Unser Redakteur in den USA, Joe Casad, befindet sich derzeit auf der LinuxWorld Expo in Boston und berichtet live. Folgende Nachricht veröffentlichen wir daher in seiner Muttersprache Englisch:
The conference section of this year’s LinuxWorld Boston event began today with a keynote address from Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). OLPC is working on an ambitious plan to produce laptop computers for children in developing countries.
Negroponte, who is also the co-founder of the MIT Media Laboratory, started with some background on the project, which, he said, grew from the success of earlier studies that illustrated the benefits of providing children with portable computers. The laptops will be produced for the very low cost of US$ 100 per computer. Negroponte explained that this price is not so remarkable if you consider that 50% of the cost of a normal portable computer is for profit, marketing, and distribution — which will not be a factor for the units produced by the non-profit OLPC. Additional economies will come from the very large volume. The plans call for an initial order of 5-15 million computers.
The basic facts of the $100 laptop project are well known to many Linux watchers. The audience was more interested in learning about the evolving specifications for the small, rugged computers. Negroponte said the laptops will come with a 500 Mhz x86 processor and 512 MB flash memory with 3-4 USB ports. The computers are designed to operate in village-sized WiFi mesh networks, with Internet access provided to remote locations by satellite.
The display screen for the laptops will have two display modes, a lower-resolution color mode and a high-resolution black and white mode. Perhaps the most significant technological innovation is the power use. The computers are designed to operate on less than 2 Watts of power, and the user has the option of producing this power mechanically. According to Negroponte, the hand crank, which appears in some recent photos of the laptops, will be replaced by a floor-mounted pump attached to the AC adapter.