# FAQ MIT's wind-up computer marvel/scam ?

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#### [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Subject: <URL:http://laptop.media.mit.edu/faq.html> MIT Media Lab: $100 Laptop FAQ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Nicholas Negroponte, founding chairman of MIT's Media Laboratory, answers questions on the initiative. ------------------------------------------------------------- What is the$100 Laptop, really?
The proposed $100 machine will be a Linux-based, with a dual-mode display97both a full-color, transmissive DVD mode, and a second display option that is black and white reflective and sunlight-readable at 3X the resolution. The laptop will have a 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM, with 500MB of Flash memory; it will not have a hard disk, but it will have four USB ports. The laptops will have wireless broadband that, among other things, allows them to work as a mesh network; each laptop will be able to talk to its nearest neighbors, creating an ad hoc, local area network. The laptops will use innovative power (including wind-up) and will be able to do most everything except store huge amounts of data. A machine with the described specification would be more than adequate to be very usefull. Except that the wind-up-power will be more expensive to acheive reliabily than the all the rest combined. Consider that the users don't expect a 2 weeks use and throw away item. Why do children in developing nations need laptops? Laptops are both a window and a tool: a window into the world and a tool with which to think. They are a wonderful way for all children to "learn learning" through independent interaction and exploration. Why not a desktop computer, or 'even better' a recycled desktop machine? Desktops are cheaper, but mobility is important, especially with regard to taking the computer home at night. Kids in the developing world need the newest technology, especially really rugged hardware and innovative software. Recent work with schools in Maine has shown the huge value of using a laptop across all of one's studies, as well as for play. Bringing the laptop home engages the family. In one Cambodian village where we have been working, there is no electricity, thus the laptop is, among other things, the brightest light source in the home. Finally, regarding recycled machines: if we estimate 100 million available used desktops, and each one requires only one hour of human attention to refurbish, reload, and handle, that is forty-five thousand work years. This reasoning exposes the writer as not having a clue how the 3rd world operates - as is the case understandably, of all 'do gooders' who haven't had appropriate on the ground experience. As cow-dung is not seen in India as a negative pollutant, but a positive valuable asset, so also the opportunity for countless otherwise unemployed people to tinker with millions of scrap PCs and get some of them working, potentially adds great education and development to the tinkerers and their whole society. If the problem of mains electricity was raised that would be valid. Thus, while we definitely encourage the recycling of used computers, it is not the solution for One Laptop per Child. How is it possible to get the cost so low? * First, by dramatically lowering the cost of the display. The first-generation machine will have a novel, dual-mode display that represents improvements to the LCD displays commonly found in inexpensive DVD players. These displays can be used in high-resolution black and white in bright sunlight97all at a cost of approximately$35.
* Second, we will get the fat out of the systems. Today's laptops
have become obese. Two-thirds of their software is used to manage
the other third, which mostly does the same functions nine
different ways.
* Third, we will market the laptops in very large numbers
(millions), directly to ministries of education, which can
distribute them like textbooks.

Why is it important for each child to have a computer? What's wrong
with community-access centers?
One does not think of community pencils - kids have their own. They are
tools to think with, sufficiently inexpensive to be used for work and
play, drawing, writing, and mathematics. A computer can be the same,
but far more powerful. Furthermore, there are many reasons it is
important for a child to "own" somethin - like a football, doll, or
book - not the least of which being that these belongings will be
well-maintained through love and care.

This is only partly true. Public libraries where I keep 'my' millions of
books and don't have to pay for then to be dusted and sorted, work
very well.

Trains and busses are perfectly viable.
There's no need for everybody to own a private velicle.
What about connectivity? Aren't telecommunications services expensive
in the developing world?
When these machines pop out of the box, they will make a mesh network
of their own, peer-to-peer. This is something initially developed at
MIT and the Media Lab. We are also exploring ways to connect them to
the backbone of the Internet at very low cost.

