The wind-up laptop

Let’s hear it for the MIT Media Lab and its $100 Laptop project. The idea is to get inexpensive but modern laptop computers into the hands of school children in the developing world. Several nations have signed on to the project to distribute them to literally millions of school-children.

The BBC World News reported about it last night, but didn’t say where to find out more. One of the teasers is that the computer may be powered by a handcrank, which makes me think that it could have wide applications in development and disaster work. Since they’ll be already WiFi-enabled, imagine how that could have improved communications in — say– New Orleans. But don’t get out your checkbook yet: they’re a couple of years shy of development, and, no, they’ll not be sold to individuals.

Here’s the information page:

$100 Laptop (Nifty!)

Still I wonder, as an individual consumer. The operating system will be Linux; will it be one available to non-$100-Laptop-users? Like Edubuntu, due out in about two weeks?

And what about a solar batter option for those of us out of the loop?

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. We should put one of these in the hands of every school child in this country too! A $100 laptop, what a great idea!


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