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FAQ MIT's wind-up computer marvel/scam ?

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by [email protected], Dec 22, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Subject: <URL:> MIT Media Lab: $100
    Laptop FAQ


    Nicholas Negroponte, founding chairman of MIT's Media Laboratory,
    answers questions on the initiative.

    A machine with the described specification would be more than
    adequate to be very usefull. Except that the wind-up-power will be
    more expensive to acheive reliabily than the all the rest combined.
    Consider that the users don't expect a 2 weeks use and throw away
    This reasoning exposes the writer as not having a clue how the 3rd
    world operates - as is the case understandably, of all 'do gooders'
    who haven't had appropriate on the ground experience.

    As cow-dung is not seen in India as a negative pollutant, but a
    positive valuable asset, so also the opportunity for countless
    otherwise unemployed people to tinker with millions of scrap
    PCs and get some of them working, potentially adds great education
    and development to the tinkerers and their whole society.
    If the problem of mains electricity was raised that would be valid.
    This is only partly true. Public libraries where I keep 'my' millions of
    books and don't have to pay for then to be dusted and sorted, work
    very well.

    Trains and busses are perfectly viable.
    There's no need for everybody to own a private velicle.
    This would be great, but to my knowledge has not been acheived
    in the worlds's most developed urban areas yet ?
    Yes the idea of 'seed development' is vital.
    If it's viable, it will grow/spread like a bush fire [or bird-flu ?!].
    No need to start with millions - unless you a planning a scam/hit ?
    The whole thing sounds like a Nigerian 419 scam: $1000million
    in advance !!
    == Chris Glur. Your can fool some of the people, some of the time ?
  2. ....

    Reliability isn't terribly important in this application because
    the hand crank is only to be used as a last resort and they'll still
    work off other power sources after the handle snaps off. They would
    be much better off leaving out the whole hand crank generator. That
    said, it's likely that it doesn't add much to the cost as it's probably
    designed around a toy DC motor with high gearing and plastic parts.

    This design more closely resembles the old Clio and other Win CE
    palm-top computers of the past than an actual laptop computer.
    There is obviously a huge market for something like this at this
    price so I agree that the whole "we won't sell to the public" thing
    doesn't make sense.

    Of course, if they believe they can't produce it at the suggested
    price then forcing someone (the government) to buy them regardless
    of cost is the only way they would ever sell.

    There are all kinds of better ways to power it than a hand crank.

    If human power is a requirement then a foot pedal system would
    allow them to use both hands and generate power at the same time
    with the added benefit that they won't tire as quickly. Such a
    device could also be more reliable than a hand crank or, at the
    least, more easily replaced as it would be entirely external.

    A small wind turbine would also be a good alternative. Since it's
    likely these things only require one or two watts, a modest (less
    than 300 watt) turbine could power an entire small school. Small,
    individual (less than 5 watt) turbines could even be made locally
    by the same students who would use them to charge their PDAs.

    Solar PV is also a good alternative as it would only need a one
    or two watt panel. If these panels are mass produced at the same
    price per watt as larger panels then they could cost less than
    $10 each.

  3. Barry OGrady

    Barry OGrady Guest

    The $100 laptop has the KJV Bible in ROM and no disk drives.

    Home page
  4. Where on earth do you get that from? The design isn't finished, it's
    probably going to be modified per region, and no-one is going to waste
    ROM space without a customer requirement. Besides, it's not ROM, it's
    flash, so it's reprogrammable, so we can put in the "Best Of Usenet"
    and really give those third world heathens some entertainment. 8*)

  5. I believe they were referring to MIT's evangelical crusade to
    force laptops on starving children who would be much better
    served with more basic things like food, water, shelter,
    medicine, a stable government, etc.

    That said, the KJV Bible is public domain so it wouldn't cost
    anything to include it. It's only 1.2 MB compressed so there
    would be plenty of space left over for Pilgrims Progress, an
    english dictionary and other such things.

  6. Cultural imperialism at its finest !

  7. Unlucky !!

  8. SJC

    SJC Guest

    I think they call them "developing", like China and India.
    Those are the folks that want lots of cars and oil as they develop.
  9. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    I like to think of it as a guide for improving myself as a person. The
    truth will set you free .....
  10. Yes, but which one ?

    Personally I prefer the empirically repeatable 'on demand' statistically
    describable sort !

    Cheers, J/.
  11. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    The problem is that you have to kick the bucket to prove the theory, and
    the results are not transferable. Perish without Publish.
  12. Indeed, but either you have faith or you haven't. Let's just say I'm
    very open minded about what it might be that might care if I have faith
    in it or not.


    Cheers, J/.
  13. Steve Spence

    Steve Spence Guest

    There is a saying in research, publish or perish. unfortunately, with
    the afterlife, once you discover the truth through empiracal testing,
    it's too late to publish your findings ....
  14. Me

    Me Guest

    Spoken like a True Athiest, Communist, Pinko......

    Me a Red Necked Papist from way back......
  15. Nelson Gietz

    Nelson Gietz Guest

    Right you are Solar. Most churches of my acquaintance sometimes
    get close to meeting their budget for heat and light, and getting their
    roof repaired and paying the pastor. They sometimes almost get
    in the financial black columns, with a yearend bake sale or something.
  16. Cool_X

    Cool_X Guest

    First, this is OT, but I find it really funny, so I don't mind...

    I myself got flamed on my local newsgroup for being too "politically correct", as I said that I
    thought this season's main holiday was a Christian monopoly.

    Regarding the Roman Catholic's finances, I'd say that both Nelson and SolarFlare may be right,
    because the individual churches may not have that much money left after they paid out tens of
    millions for all of the sexual abuse lawsuits that were won, and that's a fact. At least the
    Orthodox church is smarter because they allow marriage before priesthood, which I think lowers
    the potential for abuse because I don't think many people are suited for the stress of
    suppressing their natural desires for their entire life. On a more humourous note, maybe it
    has something to do with why every Pope is so old...

    However, I am not here to promote any specific religion, except to say that I think religions
    can sometimes give stability to some people that need it.

    Personally, I believe that 15 words would drastically change the world, and make world peace
    possible, and they have NOTHING to do with any religion. I challenge everybody to say and mean
    these things:

    1. We are all one.

    2. Ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way.

    And back to the post where this started, I am not surprised in the slightest to learn that the
    Christian church has successfully monopolized these windup laptops, I wonder how much they paid
    to subsidize the project for that to happen???

  17. You mean except for the fact that they didn't? There _is_ no windup
    laptop for third-world countries, so anyone telling you it has this
    feature or that is blowing smoke (or trolling).
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