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Bill Gates, eat your heart out

The first real-life images of MIT's $100 laptop have surfaced on flickr.  In its transition from mockup to working prototype, the laptop appears to have lost its distinctive hand crank which was supposed to be used to provide additional run time in a pinch – the basket handle remains, however. Included on the prototypes are what appear to be swiveling “ears” which in the down position protect the USB, headphone and microphone ports from dust and dirt (or whatever kids manage to drag their laptops through during the day). Both the screen and the keyboard appear to be a bit on the small side, but children shouldn’t have many problems placing their tiny digits on the keys or deciphering what’s on the screen.

Bill Gates has lambasted the device due to its lack of a hard drive in recent months in an effort to promote his company’s own UMPC efforts. Gates also barked at the $100 laptop’s small screen size – interesting considering that UMPC devices have screens ranging from 4.5” to 7” and are hundreds (and thousands) of dollars more expensive.

There are also other efforts to spread technology to underdeveloped nations including Microsoft’s FlexGo and Intel’s Community PC.

On a side note, bonus points for whoever can point out what’s wrong with this picture.



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What's wrong
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:00:13 PM , Rating: 3
I know what's wrong: It's sitting on a boardroom table.

Isn't this to be for poor countries where they don't use boardroom tables they live in shacks, huts, tents and desert sand and mud, with dust storms. And earthquakes that shake your things a lot.

The surface should be WHITE to reflect away as much of the sun's heat energy as possible (to avoid overheating and need for cooling energy). Black would absorb lots of heat, and other colours do also to some extend. Maybe it could have a foldout solar panel.

I think the keyboard should be removable/replaceable/plug in even some membrane type so that they are disposable when you get too much dirt or sand in them. Don't trash the whole machine replace faulty part easily. Generic mass market keyboards cost peanuts.

Also there is no need for trendy design, nice feel type of plastic (typically costs more) or dayglo colours (well, you couldn't lose it in the dark).

I'm not sure why those people would want one when you can get cheap used laptops of 386/486/early p5 - in bulk for like $2 each ;-)

They could save money by doing away with the battery found in conventional laptops (because it degrades and needs replacing) and batteries do not work well in HOT non-air-conditioned climate.

Just hook up the village power - 12v alternator driven off a diesel truck engine and you can work from that. My desktop machines don't have batteries so it's not an essential feature is it?

You could replace the hard drive with some flash memory and embed linux into it. You don't need a cdrom because you can download your ebooks/learning software/pirate music across a lan. It only needs to be 10/100 not WIMAX or wifi as has been suggested by some.

I also strongly disagree with the "one laptop per child" idea. NO!!!! What a waste of global natural resources - billions of computers and they will all depreciate. In non-usa countries there is the novel concept of SHARING. eg instead of buying one each and only using it sometimes, you and your BROTHER take turns. The other half of the day you probably have to gather crops or carry water. A laptop each is a waste of money that could buy these people CLOTHES and FOOD.

As for the two mac stickers, they're a bit off-topic.




RE: What's wrong
By DigitalFreak on 5/23/2006 8:17:54 PM , Rating: 1
YES! We need more people pirating music in third world countries! I'd love to see the RIAA sue some kid living in a mud hut in Namibia.


RE: What's wrong
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:20:13 PM , Rating: 2

Use the enlarged picture and look again.

In yellow there is a demarcated panel between the keyboard and the user. It appears to have two wide buttons at the front too.

Personally if they are trying to keep the cost down they could use a smaller sensor panel - that one is like twice the size of mine, and that just pushes up the costs.


RE: What's wrong
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
hehehe difficult serving legal papers on nomadic wanderers of "no fixed abode". Just find the deserted former campsite and a note saying "Too slow, L0s3rZ, we are no longer at this address. Try asking directions from the friendly pride of lions in the clearing".


Yeah
By Sharky974 on 5/24/2006 12:50:50 AM , Rating: 2
You fail at funny.


RE: Yeah
By proamerica on 5/24/2006 6:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.


RE: What's wrong
By hoppa on 5/24/2006 1:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, you really seem to know a lot. Maybe they should've accepted you at MIT after all, eh?

quote:
I know what's wrong: It's sitting on a boardroom table.

