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$100 Laptop Repriced at $175

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the bait-and-switch dept.

Portables 323

prostoalex writes "The $100 laptop introduced by Nicholas Negroponte as part of the One Laptop Per Child program will end up costing $175, Associated Press says. The demand for the program is apparent as 'seven nations have expressed interest in being in the initial wave to buy the little green-and-white "XO" computers — Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Nigeria and Libya — but it remains unclear which ones will be first to pony up the cash.'"

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323 comments

I'm just waiting... (3, Funny)

therufus (677843) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894259)

...for the first person to complain that it doesn't run Vista.

Re:I'm just waiting... (5, Funny)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894595)

Or simply call it the £100 laptop.

Re:I'm just waiting... (-1, Troll)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894951)

At this point it wouldn't surprise me if they had to do that to avoid the huge exchange rate difference between the US dollar and...everything else. The fact that it takes well over 50% more US dollars to equal an amount in euros or francs, should seriously concern people.

Re:I'm just waiting... (4, Informative)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895123)

As of today, one Euro = $1.36

It takes 36% more dollars to equal one Euro. The Franc doesn't exist any more. Your math abilities and world knowledge should seriously concern people.

Re:I'm just waiting... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894807)

more likely some linux fag would complain about something about it. those dick smokers complain all the time. but the truth is that vista has nearly the same market share as linux even tho it's a defective sack of crap but still people think it's better than linux. can't say i disagree.

DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894265)

Jack Valenti just fucking DIED of a stroke and all you can think about are $175 laptops?????

GET SOME PRIORITIES!!!

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894311)

Exactly,rRot in hell you rich bastard. Made a million a year in the 60's. Fuck You, I hope it hurt on the way out.

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894347)

Wow, I thought this was a troll for sure, but it's true [cnn.com]

My favorite picture [archives.gov] of Valenti. Can you find him?

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (4, Funny)

Upaut (670171) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894355)

Jack Valenti just fucking DIED of a stroke and all you can think about are $175 laptops?????

Alright, I'll get it over with: *ahem* Ding, dong, the witch is dead

Now thats over with, onto the more notable laptop. Got to say, still excited about this project. Last time I held a computer class in the DR, a massive power surge nearly killed me when the computer in question was powered up... These little things should be able to take the abuse, and the unstable power grids of many of these developing countries. Still cannot wait until a consumer model is released, so I can prepair a few classes on them for next time I go down.

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894677)

who is this Valenti guy anyway?

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894359)

Troll Party!!

I'm not just thing about $175 laptops, I'm thinking about giant sea bass well.

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894395)

I have priorities, I am booking a flight right now to go and piss on his grave!

Re:DAMN IT, SLASHDOT!!! (-1, Offtopic)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894903)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Lobbyist Jack Valenti was found dead in his Houston home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Why not....? (2, Interesting)

cyberbob2351 (1075435) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894279)

Instead of:
"one laptop per child"
which are devices that hardly fit the description of "rugged"..

why aren't we going for:
"One desktop per family"?

Much easier to repair when broken, and that lends itself better to donations of old equipment.

Re:Why not....? (5, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894381)

Desktops are only more repairable if you have a geek-type house with a stash of spare parts. Try troubleshooting a desktop on a dirt floor in a mud hut and you'll find that it's a lot more delicate than a sealed unit. It looks to me like the OLPC is aiming at the sweet spot between 'rugged' and 'cheap', which will let the units get the maximum use per dollar in their target environment. Kind of like those kiddie computers you can buy (sealed unit, membrane keyboard, small LCD) but with enough grunt to be useful as an actual work or learning tool.

Re:Why not....? (0, Troll)

yoprst (944706) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894389)

It seems that OLPC designed to be used by people living in caves (no energy source at all, no communications at all) . Desktop isn't. Besides, the cheapest way to get a desktop is to get an outdated desktop from local source (You don't want to ship a pc that costs $50 over Atlantic)

Re:Why not....? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894391)

Why are you not reading the FAQ [laptop.org] ?

Alternatively, if you're so smart - you obviously have all the answers - where's your program to help the uneducated poor of the world? Oh, right, it's easy to bag someone else's project than do something yourself.

