p2pnet.net news:- Chipzilla is doing everything it can to undercut MIT’s One Laptop Per Child project not, sadly, in the name of helping disadvantaged kids in Africa and elsewhere, but instead to pander to the God of the Bottom Line. But it’s not the only game in town and another cheap system is quietly trundling along in the background.
For a while, AMD was offering a $185 Personal Internet Communicator (PIC) designed to, “bring Internet access to 50 percent of the world’s population by 2015“.
It came bundled with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation viewer, email, media player, and instant-messaging software and, “AMD claimed it could withstand extreme conditions like temperature and dust,” said TechTree India.
Then AMD sold it to Data Evolution who are now marketing it as the decTOP with all the Pic’s characteristics, “and more,” and at almost half the original price.
At $99, it’s still a, “high-quality, stand-alone, affordable, robust consumer device which provides an easy-to-use user experience and was developed to be highly reliable with a fully integrated, fanless, low-power computing sub-system,” promises Data Evolution.
“By blending these features and those of a thin client device with the benefits of additional storage and an open OS architecture, which supports both Microsoft Windows CE and Linux, the decTOP is the most flexible thin device available,” it goes on, and it’s complete with keyboard and mouse.
Looks good and, says Jonathan Scott, “The decTOP has limited specs out of the box, but it’s not a bad deal for $100.”
That said, his box now sports Ubuntu, and he provides a step by step description of how he installed version 6.06 on his decTOP.
Check it out, and meanwhile, the decTOP is, “definitely enough to get your mom on the internet,” Scott says.
“Both the RAM and the hard disk are easily upgraded if you want more. (My decTOP now has 512 MB of RAM and a 120 GB disk.)”
undercut – Intel, Asustek vs OLPC, June 7, 2007
by 2015 – AMD’s PIC bites the dust, November 14, 2006
TechTree India – Another Low Cost PC Project Nixed, November 10, 2006
Jonathan Scott – Installing Ubuntu on the decTOP (AMD PIC), June 18, 2007
If your Net access is blocked by government restrictions, try Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies. Go here for the official download, and here for details. And if you’re Chinese and you’re looking for a way to access independent Internet news sources, try Freegate, the DIT program written to help Chinese citizens circumvent web site blocking outside of China. Download it here.
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