Coffeehouse Thread

40 posts

Forum Read Only

This forum has been made read only by the site admins. No new threads or comments can be added.

Gates mocks MIT's $100 laptop effort

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    In the article BillG touts the UMPC as a better solution.  Well Mr. Gates, sell the UMPC for $100 to developing countries.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    rjdohnert wrote:

    In the article BillG touts the UMPC as a better solution.  Well Mr. Gates, sell the UMPC for $100 to developing countries.



    I think his point was that a hand-crank computer with little to no features is LESS than worthless and MORE than pointless.  If $100 is so much money to the expected user that the best computer they can buy is going to cost $100 for US to manufacture, then $100 would be better spent on food, agriculture, medicine, or any of a wide host of useful, neccessary items. 

    Computers are not a neccesity, they are a luxury.  If you have no food, then most likely, the only email you will be sending is:  "I'm Hungry, Please Send Some Food".

    What we need to do is put a hand-crank on computers over here in the 'civilized' world so our fat a$$es can lose some weight.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    ScanIAm wrote:
    rjdohnert wrote:

    In the article BillG touts the UMPC as a better solution.  Well Mr. Gates, sell the UMPC for $100 to developing countries.



    I think his point was that a hand-crank computer with little to no features is LESS than worthless and MORE than pointless.  If $100 is so much money to the expected user that the best computer they can buy is going to cost $100 for US to manufacture, then $100 would be better spent on food, agriculture, medicine, or any of a wide host of useful, neccessary items. 

    Computers are not a neccesity, they are a luxury.  If you have no food, then most likely, the only email you will be sending is:  "I'm Hungry, Please Send Some Food".

    What we need to do is put a hand-crank on computers over here in the 'civilized' world so our fat a$$es can lose some weight.


    lol - but agreed

  • User profile image
    joem83

    WHen I first say the $100, I that it was a joke.  UMPC would actuallly be a better choice in another year, when the price comes down a little.

    rjdohnert wrote:

    In the article BillG touts the UMPC as a better solution.  Well Mr. Gates, sell the UMPC for $100 to developing countries.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    "If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type," Gates said.

    LOL!  "Geez, get a decent computer."  That's great.

    Gates added that low-income people should not drive "beat-up, unreliable cars" and should instead opt for "decent transportation" such as a late model Mercedez-Benz or Lexus.   Gates concluded his remarks by saying that people in the third world should also get "decent health care" and that they should also "stop starving to death so much."

    I think he's got a valid point that hardware is only a small part of the cost of providing computing abilities...  I also agree the "$100 laptop" is not a decent computer -- it's more like a programmable PDA -- but at least it's SOMETHING.  Which is more than a lot of people have now.

  • User profile image
    joem83

    I think gates is trying to say why buy a computer when you can't even put food on the table.  Besides the $100 computer is not usable for the average person.

    Karim wrote:
    "If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type," Gates said.

    LOL!  "Geez, get a decent computer."  That's great.

    Gates added that low-income people should not drive "beat-up, unreliable cars" and should instead opt for "decent transportation" such as a late model Mercedez-Benz or Lexus.   Gates concluded his remarks by saying that people in the third world should also get "decent health care" and that they should also "stop starving to death so much."

    I think he's got a valid point that hardware is only a small part of the cost of providing computing abilities...  I also agree the "$100 laptop" is not a decent computer -- it's more like a programmable PDA -- but at least it's SOMETHING.  Which is more than a lot of people have now.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    Karim, alot of em cant even afford food, they cant afford running water, if they cant afford the basic necessities then they dont need a PC.

    Karim wrote:
    "If you are going to go have people share the computer, get a broadband connection and have somebody there who can help support the user, geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you're trying to type," Gates said.

    LOL!  "Geez, get a decent computer."  That's great.

    Gates added that low-income people should not drive "beat-up, unreliable cars" and should instead opt for "decent transportation" such as a late model Mercedez-Benz or Lexus.   Gates concluded his remarks by saying that people in the third world should also get "decent health care" and that they should also "stop starving to death so much."

    I think he's got a valid point that hardware is only a small part of the cost of providing computing abilities...  I also agree the "$100 laptop" is not a decent computer -- it's more like a programmable PDA -- but at least it's SOMETHING.  Which is more than a lot of people have now.

  • User profile image
    IRenderable

    rjdohnert wrote:
    Karim, alot of em cant even afford food, they cant afford running water, if they cant afford the basic necessities then they dont need a PC.




    PCs help people gain knowledge, knowledge helps people get out of crappy situations. Just because food and water is more important doesn't mean they shouldn't have both.