Re:Why not....? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894483)

Not everybody with a valid complaint about something know the immediate solution.

Re:Why not....? (0, Offtopic)

cyberbob2351 (1075435) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894497)

Wow, I'd say you should quit being so confrontational and insulting before making a reply.

Aside from this, did you ever consider perhaps a modular power system that could potentially supply power to a myriad of devices?

AAAANNNNDDD - as it turns out, I DO have two skunkworks projects to help the poor uneducated people of the world.(One a centralized free repository to host free lecture material). Of course you wouldn't know that, because you jump to conclusions about people you have never met.

Re:Why not....? (2, Insightful)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894553)

I think that likely the reason the GP was so harsh was that they're tired of reading dismissive comments posted without even the most basic research into the problem, which happens all the time whenever OLPC is brought up. I am tired of such comments too.

Re:Why not....? (1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894593)

No, I rightfully went off at you for not even bothering to read the FAQ before asking a question.

That's what a FAQ is for.

If you don't like it, go hang out on a non-geek website where people don't mind rehashing the same questions over and over again.

This is why we have netiquette.

In fact, I think you know that you did the wrong thing and now you're trying to be indignant about it to save face.

Suck it up, take your lumps, read the FAQ and get behind this great project.

If we're lucky they'll get this out the door before their pandering to Microsoft turns it into a way to exploit the poor instead of helping educate them.

Re:Why not....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894863)

Wow, if those children have people like you across the world trying to help them, who needs dictators?

Re:Why not....? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894539)

> Alternatively, if you're so smart - you obviously have all the answers - where's your program to help the uneducated poor of the world?

Okay, here's my plan... fuck 'em and let them rot in a pit. If Jesus had wanted them to amount to anything He would have had them born among reputable White people and not had them fucking around in the dirt and the filth with the mudbabies and the whores who birthed them. They ain't shit, fuck them in the ear, and don't cry for me South Africa. End their shitty bloodlines and the whole world will immediately get a +4 charisma due to the lack of coons. ROFL.

Re:Why not....? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18895059)

This is easily the most insightful post that I have ever seen on slashdot. Mod up immediately.

Re:Why not....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894421)

nyeer, lack of a stable power supply to drive your wasteful desktop processor and 17" fishbowl monitor?

"Dad! I want to use the computer!"

"Sure son, once Haliburton sort out the 'lectric and stop shooting people in the face".

Re:Why not....? (4, Informative)

burns210 (572621) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894773)

which are devices that hardly fit the description of "rugged"..
Have you actually used one? Like, at all? The machines are quite "rugged". Or were you just making a baseless claim?
As for why not desktop machines? Power requirements and portability are two of the reasons.

Re:Why not....? (2, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894867)

Because "family" is an anti-socialist term and is no longer politically correct.

The price will go down when they get more volume. (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894283)

and thanks to Moore's law.

This isn't news, they've been saying this for over a year now.

Re:The price will go down when they get more volum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894345)

It's Slashdot, it's news!

Expressed interest (3, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894297)

Expressed interest. Expressed interest. Expressed interest. That's all we hear. Expressed interest. When's someone going to express a little cash?

Re:Expressed interest (0)

davmoo (63521) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894449)

And in addition, if this were a Microsoft product, everyone would be yelling "vaporware!" and bitching about the price increase.

Re:Expressed interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18895125)

Let me express this.

I've two benjamins with their name on them. Come on already - get it out to the market. People spends 500 bucks for iPhone, that fashion accessory. FFS put it out there.

Needs a new name (5, Funny)

wmwilson01 (912533) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894305)

I think they should rename this to One Laptop per 0.57 Child

Re:Needs a new name (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894557)

you meant one laptop every 1.75 child or 0.57 laptop per child

175 != 100 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894315)

175 is well above 100... like 75%. I would say that misses the target a bit. What gives?

No story here. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894317)

It's $175 now but will hopefully cost $100 by the time it's up for sale, so AP don't really have a story.

Re:No story here. (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894443)

not if the US dollar keeps spiraling out of control.

It's still less than 100 pounds or euros.

