Friday, November 25, 2005

Take a developing nation, add a $US100 laptop, and stir

Open source software continues to have an impact that its founders may never have envisaged, although I'm certain they would approve. The United Nations has supported an initiative of a $US100 laptop - being pursued by the One Laptop Per Child non-profit organisation.

It's a hand-cranked (!) laptop capable of addressing most student's requirements. It includes a web browser, a word processor, email, and so on, and it's all based on Linux.

It was launched with a prototype on November 16th at the WSIS Summit in Tunis. I note that Andy Carvin has an 8-minute video covering the launch on his vlog at

Hmm. As always, everything I ever learn I learn from Wikipedia and Rocketboom.

It sounds like something that could indeed make the world a better place. Just imagine if developing companies really could have reliable ICT access and a generation that grows up using information systems and getting somewhere? Although $US100 is still a lot of money in some developing nations, it has to be better than the $US1,000 or so you'd need to pay out for the more standard system.

Given that it's Linux, they've got a lot of learning that they'll end up doing...

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