Kicking off the second day of NetEvents 2006, IT industry heavywieght Nicholas Negroponte has hit back at critics of his $100 One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scheme by showing off one of the first production models and by saying that conventional laptops are like"fat people."
"It's a real computer," he said about his OLPC and illustrated, via slides of the Quanta production facility in Shanghai making the machine, that the OLPC dream is now a working reality.
Explaining his analogy, Negroponte explained that as fat people use most of their muscle to move their fat, conventional laptops need more ever more muscle to move the fat of bloatware on them. This makes them prone to instability, Negroponte said: "My (conventional) computer, Crashes five times a day."
In comparison, Negroponte said that because his OLPC machine is leaner using Linux and that it has been designed for kids rather than for using (Microsoft) Office, it is probably better option than a traditional machine for the purpose it is intended for.
The mission for Negroponte is all about eliminating poverty with education." It's not a lap top project its an education project," he said.
And education for the 1.2bn children in the developing world is the primary focus for Negroponte who explained that in some rural parts of the world, some school kids are only in school two and a half hours a day. So the key, for Negroponte, is to take advantage of the other hours when the child is out of school.
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