Just because our government has completely tanked out economy does not mean this project failed.

They still have the same costs, the US dollar is simply worth 1/2 as much as it was 2 years ago.

Re:No story here. (5, Informative)

Dara Hazeghi (1076823) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894631)

Either you're a crazed hippie completely out of touch with reality, or you're a troll:

Euro value 4/26/05 = $1.29
Euro value 4/26/07 = $1.36

Not exactly spiraling out of control. Total loss of value in two years = 5.2%, not half.

Re:No story here. (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894703)

Thats not total loss, thats the change in value relative to the Euro.

Re:No story here. (1)

Cutie Pi (588366) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895039)

Since you're such an authority on the subject, why don't you put some real numbers behind your statement like the GP? What is the "total loss"?

Re:No story here. (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895047)

So the Euro lost value as well? As did every other currency you could make the same comparison to? I suppose this also means that all US prices doubled?

Re:No story here. (3, Informative)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895155)

Picking a couple of points isn't the most robust measure, especially with things as potentially volaile as currency. If you look at the five year trend [yahoo.com] , it doesn't look so good. The US dollar rallied a little in late 05, early 06, but generally it's steadily sinking down. The Grandparent post is radically overstating things, but the picture isn't as rosy as you want to make out either.

Re:No story here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894689)

I hope you get more stuff stolen from your house.

Re:No story here. (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894795)

Uh, wake up call. The US economy is arguably the best economy in the history of the world. In fact, it's probably down hill from here. Record unemployment. Low interest rates. DJIA highest ever. Dude, let go the crackpipe and look around.

Re:No story here. (1)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895063)

Low interest rates means a struggling economy, normal interest rates at the indicator of a good economy. (The reason you have low interest rates is because the reserve bank reduced them significantly after 9/11 due to the economic impact).

Re:No story here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894735)

"Instead of $175, let's load Windows on it, sell them for $500, and then sell them a subscription to OneCare! And we could always get add-on sales of MS Office from the little buggars." -S. Ballmer

me thinks kids in inner city schoos ... (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894343)

are sufficiently poor to warrant OLTP in USA.

Re:me thinks kids in inner city schoos ... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894489)

The only thing they want to help the USA out with is taking their money.

Do you remember a while back were they were saying buy a OLPC for a kid for $200 or so? I'm wondering how long they have known about this price and sat on it?

Re:me thinks kids in inner city schoos ... (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894679)

No. The "inner city schools" get about $10,000 per child per year in tax money. Quite a bit more than that in many places.

Re:me thinks kids in inner city schoos ... (2, Interesting)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894827)

Fuckin' a, buddy. I'm all in favor of helping humanity, that is other humans, in any way possible, but every time someone looks to take on a humanitarian aid project they look to do it overseas.

Our schools here in the US are total shitboxes (most of them, and not as bad as those in some other countries), we have starving people just like everywhere else, homelessness is on the rise, New Orleans is still somewhere between the stone age and the 21st century, etc., etc., etc.

Keeping stuff like this out of the hands of American kids who need a little help, just to watch it all go overseas is kinda stupid. What's the worst that's going to happen? Kids will benefit from having the technology and people will realize that they don't need $2,000 laptops (with expensive operating systems and productivity suites) to look at porn and read emails, or maybe do a little homework?

Re:me thinks kids in inner city schoos ... (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894877)

You don't need a low power rugged laptop in a society with ample power and concrete floors.

On the other hand, if you're interested in starting a project to help inner city schools, why don't you?

Quit thinking of the children...... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894349)

Won't someone think of the shemales!????!!??1111

Cheaper Next Year (1)

vertigoCiel (1070374) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894353)

The good thing is, with the economics of scale and the ever decreasing price of computer hardware, the OLPC will finally be a $100 laptop in a year or two.

Re:Cheaper Next Year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894755)

Really? When has the price of computers ever dropped 43% in a year or two.

wait for it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894371)

In Soviet OLPC, price of laptop increases YOU!!!

Governments? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894377)

If there's really a market for these things, and if this is really the right price, why do they need these governments to sign on? Can't they just, you know, sell them to people? Why force them (via their governments) to buy one?

