Friday, March 31, 2006

Community PC for Developing Nations

In "Internet cafes in rural India?" Candace Lombardi writes (CNET, March 30, 2006, 12:19 PM PST ):
"... Intel's Community PC is designed to withstand temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 85 percent relative humidity, and has a removable dust filter. To keep the motherboard cool, the chassis houses an integrated fan. Operating on an "uninterruptible power supply" unit, the computer is able to maintain overall power consumption of no more than 100 watts ..."
There already are Internet cafes in rural India. What I saw on a recent visit were ordinary desktop PCs being used in cafes, businesses and even a convent. The cybercafes are used by foreign tourists but also by locals.

The better equipped cybercafes have banks of dangerous looking lead acid batteries to supply power during the frequent blackouts. Some businesses had individual Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for each PC and even the convent's computer used by the nuns had one.

As Lombardi writes, Intel's Community PC makes more sense than Nicholas Negroponte's $100 wind up one per child computer. Apart from not having an actual usable computer, what will stop Negroponte's wind up computer project is dependence on charity. The idea of sharing computers through cybercafes which charge for service will work much better.

1 comment:

Razib Ahmed said...

This is a very smart move by Intel and if this initiative becomes successful than Intel can hope to do good business in the neigboring Bangladesh, Pakistan and China. All of these countries have a huge population living in the rural areas.