitches in it. I saw this Acer with 1g ram 160hard drive , 512mb shared memory. But its comes with Vista Home Premium, is there anyway to have the outlet remove vista and install XP to save memory? Is that a good idea, also if not is it possible to use external or add memory? Thanks anyone
I am entering this on my OLPC.

It finally showed up. Had to YELL at their service dept.

It found my D-Link wireless connection with no problem. I just had to enter the security code.

Some functions seem kind of slow. Maybe its Python and maybe they just put in too much graphics for a processor this slow. Evaluation in progress. The keyboard is annoyingly small but that is probably fine for a kid.

um
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
Okay FINE!!!!

UMBRA!!! I was waiting on you to help me! I figured it out all by my lonesome anywhoo...


WHAT?!?


I was waiting on you to answer a question... and I got impatient! :-) I figured it out though... I needed a home use only laptop... for business... that could be quickly stored away out of sight... even the very slim attractive imac cannot be put away ... and I didn't want something stationary within the house... a laptop it would have to be...


Instead of a Mac Laptop I might need to get a Dell with some really super virus protection...

The Mac I want is $3000 !!!! Eek


( I REALLY WANT I TOO!)... MacPro 17"



But there is a Dell XPS laptop that may be what I need...
DELL M2010




It's heavier than most laptops... its like a hybrid.. but that's really want I want... I don't want a PC... but I also don't want the itty bitty screens that come with many laptops...

Someone's going to buy it for me! So to be nice I figured I'd go for the cheaper *tee hee* The only drawback is that the Dell looks manly...


is it possible to get protection against spyware?
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
quote:
Originally posted by Khalliqa:
Okay FINE!!!!

UMBRA!!! I was waiting on you to help me! I figured it out all by my lonesome anywhoo...


WHAT?!?



I was waiting on you to answer a question... and I got impatient! :-) I figured it out though... I needed a home use only laptop... for business... that could be quickly stored away out of sight... even the very slim attractive imac cannot be put away ... and I didn't want something stationary within the house... a laptop it would have to be...


Instead of a Mac Laptop I might need to get a Dell with some really super virus protection...

The Mac I want is $3000 !!!! Eek


( I REALLY WANT I TOO!)... MacPro 17"



But there is a Dell XPS laptop that may be what I need...
DELL M2010




It's heavier than most laptops... its like a hybrid.. but that's really want I want... I don't want a PC... but I also don't want the itty bitty screens that come with many laptops...

Someone's going to buy it for me! So to be nice I figured I'd go for the cheaper *tee hee* The only drawback is that the Dell looks manly...


is it possible to get protection against spyware?

What are you running for virus detection? I run Trend Micro PC-cillin which also has good spyware protection. I supplement this with freeware like Spybot Search and Destroy, AdAware 2007, and Spyware Blaster.

Finally, the network at school has Cisco NAC, so all personal computers that connect to it must run Cisco Clean Access.

I do not have any problems with spyware or viruses.
Thank you Kresge! I am NOT technologically savvy AT ALL... So all I had was Norton... and that worked just oookay... but then I let other people use my computer too... grrr...

I'll check the programs you listed... If I'm going to purchase a Mac I want the EXACT one... in the meantime I need a laptop with a big screen (for watching movies), excellent performance (business apps not gaming), easy to use and relatively inexpensive...

what do you think about the Dell? It's kind of klunky and built for gaming... but eh.. it's got a big screen... a nice size keyboard... and cheaper than a mac...

oh.. I guess I should look into their customer service rep... (I'm reading that even with an extended warranty, companies can not be very helpful)
Sorry, I don't pay much attention to laptops.

They are stylish and flimsy and too expensive.

This OLPC is the FIRST new laptop I have ever purchased. Other than that I have an old Panasonic Toughbook that I got off ebay. Looking at specs on equipment isn't good enough for me, I want to get my hands on it otherwise I can't evaluate it.

I would barely think about spending more than $500 on a computer these days. Used ones are too powerful. Just put in a new hard drive.

um
quote:
Notebook Review


Thanks for the link, I had never heard of it before.

This was in one of the reviews:
quote:
In the very beginning I didn't see a big difference between consumer and business laptops. I was lucky enough to receive comments from people explaining that, as the laptop is my business tool, I should concentrate on business lines of HP, Dell and Lenovo. The last brand was not an option as good Lenovo ThinkPad laptops are above my budget (£1,300) in the UK.

http://www.dellreview.net/2008/02/precision-m6300.html

This is the kind of crap that pi$$es me off. As someone who has messed with electronics for 36 years and computers for 30 years this distinction between consumer and business is a totally artificial marketing strategy providing an excuse to charge more for the business/pro stuff. Making fewer models with fewer changes could give higher quality with lower prices.

Of course neither the computer industry nor economists emphasize the depreciation of this stuff. lol

I am really not into the desktop replacement philosophy. This man says he is going to use it mostly at home. I haven't used a laptop that has a keyboard as good as a desktop's and I like to get the old keyboards from the early 90's. That is what I am using now.

Plus how do you back up that desktop replacement? You can put two BIG drives into a desktop machine and use one as a mirrored backup. The second drive could backup the desktop and the laptop. I have a hard time not laughing at people when they use computer for years and their drive crashes and then they run around in circles wondering what to do. 200 gigabyte drives cost 1/3rd as much as I payed for my first TWENTY MEGABYTE DRIVE but people will risk data that will cost them thousands of dollars to replace.

It reminds me of reviews of stereo equipment back in the day.

um
A thought just occurred to me for the proper product for the use you describe.

A wireless server stuck in a closet somewhere so it was always out of sight and a thin client notebook that you run your applications on the server from. So the notebook would not need to be all that powerful or expensive and the server could be built of totally generic parts to be powerful but inexpensive.

I haven't tested the range on this OLPC yet but it reached farther than a DELL Inspiron 4150. They once cost $1777. My apartment is on the 4th floor and the OLPC could communicate with my access point from the first floor but the DELL could not do it.

The OLPC with a better keyboard could be the perfect wireless thin client. One source said the range was more than one kilometer.

um

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