Re:Governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894459)

Gosh, you're right. We should just open up One-laptop-per-child stores in villages across Nigeria, right next to the Dell Outlet.

Re:Governments? (0, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894547)

Wow, you should get some kind of "biggest Slashdot retard" award for that comment.

Re:Governments? (3, Informative)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894549)

why do they need these governments to sign on? Can't they just, you know, sell them to people? Why force them (via their governments) to buy one?

I was under the impression that either the governments in question would be buying them or they would be paid for by charities. The families getting these laptops sure as hell don't have the funds to pay for them, so to the end user they will be free. That means you need some way (on site administration) for the "right" people to get the laptops, and you need a request for the charities to respond to. These two requirements are the job of the governments of the people in need.

I'll buy one... (1)

fazookus (770354) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894401)

...actually i'll buy two, they can keep one, and then I'll give the first one back after I've played with it a little. I'll bet that's a deal that any hardened geek would find reasonable.

€100 laptop? (3, Interesting)

Ranger (1783) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894403)

The dollar has lost so much value it's no suprise that it's going to start at $175. I think they should have called it the €100 euro laptop. I heard they expected after mass production for it go from $100 down to $50. It'll get their eventually.

€128 laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894891)

No, $175 USD is 128.

Re:€100 laptop? (1)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895007)

The dollar has devalued so much, indeed. Why not call it the 100 sterling pound laptop and make a profit?

Not enough (2, Informative)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894441)

I am on argentina and the Laptop is going to cost 175 dollars which here means 550 pesos which with the costs of translation (oil) and the taxes it will be at 900 pesos which is something like 300 dollars and 900 pesos is the cost of a Pentium 3 600Mhz with 128 mb ram and 20Gb hard drive. What is the relation Cost-Power of this Laptops? Either way if it is intended to be for poor people thats not the way to do it, and the worst i can tell is that poor people does not have credit cards like in other countries. I am not telling just that my country is like India, but just that this is the first country to invest in technology, so you might to justify what is the thing we might buy. Buy it by CASH? think twice, just in case you not want to hear how difficult is for me to sell a damn 100 hundred dollars CPU.

Re:Not enough (2, Informative)

JeffAMcGee (950264) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894551)

"and the taxes" ... They are selling these in bulk to national governments. I doubt that any government is worried about paying sales taxes to itself.

Re:Not enough (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894687)

What i mean is transport taxes, and import taxes which actually exists because we cannot afford a competition so huge. Of course this Laptops are the door-in to the ALCA TLC or whatever.

Re:Not enough (1)

xubu_caapn (1086401) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894853)

According to the FAQ, the laptops will be deployed to governments rather than to individuals, and who knows how the government is going to deploy them? I think the sensible thing to do is to give them to every child to assist in their schooling.

Re:Not enough (1)

Ep0xi (1093943) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894947)

Yes but the crisis made in my country by the end of 2001 is so difficult to forget in terms of buypower that the laptops are not going to the hands of kids but to the families that are earning this "plan" for families which supported this pressident. That would be the target of a goverment based solution to the technological breach. i still think is very hard to apply a massive deployment of laptops in countries like mine, because there is not the necessity of computers for children but just the joy that would bring. The necessity of computers is made by the love for technology, and that is not working by the moment.

Axis of OLPC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894535)

Interesting to see the Axis of One laptop per child enumerated.

Sugar GUI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18894541)

i would like to see the Sugar GUI extracted from the rest if possible and see if it will compile & run on Linux like any other Window Manager...

Re:Sugar GUI (1)

kegon (766647) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894941)

Why would you want to run Sugar ?

It's designed for kids and people who have never used a computer before. How did you come to post on Slashdot if you want to run Sugar (apart from inquisitiveness) ?

Getting that first 3 million orders. (4, Insightful)

pschmied (5648) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894565)

It seems to me that they could probably get the first batch paid for by us geeks who have been drooling over the OLPC hardware for a while.

Hell, I'd pony up ~$400-$500 for a unit. I wonder how many orders at that price point would be enough to get manufacturing cranking.

