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 el 2 Sep 2008 por Alicia Rodríguez Mediavilla

Cheap Laptops For Third World Hungry Minds

Negroponte and the MIT insist on producing low cost quality computers. Now they’re decided to achieve it at just 12 dollars per PC

Prototype for a low cost computer for the Third World
Prototype for a low cost computer for the Third World
Prototype for a low cost computer for the Third World Participants in the project for the manufacturing a very low cost computer Apple II, the mythical mass produced home computer which served as inspiration for the $12 laptop project
At this stage, we clearly understand that those who have access to information and technology enjoy great advantages. For instance, according to the experts, in most underdeveloped or developing countries, knowing how to operate a computer can really change their life: it could mean the difference between earning one dollar per hour wages or getting that dollar for a whole day’s work.

That’s the reason of the existence of some institutions working on the manufacturing of portable computers at very low cost. That’s the case with the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), founded and directed by Nicholas Negroponte; and one of its units –Media Lab.

Nowadays, they are working in the production of a computer costing less than 12 dollars –around 8 euros. We know little about this project, except for it being inspired in the old Apple II.

This was not the first attempt of the kind coming from the MIT. A few years ago they started the "One Laptop Per Child" project. The whole thing was about manufacturing a portable computer which could be distributed in poor countries selling 100 dollars (83 euros). They got to produce 667,000 units which actually became operational; but for various issues, the project was left behind.

How could it be possible to produce computers at such a low cost? By getting rid of advertising costs and using basic software and hardware. Obviously, it’s not that appealing for most developed countries, as even a five years old computer could turn to be more advanced than of these 100 or 12 dollar ones. The important thing is that children from underdeveloped or developing countries have access to Information and Technology.
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