$100 notebooks for schoolkids around the world likely will run linux

I was reading that Apple had offered free copies of OSX for the $100 laptop project aimed at bringing cheap laptops to schoolkids in the developing world and in some cases even here in the US. They don’t have the price down to $100 yet, but OSX was rejected because it isn’t open source, apparently the designers want an Open Source OS to work with so they can tweak and tinker with it.

Currently the laptops will have an 8″ screen with AMD processor, a version of Linux from Red Hat, it will be networkable with other units, have wireless capabilities for web browsing, the display would be in monochrome mode for word processing and low res color for web browsing, the power could be from either an external power source or a wind-up mechanism (like the freeplay radio – dynamo that charges a battery).

They do say that the laptops may eventually be sold in a commercial version for around $200 with the extra cost subsidizing laptops for schoolkids around the world.

The non-profit behind this effort is called One Laptop Per Child, they currently have 5 companies bidding to make the laptop. In the article, a Dell representative doubts a $100 laptop would be powerful enough to meet students needs. Which is kind of funny given that this is targetted towards kids that currently don’t have a pc of any sort. I guess those 486 laptops that use to be around were underpowered for word processing. For what they were designed to do, the software around at the time, they were enough and for many tasks they were better than not having one at all.

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