Plus, from my way of thinking, the OLPC project could use some more content creators doing homebrew design on the OLPC hardware.

Re:Getting that first 3 million orders. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894847)

Short answer: the logistics of distribution make this impossible.

Long answer: you would need some form of "pre-order" organisation that collects all the money and takes care of distribution. They would need to collect 3 million orders, secure the funds, then place the order with the manufacturer, get the units, box them, label them for delivery, arrange 3 million pickups.. pay for those pickups. Refund anyone who changed their mind. Locate others to take the unsold merchandise off their hands. Then, finally, contribute whatever funds are left over to the OLPC.

Oh, and the whole time that they're handling $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion dollars, we've gotta trust them, and they've gotta ensure none of the employees are embezelling. It's just not doable.

About the only way it would be at all possible is if someone with $525 million dollars was to place an order for 3 million units, the manufacturers could deliver it to that one person's warehouse(s), then they could sell to retailers, who could sell to the public. The markups in that supply chain would be enormous.. just to make it economically viable for everyone involved.. and the price per unit would go far above $400 to $500. Maybe there'd be a few dollars left over for the OLPC.

Even if you were just trying to get 3 million people to donate enough to each supply one laptop to an aide organisation you'd have to ask for more than $175.. you'd probably have to ask for $300.

Re:Getting that first 3 million orders. (2, Insightful)

kegon (766647) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895073)

Quote (my emphasis):
It seems to me that they could probably get the first batch paid for by us geeks who have been drooling over the OLPC hardware for a while.

Pray tell, which aspect of the OLPC hardware have you been drooling over ?

The 7.5 inch pseudo-color screen, the lack of hard disk, low memory, etc ? I'm confused.

As an example of what can be done with a low cost computing platform, I'm as interested as the next geek but it's a bit of a stretch to say it's spittle producing stuff, isn't it ?

Re:Getting that first 3 million orders. (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895225)

Hell, I'd pony up ~$400-$500 for a unit.


Ummm... you can buy a real laptop for that price.

And if Microsoft or Sony did this? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894583)

...If Microsoft talked for years about a "$100 .mp3 player" they were working on, making a big point about its price itself being a breakthrough, and then said as the introduction approached that it was really going to cost $175, what would Slashdot's reaction be?

Shrug and say "it doesn't really matter, it's still cheap and the price will come down as economies of scale kick in?"

Re:And if Microsoft or Sony did this? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894725)

Neither Microsoft nor Sony are charities trying to bring free education to the poor of the world.

Why should we judge the OLPC project by the same standards that we judge multinational profit machines?

Why do I even have to ask this question?

What is wrong with you?

Jesus H. Christ.

Re:And if Microsoft or Sony did this? (4, Insightful)

JeffAMcGee (950264) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895193)

"I might get modded off-topic for saying this, but ..." on slashdot people regularly post the question "How would slashdot react if Microsoft did this?" This post is usually modded insightful because the mods see it as thinking outside the box—it looks like you are breaking away from the herd mentality when you post this question. The only problem is that people regularly post this question, or a paraphrase of this question, so it really isn't too insightful.

This post usually gets one of two responses: "It would not be the same because..." or "Slashdot is not one person, the members of the slashdot community can disagree with each other."

Re:And if Microsoft or Sony did this? (4, Interesting)

BenSnyder (253224) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894777)

I get your point. It's fun to try to kick a little Slashdot ass. But I'll take your question seriously and try to answer it.

The idea of putting a laptop in the hands of somebody who can't afford the technology is very appealing. We like it. It makes us feel good. It makes us feel like we want to be part of that. Look at the other posts that say they'd spend $500 to buy one for themselves if they'd also send one to the originally intended recipients. That's a very strong statement of support. If the price goes to $175... well, who can really fault us for not willing to take back that we like the idea that low cost computers are being given to people who could really really could use them.

It wouldn't matter who made the mp3 player. Nobody wants to hear about a significant price increase on a plentiful commodity like an mp3 player. There's too much competition and Microsoft, explicitly, has a long history of credibility problems with delivering on their marketing claims in their product in the first place.