This would be great, but to my knowledge has not been acheived
in the worlds's most developed urban areas yet ?
What can a $1000 laptop do that the$100 version can't?
Not much. The plan is for the $100 Laptop to do almost everything. What it will not do is store a massive amount of data. OK. How will these be marketed? The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of "one laptop per child." Initial discussions have been held with China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, and Thailand. An additional, modest allocation of machines will be used to seed developer communities in a number of other countries. Yes the idea of 'seed development' is vital. If it's viable, it will grow/spread like a bush fire [or bird-flu ?!]. No need to start with millions - unless you a planning a scam/hit ? A commercial version of the machine will be explored in parallel. When do you anticipate these laptops reaching the market? What do you see as the biggest hurdles? Our preliminary schedule is to have units ready for shipment by the end of 2006 or early 2007. Manufacturing will begin when 5 to 10 million machines have been ordered and paid for in advance. <-!! The whole thing sounds like a Nigerian 419 scam:$1000million
The biggest hurdle will be manufacturing 100 million of anything.
This is not just a supply-chain problem, but also a design problem.
The scale is daunting, but I find myself amazed at what some
companies are proposing to us. It feels as though at least half the
problems are being solved by mere resolve.
Who is the original design manufacturer (ODM) of the $100 laptop? Quanta Computer Inc. of Taiwan has been chosen as the original design manufacturer (ODM) for the$100 laptop project. The decision was made
after the board reviewed bids from several possible manufacturing
companies.
Quanta Computer Inc. was founded in 1988 in Taiwan. With over US $10 billion in sales, Quanta is the world's largest manufacturer of laptop PCs; the company also manufactures mobile phones, LCD TVs, and servers and storage products. In addition, Quanta recently opened a new US$200 million R&D center, Quanta R&D Complex (QRDC), in Taiwan.
The facility, which opened in Q3 of 2005, has 2.2 million square feet
of floor space, and a capacity to house up to 7,000 engineers.
How will this initiative be structured?
The $100 laptop is being developed by One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a Delaware-based, non-profit organization created by faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture, and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. OLPC is based on "constructionist" theories of learning pioneered by Seymour Papert and later Alan Kay, as well as the principles expressed in Nicholas Negroponte's book Being Digital. The founding corporate members are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Brightstar, Google, News Corporation, Nortel, and Red Hat. OLPC is funding research at the Media Lab focused on developing the$100 Laptop.

== Chris Glur. Your can fool some of the people, some of the time ?

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#### Anthony Matonak

Jan 1, 1970
0
A machine with the described specification would be more than
adequate to be very usefull. Except that the wind-up-power will be
more expensive to acheive reliabily than the all the rest combined.
Consider that the users don't expect a 2 weeks use and throw away
item.
....

Reliability isn't terribly important in this application because
the hand crank is only to be used as a last resort and they'll still
work off other power sources after the handle snaps off. They would
be much better off leaving out the whole hand crank generator. That
said, it's likely that it doesn't add much to the cost as it's probably
designed around a toy DC motor with high gearing and plastic parts.

This design more closely resembles the old Clio and other Win CE
palm-top computers of the past than an actual laptop computer.
There is obviously a huge market for something like this at this
price so I agree that the whole "we won't sell to the public" thing
doesn't make sense.

Of course, if they believe they can't produce it at the suggested
price then forcing someone (the government) to buy them regardless
of cost is the only way they would ever sell.

There are all kinds of better ways to power it than a hand crank.

If human power is a requirement then a foot pedal system would
allow them to use both hands and generate power at the same time
with the added benefit that they won't tire as quickly. Such a
device could also be more reliable than a hand crank or, at the
least, more easily replaced as it would be entirely external.

A small wind turbine would also be a good alternative. Since it's
likely these things only require one or two watts, a modest (less
than 300 watt) turbine could power an entire small school. Small,
individual (less than 5 watt) turbines could even be made locally
by the same students who would use them to charge their PDAs.

Solar PV is also a good alternative as it would only need a one
or two watt panel. If these panels are mass produced at the same
price per watt as larger panels then they could cost less than
$10 each. Anthony B #### Barry OGrady Jan 1, 1970 0 The thing that the$100 laptop project's managers
are completely missing is that in poor villages, people
need basic things such as light, running water, electricity
more than a laptop. MIT has an evangelical attitude
which is, like most evangelical attitudes, out of touch
with reality and suffering from confused priorities.

The $100 laptop has the KJV Bible in ROM and no disk drives. Barry ===== Home page http://members.iinet.net.au/~barry.og W #### William P.N. Smith Jan 1, 1970 0 Barry OGrady said: The$100 laptop has the KJV Bible in ROM and no disk drives.

Where on earth do you get that from? The design isn't finished, it's
probably going to be modified per region, and no-one is going to waste
ROM space without a customer requirement. Besides, it's not ROM, it's
flash, so it's reprogrammable, so we can put in the "Best Of Usenet"
and really give those third world heathens some entertainment. 8*)

Sheesh!

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#### Anthony Matonak

Jan 1, 1970
0
William said:
Where on earth do you get that from? The design isn't finished, it's
probably going to be modified per region, and no-one is going to waste
ROM space without a customer requirement. Besides, it's not ROM, it's
flash, so it's reprogrammable, so we can put in the "Best Of Usenet"
and really give those third world heathens some entertainment. 8*)

I believe they were referring to MIT's evangelical crusade to
force laptops on starving children who would be much better
served with more basic things like food, water, shelter,
medicine, a stable government, etc.

