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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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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..

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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