Wednesday, February 04, 2009

a rs. 500 laptop? put that in your pipe and smoke it, negroponte :-)

feb 4th, 2009

i don't believe this number of rs. 500 or rs. 1000 either, but hey, that is the trend in hardware these days. will the koreans and taiwanese dump displays at rs. 500 each? they may, if they are running into demand problems. and with linux and no hard disk, maybe a price of rs. 2500 is achievable. that would be great, if it has wifi and gps and a camera and networking built in (actually the ideas for grid computing built into the OLPC are quite good, but i got cheesed off at the aggressive sales tactics esp by negroponte.)

after decades of always having to fork out $1200 for a decent computer (yes, it would do more but the price was always the same), it is good to see netbooks coming in at $299. 

i am thinking of buying a netbook myself. after all, i do much of my browsing on my nokia smartphone already, and i am tired of lugging even a small 12" laptop around. 

i can understand negroponte being peeved but do i feel sorry for him? naaaaah. the guy is a showman. and he sure hasn't been able to get the $100 OLPC going. he did try to make 'mit media lab' a big brand, but it failed as there really wasn't much behind the smoke and mirrors. 


Arvind said...

Neither Negroponte's laptop nor the Indian government's laptop reflect the true cost. Both are intended to depend on government subsidies and are thus fraudulent. Negroponte wanted the World Bank and the governments of third world countries to subsidize his laptop as well as his profits.

Both are like that other great fraud that occurred on the same lines - the Simputer which was intended as a $400 gizmo for, hold your breath, the illiterates!

Shankar said...

The Simputer was a working handheld. If you consider the chip prices during those days and the fact that the designers did not rely on govt subsidies, it was practical and respectable. I agree it lacked refinement, but otherwise, it was quite good for its time. I am not sure what this $10 brick is supposed to be. You don't get sufficient RAM for $10.

Shankar said...


Some unsolicited advice on netbook shopping. Checkout ASUS 1000HE

nizhal yoddha said...

thanks for the suggestion, but i want a netbook with flash memory, not a disk. i want it to be as easy to use and always-on as a smartphone. no bloody booting up time.

Game said...

I wish this contreversy sbout $10 laptop could be real.this thing is what i've always dreamt off

Itsdifferent said...

Not sure if kids in India needs a computer or some basic amenities like clean environment, toilets, blackboard, supplies (paper, pencil and crayons) and most importantly teachers with accountability and quality.

Arvind said...


The problem with the Simputer was not the technology, but the target consumer base. Their consumers were supposed to be the ILLITERATES. Since the illiterates cannot use a keyboard, they would give voice commands! That was the silly premise of the Simputer. And the second premise was that since the target consumer base was the slum-dweller who couldn't afford it, someone will have to pay for it and why not fleece the taxpayer?