Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The $100 Lap Top For The Rest of Us?

Think about your own PC usage -- does it honestly include anything more demanding than Facebook stalking, laughing at idiots on YouTube or hitting the digg button underneath the latest lolcat? Can you justify spending £2,000 when a machine costing £50 will do exactly the same thing? Crave thinks the world can learn a lot from the XO, the ClassMate PC and its ilk. These devices could change the computing world as we know it. And despite its makers saying it's exclusive to the developing world, the XO absolutely should be brought to the West.

Since 1965, the tech world has obsessed about keeping pace with Moore's Law -- an empirical observation that computing performance will double every 24 months. Concurrently, consumers have lusted after the latest and greatest computing hardware, encouraged in part by newer, fatter, ever more demanding operating systems and applications.

Moore's law is great for making tech faster, and for making slower, existing tech cheaper, but when consumers realise their personal lust for faster hardware makes almost zero financial sense, and hurts the environment with greater demands for power, will they start to demand cheaper, more efficient 'third-world' computers that are just as effective?

I concur. We have video game systems for high graphics game play. I am not alone in just typically surfing the web, watching youtube videos, doing email, and the blogging thing. Buying a $2,500 computer for many home and even business users is the equivalent of putting a Ferrari body over your Ford Fiesta and feel like you are styling.

Even as storage space now screams to 1 terabyte hard drives, much of what people put on their hard drives (pictures, videos) can be stored for free at image hosting sites up to a point.

I would think that schools could also afford this. Instead of 10 pricey desktops at $2000 a pop in a computer lab, a school could could issue each child a $100 lap top instead. If their parents want to give them a quad core video card enabled PC with dolby stereo, video editing software, dvd burning, etc, they can pay for it.

The kids don't need it though.