Bridging the Digital Divide

circuit board… and doing it $100 at a time, if those wacky geniuses at MIT and AMD have anything to say about it.The more I read of this article, the more happy I became about it. To make a long story short (Trust me, my story’s shorter. Their story’s 3 pages), A bunch of MIT researchers have decided that it’s possible to design a wireless laptop for $90-$100, provided they get a screen that’s cheap enough. AMD (one of the leading processor manufacturers and Intel’s main competitor) and Google have promised to help out as well.

Naturally they’ll be using open source stuff like Linux (I’m sure they’ll pick one of the free versions over Red Hat or Linspire) and OpenOffice to make sure only the hardware needs to be purchased. Does this mean that people will miss out? Well, sure, if you mean spyware and viruses.

All is not perfect in this wonderful dream. Apparently one of the ways to cut costs is to only manufacture orders of one million or more, so unless a school district has $100 million spare cash in it’s budget it might be a little difficult to see computers like these showing up in schools. I suppose school districts could always team up to pull their resources though. I can even see them instituting some type of clever reselling system to earn their money back. I know I would totally buy one of these if it went on sale.

And the bottom line would be: everybody wins.