The 100 Dollar Laptop

The 100 Dollar laptop, also known as the Children’s Machine, 2B1 and better known as the XO-1, is an inexpensive sub notebook computer.

It was created with the goal of distributing the laptop to children in developing countries, effectively giving them the opportunity to explore and learn, in the end leading to a better quality education. Everyone has the right to knowledge and this was just what this laptop could bring children.

The prototype for the $100 laptop

The idea and laptop was developed by an organization called One Laptop per Child (OLPC). It is manufactured by Quanta Computers and is designed to use Linux software which is free, community developed software. It has no hard drive and instead uses an internal flash memory.

The idea was first introduced in November of 2005 at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) by the then UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan, and the project’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte.

There are many things that make this project special, including the way in which the laptop was developed and operates.

First of all, it is designed to use far less energy than that of a conventional laptop. It thus more energy efficient and is designed to use only between 2 to 3 Watts in total power consumption.

The production cost of this laptop was also kept way down, thus using methods that kept not only the environment in mind during production, but maintenance as well.

The LCD screen of the laptop is also designed to use only between 0.1 to 1.0 Watts. It even has a monochrome mode for when efficient lighting, as in daylight, is available.

This laptop also has various rechargeable batteries, making the constant need for electricity not a necessity. Because it is able to run on battery power, simply charging it before use can eliminate the need for a constant flow electricity to the machine.

Different models come with different power options. The XO 0.1 Beta came with a power option that included a battery and a hand-crank generator. XO 1 came with a pull-string generator while newer models were specifically designed to use less energy in order to operate.

Also helping to lower power consumption is the fact that moving parts were intentionally left out of the machine. Moving parts use more energy and they were not added in order to be more energy efficient. This is why you will find no hard drive, optical drive, floppy drives or fans.

The machine is able to passively cool itself and thus there is no need for a fan. -ANNABEL SCHOEMAN

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