Skip to main content

Laptop for the World's Children

Posted by isolatednetworks on April 22, 2007 at 1:39 PM PDT

Two days ago I had a glimpse of the AMD Geode processor and while looking for information stumbled upon the One Laptop Per Child (www.laptop.org) project founded by MIT Media Lab's Nicholas Negroponte and the project is all about a $100 laptop built around a AMD Geode processor with a feature list that is fascinating.

The laptop looks pretty stylish. Weighs less than 1.5 KG, convertible laptop with pivoting, reversible display; dirt- and moisture-resistant system enclosure
featuring an AMD Geode LX-700@0.8W 433 Mhz, 256 MiB dynamic RAM, 1024KB SPI-interface flash ROM, 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash as mass storage, high-speed flash controller, 7.5” Dual-mode TFT display with a 1200x900 200 DPI resolution, a sealed rubber-membrane key-switch assembly keyboard, dual apacitance/resistive touchpad; supports written-input mode, AC97-compatible audio codec; stereo, with dual internal speakers; Marvell Libertas 88W8388+88W8015, 802.11b/g compatible wireless; dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas; supports diversity reception, 640×480 resolution, 30FPS video camera 1A max power total, 5 cell 6 V battery, sort of a temperature proof design. Looks stylish.

The software ? I copy and paste below:

Components from Red Hat's Fedora Core 6 version of the Linux operating system; we are tracking the main kernel fairly closely. We will support five programming environments on the laptop: (1) Python, from which we have built our user interface and our activity model; (2) Javascript for browser-based scripting; (3) Csound, a programmable music and audio environment; (4) Squeak, a version of Smalltalk embedded into a media-rich authoring environment; and (5) Logo. We will also provide some support Java and Flash. Applications will include a web browser built on Xulrunner, the run-time environment used by the Firefox browser; a simple document viewer based upon Evince; the AbiWord wordprocessor, an RSS reader, an email client, chat client, VOIP client; a journal a wiki with WYSIWYG editing; a multimedia authoring and playback environment; a music composition toolkit, graphics toolkits, games, a shell, and a debugger. Libraries and plugins used by OLPC include Xul, GTK+, Matchbox, Sugar, Pango, ATK, Cairo, X Window System, Avahi, and gstreamer.

Sugar appears to have a original GUI "architecture" on its own, very creative....

$100. If Dell or HP were to introduce a similar laptop, (if this project didn't exist and if a similar product developed purely on a commercial context) the package of features and software and the style, would have caused them to consider pricing the product at a price in excess of $ 1000, justifiably so, perhaps with a little more powerful processor and slightly wider display.

Inspiring.

Related Topics >>