Isn't this to be for poor countries where they don't use boardroom tables they live in shacks, huts, tents and desert sand and mud, with dust storms. And earthquakes that shake your things a lot.


You really show a lot of ignorance. Three of the first targets for this computer are China, Brazil, Egypt. They don't quite have mega-earthquakes and desert sand and mud (except for Egypt). We aren't talking about tribal african villages here.

quote:
The surface should be WHITE to reflect away as much of the sun's heat energy as possible (to avoid overheating and need for cooling energy). Black would absorb lots of heat, and other colours do also to some extend. Maybe it could have a foldout solar panel.


Do you actually think that they've been designing this thing for years and that it is suddenly going to be overheating because of its case design? Also, the solar panel is a novel idea but is most likely too expensive and wouldn't provide near enough power. I'm sure they've thought of it.

quote:
Also there is no need for trendy design, nice feel type of plastic (typically costs more) or dayglo colours (well, you couldn't lose it in the dark).


I've read it was designed to have bright flashy colors so as to deter theft.

quote:
They could save money by doing away with the battery found in conventional laptops (because it degrades and needs replacing) and batteries do not work well in HOT non-air-conditioned climate.

Just hook up the village power - 12v alternator driven off a diesel truck engine and you can work from that. My desktop machines don't have batteries so it's not an essential feature is it?

You could replace the hard drive with some flash memory and embed linux into it. You don't need a cdrom because you can download your ebooks/learning software/pirate music across a lan. It only needs to be 10/100 not WIMAX or wifi as has been suggested by some.


Man you really seem to know a lot better than them.

quote:
I also strongly disagree with the "one laptop per child" idea. NO!!!! What a waste of global natural resources - billions of computers and they will all depreciate. In non-usa countries there is the novel concept of SHARING. eg instead of buying one each and only using it sometimes, you and your BROTHER take turns. The other half of the day you probably have to gather crops or carry water. A laptop each is a waste of money that could buy these people CLOTHES and FOOD.


It blows me away how proud you seem to be of your ignorance. You really have shown you know absolutely nothing about the third (or developing) world. Stop pretending like you know more than everyone else (including anthropologists, industrial designers, electrical engineers, geoligists, businessmen, etc.) and be thankful that there are brilliant, caring people out there that strive to make things better for those not so fortunate as to be living in upper class society rather than their greedy selves.



RE: What's wrong
By msva124 on 5/24/2006 1:53:20 AM , Rating: 3
I think that none of us know for sure how this is going to be accepted in those countries, for the simple reason that it wasn't tested. I'm glad you have faith in the intelligence of people at prestigious universities. I do not share it.


RE: What's wrong
By hoppa on 5/24/2006 2:09:46 AM , Rating: 1
Then perhaps you should quit using your darling computer. Without the intelligence of academics, your machine would be far different and drastically less powerful than it is today.

I don't understand how people can look at the incredible vastness of human knowledge, society, and production, and then claim that they don't trust the intelligence of those who are leaders in the field of knowledge. It's like trying to say that the sky isn't blue.


RE: What's wrong
By msva124 on 5/24/2006 2:26:37 AM , Rating: 2
You are in desperate need of Prozac.


picture
By ksherman on 5/23/2006 6:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
well, other than the one hooked up to it, it doesnt seem to have a mouse... other wise, it has a windows start key on the keyboard?




RE: picture
By Drexial on 5/23/2006 6:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
its a bit too blurry to really tell, but i can see the windows key indeed. good spot.


RE: picture
By Lonearchon on 5/23/2006 6:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think it is there due to the use of part already made avalible to save costs. Look like great concept.


RE: picture
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see a mouse, but it's not really essential, I used to regularly drive win95 with just a keyboard.

A mouse is a $100 upgrade to subsidise the price of the machine ;-)

Or you supply your own and plug it in usb/ps2.

I thought it might have a "nipple" button in the keyboard like IBM or Toshiba use (I hate those).

SERIOUSLY,

It looks like their is a wide touch pad panel on the surface in front of the keyboard (it's yellow but you can see it if you look). Just conventional laptop tech. Why they have to make it yellow?