That said, the KJV Bible is public domain so it wouldn't cost
anything to include it. It's only 1.2 MB compressed so there
would be plenty of space left over for Pilgrims Progress, an
english dictionary and other such things.

Anthony

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#### John Beardmore

Jan 1, 1970
0
Anthony Matonak said:
That said, the KJV Bible is public domain so it wouldn't cost
anything to include it. It's only 1.2 MB compressed so there
would be plenty of space left over for Pilgrims Progress, an
english dictionary and other such things.

Cultural imperialism at its finest !

J/.

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#### John Beardmore

Jan 1, 1970
0
The \$100 laptop has the KJV Bible in ROM and no disk drives.

Unlucky !!

J/.

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#### SJC

Jan 1, 1970
0
SolarFlare said:
What ever happenned to "second world countries"?

I think they call them "developing", like China and India.
Those are the folks that want lots of cars and oil as they develop.

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#### Steve Spence

Jan 1, 1970
0
Viator said:
Yikes, so it's also a device for mental enslavement.

I like to think of it as a guide for improving myself as a person. The
truth will set you free .....

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#### John Beardmore

Jan 1, 1970
0
Steve Spence said:
Viator wrote:

I like to think of it as a guide for improving myself as a person. The
truth will set you free .....

Yes, but which one ?

Personally I prefer the empirically repeatable 'on demand' statistically
describable sort !

Cheers, J/.

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#### Steve Spence

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
Yes, but which one ?

Personally I prefer the empirically repeatable 'on demand' statistically
describable sort !

Cheers, J/.

The problem is that you have to kick the bucket to prove the theory, and
the results are not transferable. Perish without Publish.

J

#### John Beardmore

Jan 1, 1970
0
Steve Spence said:
The problem is that you have to kick the bucket to prove the theory,
and the results are not transferable.

Indeed, but either you have faith or you haven't. Let's just say I'm
very open minded about what it might be that might care if I have faith
in it or not.

Perish without Publish.

?

Cheers, J/.

S

#### Steve Spence

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
Indeed, but either you have faith or you haven't. Let's just say I'm
very open minded about what it might be that might care if I have faith
in it or not.

?

There is a saying in research, publish or perish. unfortunately, with
the afterlife, once you discover the truth through empiracal testing,
it's too late to publish your findings ....

M

#### Me

Jan 1, 1970
0
Viator said:
Except there's no truth in it. Religion is slavery and
a crutch for the weak minded.

Spoken like a True Athiest, Communist, Pinko......

Me a Red Necked Papist from way back......

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#### Nelson Gietz

Jan 1, 1970
0
SolarFlare said:
WRONG! It's a money making scheme.

Pass the donation plate?
Right you are Solar. Most churches of my acquaintance sometimes
get close to meeting their budget for heat and light, and getting their
roof repaired and paying the pastor. They sometimes almost get
in the financial black columns, with a yearend bake sale or something.
Cheers,
Nelson

C

#### Cool_X

Jan 1, 1970
0
First, this is OT, but I find it really funny, so I don't mind...

I myself got flamed on my local newsgroup for being too "politically correct", as I said that I
thought this season's main holiday was a Christian monopoly.

Regarding the Roman Catholic's finances, I'd say that both Nelson and SolarFlare may be right,
because the individual churches may not have that much money left after they paid out tens of
millions for all of the sexual abuse lawsuits that were won, and that's a fact. At least the
Orthodox church is smarter because they allow marriage before priesthood, which I think lowers
the potential for abuse because I don't think many people are suited for the stress of
suppressing their natural desires for their entire life. On a more humourous note, maybe it
has something to do with why every Pope is so old...

However, I am not here to promote any specific religion, except to say that I think religions
can sometimes give stability to some people that need it.

Personally, I believe that 15 words would drastically change the world, and make world peace
possible, and they have NOTHING to do with any religion. I challenge everybody to say and mean
these things:

1. We are all one.

2. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.

And back to the post where this started, I am not surprised in the slightest to learn that the
Christian church has successfully monopolized these windup laptops, I wonder how much they paid
to subsidize the project for that to happen???

Cool_X

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#### William P.N. Smith

Jan 1, 1970
0
Cool_X said:
And back to the post where this started, I am not surprised in the slightest to learn that the
Christian church has successfully monopolized these windup laptops, I wonder how much they paid
to subsidize the project for that to happen???

You mean except for the fact that they didn't? There _is_ no windup
laptop for third-world countries, so anyone telling you it has this
feature or that is blowing smoke (or trolling).

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