Aren't there a host of things missing from Vista? Aren't we all aware that the "revolutionary" new file structure got cut and that DRM was a priority? For Microsoft, you reap what you sow.

So I reject your comparison. We're not assholes (as your suggest - or at least, not for this reason), we just want to see the OLPC thing succeed.

Kind of cool but is this really worth it? (3, Interesting)

AaronPSU777 (938553) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894729)

I can understand the desire to get low cost computers into the hands of the underprivileged, really I do, it's an awesome goal. But I always have these nagging doubts if neutering the technology to get it to a cost they deem reasonable defeats the whole purpose. Remember when they tried to make those cheap internet appliances that grandma could use to check her email and surf the web? They had a dumbed down OS and scaled back hardware to make them cheap and simple to use, they also bombed horribly because they couldn't run any of the standard apps that a full on pc could. Same deal with webtv. So while this computer is cool how will it's usefullness fare long term when people discover they can't do all the stuff people are doing with their normal computers in the developed world?

Best Buy is currently selling a laptop, retail!, for $399. $399 laptop [bestbuy.com]
And the specs on it are actually not half bad, not as bad as you might think:

15.4" screen
1.5 ghz Via C7-M
512 ram
128 meg shared video
DVD +/- DL burner
60 GB HDD
802.11 b/g
10/100 ethernet
v.92 modem
Vista Basic


Drop Vista and install Linux and you can save a few bucks, scale down the screen size and maybe eliminate a few usb ports and some other stuff, mass produce it and you could have a full on pc capable of running even windows vista for probably under 300 bucks. I have to think that something like that would be much more useful, even if you bought half as many it would still be better in the long run with it's upgradeability and standards compliance. Thoughts?

Re:Kind of cool but is this really worth it? (1)

mishagam (918459) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894869)

I agree such $300 computer is much better for consumer, is he is in India or Brasilia or anywhere else. Used computers are even cheaper and still more standard than OLPC (and of course have much more useful programs and games).
They would win competition for consumer dollars over Negroponte OLPC every time. So Negroponte doesn't try to compete on the market, he pushes his 'computers' through governments and schools on powerless students.

Re:Kind of cool but is this really worth it? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895015)

pushes his 'computers' through governments and schools on powerless students.
And you just said why a $300 computer designed for the first world is useless to the poor of the third world.

the fine print (1)

binarybum (468664) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894733)

RAM upgrades will continue to be sold at dollar-stores everywhere, but will cost $1.75.

The original marketing strategy to nickle-and-dime buyers to death with tantalizing upgrades has been revamped to a dime-and-quarter schema.

From TFA (4, Informative)

MonkeyINAbaG (705327) | more than 6 years ago | (#18894963)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The founder of the ambitious "$100 laptop" project, which plans to give inexpensive computers to schoolchildren in developing countries, revealed Thursday that the machine for now costs $175

AND

Negroponte's team has always stressed that $100 was a long-term target for the machines, but recently publicized figures had put it in the $150 range. Negroponte says the cost should drop about 25 percent per year as the project unfolds. He added that Citigroup Inc. (C)'s Citibank division has agreed to facilitate a payment system on a pro bono basis; Citibank will float payments to Quanta and other laptop suppliers, and governments will repay the bank.

The project is still on track to its price target of $100, it is still in BETA FFS!

Quit with the FUD already! Theres nothing like working on something high profile to make you grow a bit of a distaste for /. hype!

Re:From TFA (3, Insightful)

MonkeyINAbaG (705327) | more than 6 years ago | (#18895185)

Also, please remember, there is a NPO behind all this with the goal of decreasing the price as much as possible per unit, not a large company with the goal of trying to charge as much as possible to increase profits. It is a primary goal to make these things cheap, and maaaan THEY ARE COOL!

Is it just me or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18895097)

...does anyone else think that while the OLPC goals are admirable, that the nations at which these products are aimed need much more than a laptop per child? I mean, how about basic services, social reforms, etc.? Wouldn't the $100, er, $175 be better spent on education, basic needs, etc.? $100 or whatever is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a laptop per child when basic needs aren't being met.

Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18895119)

These things are going to become another part of the gigantic pile of tech junk...like ipods.
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