RE: picture
By Macelind on 5/24/2006 10:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
Yellow and red. It looks like a McDonalds product. It would be cool if they came with a happy meal.


RE: picture
By Mk4ever on 5/23/2006 9:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this supposed to be for 3rd world countries?

I see only english letters on the keyboard!


RE: picture
By dmcanally on 5/24/2006 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
the first step to success is learning English.


I Know The Answer!!
By SkAiN on 5/23/2006 6:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's an HP laptop with Apple stickers on it!!

What did I win??




RE: I Know The Answer!!
By SkAiN on 5/23/2006 6:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
d'oh!


RE: I Know The Answer!!
By Drexial on 5/23/2006 6:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
i thought i was gonnan get it first... but i got distracted while entering my post and somone beat me :(


RE: I Know The Answer!!
By ksherman on 5/23/2006 6:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
i dont see the apple logo... what are you talking about?


RE: I Know The Answer!!
By ksherman on 5/23/2006 6:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
never mind, its on the OTHER pictures... you cannot see it on the one on the page :-P


I wonder ...
By crystal clear on 5/24/2006 4:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder which operating system it will use-the Linux made in India version ?
Google homepage & free software package of Google?
Free version of wordprocessing software?
The free version of -Internet Explorer's competitor?
Plus other free software to add in/on.......
Hey MS is a big loser in this project -no wonder BG is upset about it.
I wonder.....




RE: I wonder ...
By Sharky974 on 5/24/2006 6:11:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah.

I'm sure they're the big loser in this project.

Get a dose of reality cus.

When MS is still raking in ten billion a year of profit in two years and this project is already forgotten, I'm sure Billy will be crying in his soup.

Looks like Apple is the big loser here to me. Oh wait, is one proprietary software company a little more politically correct than the other? Is that why you mentioned MS but not the other proprietary software company?


RE: I wonder ...
By Sharky974 on 5/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: I wonder ...
By crystal clear on 5/24/2006 7:25:55 AM , Rating: 2
Jokes aside now-but on one my trips to India, I came across
a localized version OS-Linux.
I asked why & what made U do this-They replied MS license fees in local currency is out of their reach,so took upon themselves this project.They adapted the tech to make it compatable to Indian requirement/needs-hey it works.
Later there was an article in BBC tech website about such groups existing in India,& the work they do & what they achieved.
Sometimes poverty drives U to achieve some wonderful things.


RE: I wonder ...
By mforce2 on 5/24/2006 7:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I wouldn't say Linux is such a failure . You use it every day when you go to all those web sites that are hosted on Linux webservers .
It's not doing well on the desktop , I agree but you can use it very well even there . I have a P III @ 450 running the latest Linux just fine with OpenOffice and stuff . Maybe Widows is easier , maybe you like it better but that doesn't mean you can't use Linux , it works too .


RE: I wonder ...
By crystal clear on 5/24/2006 7:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
I quoted BG /MS because they were quoted in this article.
Hey I forgot Intel CEo in India pushing the goodies-heaping praises /money/promises etc.All this to get 1 bln population hooked on computers.


We buy one, poor get one FREE
By sintaxera on 5/23/2006 7:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an idea. I bet there are a lot of hobbyist, tinkerers, makers, etc. that would love to have one of these to fool around with. Heck, there are even poor students in the developed world that would love to have one for classes. So, why not sell them to everyone at 2X the production cost. With every purchase, somebody in a third world country gets one FREE. It would be a win/win situation.




RE: We buy one, poor get one FREE
By Lifted on 5/23/2006 7:46:58 PM , Rating: 1
Would you really spend $200 on it? I wouldn't.

Besides, let all of the Starvin Marvins of the world get a computer/eTextbook first! Once they all have one, feel free to buy one for yourself.


By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:34:43 PM , Rating: 2

I think in some cases they could benefit from receiving a PAPER back book for starters.

They're cheaper than computers so there's not such a risk of having them stolen to sell for drugs or taken apart for spare parts. None of the mud huts I've visited actually had a built in en-suite lockable safe to put your valuables. Perhaps I should go to the 5 start mud huts where such features come as standard.

