MIT's $100 laptop
Home | Reviews and Features | Special Reports | Forums |

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: MIT's $100 laptop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Independence, MO
    Posts
    8,071

    MIT's $100 laptop

    http://www.technologyreview.com/arti...2805bullis.asp

    Pretty slick looking machine. Of course it runs linux, or the price would almost double.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    9,736
    Very nice... I like the hand-crank generator. I can imagine you'd have to crank that little thing for about three minutes for every minute of running time!

    I'd also estimate the price as follows:

    Battery: $40
    Case/Chassis: $25
    Mobo: $50
    RAM: $25 (probably doesn't need much for linux)
    CPU (Geode?): $20
    HDD (still a LOT cheaper than a few GB of Flash): $50
    LCD: $90

    Can't say I can figure how that adds up to $100, though.
    We all Think Different too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    3,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyle
    I can imagine you'd have to crank that little thing for about three minutes for every minute of running time!
    How did you figure this one out?
    I remember guy from S Africa came out with radio using crank operated generator. Dont have any power specs to list though.

    I like the idea, even if it has a bit of a big brother theme to it, connected computer in every hand

    As for the costs, I dont know but cheapest memory cards are $50 anyway, so RAM and Hdd you list for $75, is more like $20-$25 if you can buy wholesale Flash for as big as production estimate as is listed.
    Battery: $40 - dont know about this one, but Id assume it should be a lot less, maybe $5-$10
    Case/Chassis: $25
    Mobo: $50
    CPU (Geode?): $20
    The 3 are probably about $20-$30, keeping the above consideration in mind
    LCD: $90, again dont know about this one, but really small LCDs like this are probably quite cheap to produce, considering all the tools were allready paid for way back, so premium you pay is part of negotiating process and I think theyd go for charity aspect here, which could do wonders for advertising and possible future consumers.
    $100 seems achievable to me.
    Last edited by F_A_L_C_O_N; September 30th, 2005 at 01:35 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    9,736
    I remember guy from S Africa came out with radio using crank operated generator. Dont have any power specs to list though.
    Well... I've also seen a radio that ran on a watch battery. Never saw a reasonably large LCD that did this, though.

    As for the costs, I dont know but cheapest memory cards are $50 anyway, so RAM and Hdd you list for $75, is more like $20-$25 if you can buy wholesale Flash for as big as production estimate as is listed.
    Well, I'd hate to see any computer that used FLASH as RAM. It's SLOW. Unbelievably slow. I guess, if you're going to really pair down the features and the OS, that you can get away with a flash drive (Say a cheap 512mb one) and maybe 32mb of RAM.

    But then we're talking bare essentials. The slowest Geode might be dramatic overkill.

    I think using the above, we could hit the $100 mark if we used a passive matrix monochrome LCD without a backlight. If we do this, I'll even agree that a few minutes of cranking ought to give it 30-60 minutes of battery life - maybe even more.

    As a social agenda, however, I'm fairly sure that giving everyone in the world a laptop will not do a whole lot of good (except of course for the people producing them).
    We all Think Different too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    3,265
    Yeah I gues you are right about Flash, thought I had it in my Ipaq, but then the battery wouldnt be a problem as far as data loss is concerned. So I was wrong it was regular memory.

    Anyways you could add 32MB-128MB of memory and Flash for the rest. Wouldnt make that much difference to the costs of the whole thing anyway.

    BTW I know it takes a lot less energy to power a radio, I just thought of it, thats all.
    Someone might have a link and we could see what your typical crank operated generator of this size will produce then we could know a bit more about the whole thing.
    Last edited by F_A_L_C_O_N; October 4th, 2005 at 10:45 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    9,736
    I found a similar-sized hand generator...

    http://www.shop.com/op/~Hand_Crank_E...r-prod-9299764

    Hand-operated DC generator is a high performance apparatus that produces up to 10V and 300mA of electrical power. Includes one 3-watt DC manual generator in a clear plastic case, 41/2" L x 21/4" W x 41/4" H with gears and crank, 3 foot electrical cord with alligator clips, and
    So about 3w. I think the best Dothan-based systems with maximum power saving and no load are stilling using about 11w. So, maybe with a smaller LCD, a solid state Flash Drive, and a Geode, you could cut the power consumption down to 3-5w. So, if you crank really fast you _might_ be able to keep your laptop running... but slow down for a moment.

    Of course, if you're cranking to charge a battery, you'll loose efficiency. So you'd likely wind up cranking about twice as long as you could use the PC for. Of course, wireless would be another power drain - and a fairly serious one.
    We all Think Different too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    3,265
    I see some use to it even with current power drain.
    For example two childreen could have fun with it and it could make usefull data tool when the rest od equipment goes out.
    What I meant with data tool is you could have one of those filled with local info and act a bit like rescue kit when needed.
    Alternatively solar power modul could be added.

    BTW at least they understand electricity/battery is what you are most likely to run out when you find yourself in poorest and/or remote parts of the world.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    9,736
    True enough. And I agree. One thing that something like this could really help with is storing PHI (patient health information). Healthcare is troubled in much of the 3rd world by not being able to document visits, diagnosis, and patient history.

    Sadly, though, one of the biggest problems installing ANYTHING in some of these areas is that if it's not bolted down (and even then if it's not surrounded by gaurds and razor wire) it will walk. In S. Africa, they actually have a bit of a problem in some provinces with people stealing chunks of highway gaurdrail.

    Even if you made sure everyone had a laptop, some people might want two.
    We all Think Different too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Independence, MO
    Posts
    8,071
    Yeah, high theft makes those markets hard to get into. Look at the software industry in some parts of the world. 90%+ of the software is pirated. Movies and music are the same way. Considering that is in developed or developing nations, one could only imagine the case in the poorest nations. In a 3rd-world country, $100 is a lot of money.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    York, PA, USA
    Posts
    9,736
    Of course, if parts were constructed by locals of local materials (generator, battery, chassis) the cost could be reduced. After all $100 is only a lot of money in 3rd world countries because of exchange rates.
    We all Think Different too.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •