William Kramer

Hacking the Hundred Dollar Laptop

Whatever you think about Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child from the policy and practicality perspectives, you can’t help but applaud what the project is doing on the technical side. The new issue of Technology Review has a fascinating article on the computer, and its innovative and envelope-pushing technology.

Some of the elements that excite me include the capacity to pool a number of the laptops to create a VoIP phone system; the high-resolution LED-illuminated screen able accurately to replicate the delicate curves of language scripts which require it, such as Arabic; and the alternative power sources under development for it. Take a look.

I sense the law of unintended consequences at work here; Negroponte may not achieve what he has set out to do – that is in the hands of a lot of external actors, but he may well set off another revolution in the computer industry.