More seriously, on the issue of security I think it needs something equivalent to a "Kensington" slot for attaching a padlock. This could instead just be a hole you thread a chain through and thus secure the laptop to your mud hut until you come home. Carrying that around all day on a hot day would be a drag.

Or they could put a biometric reader in it for authorised users only ;-) NOT


By peternelson on 5/23/2006 8:17:25 PM , Rating: 2

Trouble is when you give someone something FREE (and they can get a new one free too) they might tend to value it less and so look after it less.

Whereas if they had to save their wages for 2 months you could be sure they will a) look after it b) make good use out of it.


RE: We buy one, poor get one FREE
By Clauzii on 5/24/2006 12:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
VERY Nice idea - I like that too :)

We still get a decent little machine for twohundred..


ROFL
By BioRebel on 5/23/2006 6:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
I had people in my school with apple stickers on their hp lappys. God knows why they didn't just buy an apple instead of looking like tools.




RE: ROFL
By shabby on 5/23/2006 7:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
We call people those ricers in the car world heheh.


RE: ROFL
By Souka on 5/24/2006 1:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
and don't forget.... racing stripes make your car faster too....

and a spoiler makes your mid 90's honda handle like dream..


ugh....


Kenner Komputer
By codeThug on 5/23/2006 9:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
still looks like a freakin kenner "close 'n play"




By smokenjoe on 5/23/2006 11:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Apple stickers on HP



Well as it is a pC is not finished and you guys are just no picking up on the whle cost thinga are you this will be gold overthere the kid with it will havsomething like no one else.


I will be the only charity I give too for a wile.


MISTAKE
By Drexial on 5/23/2006 6:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
I know whats wrong.... i dont own one? :-p

there is an HP laptop with Apple logos on it..... i would have put it over the HP logo. still would haev recognised it thouhg. it has that fun little blue LED thats always visible when open or closed.


i bet i could tell you why bill gates thinks its a peice of crap, cause its not$300 with his OS on it.




What's wrong with this picture...
By TxT on 5/23/2006 8:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have a mouse touchpad or finger pointer.




Pointing device
By kextyn on 5/23/2006 8:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you can't find any pointing devices on this you are blind.




Ha
By Sharky974 on 5/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: Ha
By MrKaz on 5/24/2006 5:19:17 AM , Rating: 2
Keep thinking like that and you are out of a job... replaced by one of those people that don’t like education...

And a real laptop for what?
Maybe you would recharge the battery and send it to the kid on the other country every 2 hours?
I started with a ZX SPECTRUM and it is not important what device you use to learn. You could learn as much with a ZX spectrum as with any other device.

ZX spectrum also cost around 100€ at the time I bought.

Also for 100€ you all would expect what? The last AMD FX with SXGA display, 2GB ram and 160GB HD?


RE: Ha
By Sharky974 on 5/24/06, Rating: 0
RE: Ha
By Sharky974 on 5/24/06, Rating: 0
By BigToque on 5/24/2006 11:27:44 AM , Rating: 2
What have you ever done to try to make a difference in this world. Why do you care if this never turns out to be what they invisioned? It has nothing to do with your life. Hopefully we learn something beneficial from it. If not, then it was knowledge learned in what doesn't work.




Speak 'n' Spell
By Jynx980 on 5/24/2006 5:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
This thing isn't a laptop, it's a Speak 'n' Spell. There planning to bilk the poor folks by selling them a children's toy at a %400 markup!




a
By Yaos on 5/24/2006 7:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is great, along with all the free support they will give when it breaks. Oh wait.

P.S. Microsoft has it's hand in this device too guys.




Devil
By DigitalFreak on 5/23/2006 8:15:13 PM , Rating: 1
If you put 2 red glowing eyes on the screen in that picture, it would look like a devil...




corners cut
By dream caster on 5/24/2006 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 1
As somebody said it looks like crap. It has that air "it is not mine", it costs me nothing of many free things. Much different from what you saw in the first concept designs, may be the performance is the same.
Sad!




UUUUUUGLY!!!
By SkAiN on 5/23/06, Rating: -1
RE: UUUUUUGLY!!!
By SkAiN on 5/23/06, Rating: -1
RE: UUUUUUGLY!!!
By Drexial on 5/23/06, Rating: 0
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay














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