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    Gates is simply saying, if the computer doesn't run Windows it's not a good (a)ffort. He wouldn't licence Windows for a fair price, so they went with Linux and an open system (they didn't want Macos either). It just seems a bit below for M$ to downplay such a good project...

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    With the crappy battery life of the 1st gen UMPCs, people will be wishing they had cranks on them.

    :O

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    matt0210 wrote:
    Gates is simply saying, if the computer doesn't run Windows it's not a good (a)ffort. He wouldn't licence Windows for a fair price, so they went with Linux and an open system (they didn't want Macos either). It just seems a bit below for M$ to downplay such a good project...


    See there's also the rumour that Windows was offered for free as well. But there's no proof of that or of a refusal to license, so both sides of the debate quote one half as justification for their arguement. The NY Times for example reported that CE was offered for free, just not the source for it

    I'm not sure calling it an MIT laptop is fair either, it's more a product of Negroponte than MIT as a body.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    joem83 wrote:
    I think gates is trying to say why buy a computer when you can't even put food on the table.  Besides the $100 computer is not usable for the average person.

    Not useful for the average first-world country user. It is probably better than what we had 10 years ago - and the computers were good enough then for us. If it can do basic word processing, spreadsheets etc it is adequate.

    I can see some organisations giving them for free to those that show promise - the initial investment will be worth it if the worker becomes productive and can pay back. There are some people that do similar things with money in the third world - they give small sums of money to people who then invest it and then pay back when they can (no compound interest). I remember an article (on Wired I think it was) that talked about this and even gave a website (but I can't remember the link).

  • User profile image
    j0217995

    I was trying to explain this to my wife the other day, the benifit of a $100 computer for 3rd world countries  and we eneded up both agreeing how pointless a computer is to people who don't have health care, don't have food, don't have water or don't have places to live. 

    Here we won't help you get out of your shack with your starving to death childeren who drink the same water they use the bathroom in but we will give you this shinny new computer that you hand crank to surf the internet.

     

    Now that is helpful... Let's solve other problems first, including AIDS which is wiping out pretty much all of Africa and parts of Asia (Thailand) for example first before we worry about hving people in 3rd wolrd countries download the latest p0rn off the internet.

    What a big joke

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ScanIAm wrote:
    Computers are not a neccesity, they are a luxury.  If you have no food, then most likely, the only email you will be sending is:  "I'm Hungry, Please Send Some Food".


    Actually, there's more to the $100 PC than you'd think.

    Ever heard of the old adage: "Give a man a fish and he'll be satisfied for a day; Teach the man how to fish and he'll be satistifed for the rest of his life"

    The idea behind the $100 computer is to help in long-term education, schools and students cannot afford books: so put eBooks on the computers, for example. The computers could (and should) be used to help people improve things for themselves, I cannot see how this is a bad idea or any other alternative methods that have the same multitudes of uses.


  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    W3bbo wrote:
    Ever heard of the old adage: "Give a man a fish and he'll be satisfied for a day; Teach the man how to fish and he'll be satistifed for the rest of his life"

    So now we're teaching them to phish?

    (sorry, couldn't resist Tongue Out )

  • User profile image
    andokai

    sbc wrote:
    Not useful for the average first-world country user. It is probably better than what we had 10 years ago - and the computers were good enough then for us. If it can do basic word processing, spreadsheets etc it is adequate.

    I can see some organisations giving them for free to those that show promise - the initial investment will be worth it if the worker becomes productive and can pay back. There are some people that do similar things with money in the third world - they give small sums of money to people who then invest it and then pay back when they can (no compound interest). I remember an article (on Wired I think it was) that talked about this and even gave a website (but I can't remember the link).


    What will they use a spreadsheet for? financial planning? Tongue Out

    I was under the impression that they were to be used in schools to replace books. They are not so much a full fledged computer but more a learning tool. After all with only 512MB of storage you're not gonna store your MP3 collection on there. Wink

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    andokai wrote:
    After all with only 512MB of storage you're not gonna store your MP3 collection on there.


    If this was 2002, then yes... I used 128kbps back then, and only had 5 or so albums.

    4 years later: 314 albums, 13.5GB music @ 256kbps or higher Smiley

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    W3bbo wrote:

    The idea behind the $100 computer is to help in long-term education, schools and students cannot afford books: so put eBooks on the computers, for example. The computers could (and should) be used to help people improve things for themselves, I cannot see how this is a bad idea or any other alternative methods that have the same multitudes of uses.




    Apparently the "LeapPad" things were used in Afghanistan, to good effect.

Conversation locked

This conversation has been locked by the site admins. No new comments can be made.