MIT Professor outlines plan to provide the world’s poorest with Linux laptops

By Derek Sooman on May 16, 2005, 12:11 PM
Nicholas Negroponte, a professor at the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has outlined a scheme whereby Linux notebook computers could be supplied to people in some of the world's poorest nations for as little as $100. Designed to be rugged and durable, the laptops would have full colour screens and would by powered by ingenious means such as wind-up. They should also have wireless and USB capability, and will sport a 500MHz processor, 1GB of memory and an XVGA display. Not bad at all.

"Sadly, most educational systems that recognise the importance of computers provide a roomful of desktops to which a child might go for a few hours a week," said Professor Negroponte.

"But computing should be like a pencil: you have your own (versus community pencils) and use it for all kinds of purposes related to school, home, work and play.

"This model of computing calls for a lightweight, full-screen, full-colour, fully-connected laptop.

"To achieve this, the MIT Media Lab has been developing a $100 laptop which can be provided on a very large scale worldwide. The goal is to have one laptop per child in the poorest and most remote regions of the world."

User Comments: 3

Got something to say? Post a comment
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I'd provide clean water and food first.
asphix said:
haha no kidding, thats what I was going to say. I think these "poorest people in the most remote places" could care less about a computer. He criticizes that most people provide these desktops that dont get used but a couple hours a week? What do you think a starving ethiopian is going to do with his new laptop? Use it to knock out some animal that can be seen as food, or sell it for food!I also dont mean to sound like a negative nay-sayer but people who are poor and in distant corners of the world and are handed technology isntead fo food can become more disgruntled/fusterated with life than they already are. A lot of times a good thought acheves a negative response as well as an unintended consequence. I could see something like this promoting a spike in hacking/spam in the future. If hacking/spam helps get these people the food they REALLY desire, they will use this tool to do so.
phantasm66 said:
Actually, there is a lot of research that shows that a lack of an IT infrastructure is a strong contributing factor to these countries continuing poverty.But I take the point that feeding and clothing people is more important.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.