The article is horrifically short for coming to a conclusion, and I haven’t read enough to make my own concrete judgement, but the first thing I thought when I read the comment about the $100 MIT laptop from Intel’s Barret was fear. Fear of getting gutshot and underpriced by something that is sufficient as opposed to all the twiddly gadgetry that gets embedded today.
I can’t help but guess that the vast majority of processing time in a modern CPU is used more for pretty graphics than anything else. So if you trimmed out the fashionable GUI stuff, there’s no real reason why a $100 laptop with wireless couldn’t be built and produced. (Now, mind you – I LIKE that fashionable GUI stuff)
Of course beyond all that AMD is on the laptop project – Intel isn’t. At best, Intel is sour graping the whole thing. Because AMD is getting in a little PR ass kicking on them.
It’s hard to find many concrete technical details on this baby, but it’s processor speed is actually right in the same realm as my iBook or my desktop – 500Mhz. (Yeah, I’ve got some out-of-date hardware, huh?). It’s running linux – or some variation of an open source OS – maybe it’s BSD. Like I said – finding the geek details is a little tricky.
I think is that this is really opening the door to a fairly large disruption in technology. If we can produce these laptops for even say – $200, then suddenly snagging one and doing any sort of wacky modding to it because easily in the realm of feasibility for hackers and makers. The linksys was a perfect example of this – $75 and hack away boys! It’s not much processor juice in there – WAY less than a 500Mhz x86 style processor – but it’s enough for some focused work.
You know, the one laptop, one child thing is just a darn cool project when it comes right down to it.