While folks here are panting for a sub-$1000 laptop, MIT under the guidance of Nick Negroponte have come up with a sub-$100 laptop with wind-up power. The target is student populations in the 3rd world — millions of them. The MIT laptop is supposed to be on schedule for a world demo at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis on November 17th.
“Nicholas Negroponte, the co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, detailed specifications for a $100 windup-powered laptop targeted at children in developing nations.
Negroponte, who laid out his original proposal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, said MIT and his nonprofit group, called One Laptop Per Child, is in discussions with five countries–Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa–to distribute up to 15 million test systems to children.”
The machines, which will run a version of the Linux operating system, will also include other applications, some developed by MIT researchers, as well as country-specific software. “Software has gotten too fat and
unreliable, so we started with Linux,” he said.