Saturday, July 24, 2010

$35 computers

Funny how when you get über busy and are trying to get stuff done around chez-nous, a blog seems to fade away into the distance in terms of priorities – as it should be. Plus the fact that over the last couple of weeks, the news seems to be more of the same old, same old. An Associated Press story caught my attention today, headlined “India unveils prototype of $35 tablet computer”. It goes on to describe how after MIT said they would produce a $100 computer, India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal turned to the experts in his country and asked them to come up with a similar product. They did. The basic touchscreen tablet can be used for functions like word processing, web browsing and video-conferencing and with the ability to operate on solar power. Certainly, it will have drawbacks and limitations and there are questions about what deals will need to be worked to get the prototype into manufacture, but the fact is that they produced it in the first place along with the 100,000 rupee ($2,208) compact Nano car, the 749 rupees ($16) water purifier and the $2,000 open-heart surgery. We would do well to keep a close eye on technology developments in India, the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.18 billion people and apparently the will to produce affordable technology.

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