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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 ( 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.


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