Monday, May 21, 2007

CBS 60 Minutes on One Laptop per Child


CBS 60 Minutes, on Sunday May 20 2007, had a major report on Nicholas Negroponte, a technology professor at MIT who has a dream to provide every child on earth a laptop computer. The reported was Leslie Stahl and the report is called “What If Every Child Had a Laptop: Leslie Stahl Reports on the Dream and Difficulties of Getting a Laptop to Every Child: Link here.

So he developed the “One Laptop Per Child” concept and designed a military-robust laptop that looks like a top but that can stand environmental abuse, and that has better Wi-Fi capabilities than most conventional laptops. It has a battery that can be charged with a mechanical crank. The laptop becomes unusable after 24 hours when stolen.

The laptop is sold only in minimum lots, with price per unit under $200. Negroponte envisions selling them individually, with a minimum purchase of two, with one computer going to a poor child.

The computer uses a chip made in India and apparently a proprietary operating system more like Linux. The report was not specific about this.

There has been controversy about competition from Intel.

This is a good example of a "geek" with an entreprenurial idea that can do enormous good for the disadvantaged. Other reports, such as Bill Gates working on AIDS, have been much more visible.

Picture (unrelated): PNC baseball stadium in Pittsburgh.

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