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$100.00 laptop being developed

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Sub-$100 laptop design unveiled , according to a BBC News story. Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came up with the idea on a trip to Cambodia.

Negroponte says MIT and his non-profit group, One Laptop Per Child, are in discussions with 5 countries, Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa, to distribute up to 15 million test systems to children, according to the ZDNet article The $100 laptop moves closer to reality . A prototype should be ready by November, for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia, the BBC says. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has plans to start buying them the following year for all 500,000 middle- and high-school children in the state.

The machines, which will run a slimmed-down version of Linux, are projected to have a 500Mhz CPU and 1GB Flash memory. The screens will have both a full-color mode and a black-and-white mode that is viewable in sunlight. They will be Wi-Fi- and cell phone- enabled, and have 4 USB ports. They will have a waterproof rubber case, and feature a hand-crank for use when no power is available - one minute of cranking giving 10 minutes of computer time.

Negroponte said five companies, Google, Advanced Micro Devices, News Corp., Red Hat and BrightStar, are working with MIT to develop an initial 5 million to 15 million units within the year. His current plan is to produce 100 million to 150 million units by 2007. The plan is that governments will be able to by them in quantity, for distribution to schoolchildren. There are currently no plans to offer them for sale to the public.

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