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Old 07-22-2020, 02:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Who remembers the $100 laptop?

"It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world."

"The $100 laptop would have all the features of an ordinary computer but require so little electricity that a child could power it with a hand crank. It would be rugged enough for children to use anywhere, instead of being limited to schools. Mesh networking would let one laptop extend a single internet connection to many others."

That last part stood out to me today. People talk about distance learning not working because kids don't have laptops.

Schools assign kids laptops.

Distance learning doesn't work because kids don't have wifi.

Schools assign kids hotspots.

I did three teletherapy sessions today. That may be all that I do all week. Unfortunately, the first family's connection was so bad I asked the mom if we could just do speech therapy over the phone, which is problematic when a large part involves flashcards. I ended up asking him where common objects were and his mom, as usual, did most of the work.

The last client has a good Internet connection, but somehow receives video just fine, but says that she cannot send it anymore.

The last time that I heard about the $100 laptop I read that it had been killed by the netbook. The schools for which I work send home Chromebooks. Hotspots are great, but they don't work if you don't have a good cell phone signal!

How was Mesh supposed to work in third-world countries? Could Chromebooks be made that could pick up a signal from another Chromebook in another neighborhood and broadcast to yet another, giving web access to rural folks?

Apparently it didn't work for the $100 laptop and they gave up. Could it work now?

Not before that pesky global pandemic burns itself out.

By the way, the $100 laptop is still being made and sold. Crazy! https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/16/1...here-is-it-now

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Old 07-22-2020, 02:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Lots of various subjects here, as usual.

WiFi has a short usable distance when used omnidirectionally (antenna pointed in any random direction), maybe a few feet to a couple hundred depending on environment. The higher the frequency, the lower the ability to penetrate objects like walls. This is why 5 GHz WiFi has such a short radius.

Download and upload speeds are usually nowhere near the same. Some DSL upload speeds are as terrible as sub 1Mbps. Still should be good enough to stream live video from most any app, but not if they are doing something else requiring upload bandwidth.

I recently told my internet provider I would like to increase the service at my parents house and pay less for it. They apologized that their junky service package was no longer available, but I could get 10x faster speed and 2x more data allowance for $10 less per month. Most people can improve their internet performance/price by simply asking.

I've bought new waterproof Android phones for as little as $10 at Target, and 7" Android tablets for as little as $45. $100 is unimpressive to me nowadays when devices can have GPS, 2 cameras, multiple core processors, accelerators, touchscreens, etc, etc for $10-45.

Technology doesn't save the world; it amplifies disparity.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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One of the reasons that the $100 laptops still exist is that they continue to work year after year. They wrote that kids have zero interest if their parent has even a basic smart phone, but millions of families don't.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Technology doesn't save the world; it amplifies disparity.
Let's all go back to catching our food with our hands.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
They wrote that kids have zero interest if their parent has even a basic smart phone, but millions of families don't.
Basic smart phone? I haven't even opt to get a basic cell phone yet. My wife has a smart phone and everytime I try to use I feel like throwing as far as I can. If it were mine it would probably be living on the bottom of a lake somewhere. Seldom do I have anything important enough to say to someone that it can't wait until I get home to use the landline. My son ask me probably about 10 years ago what I was going to do if I ever had car trouble and I didn't have a phone. I told him I'd get out and walk like I'd have done 30 years ago.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I remember this project.
The software side is still going strong it looks like.
https://www.sugarlabs.org/
Runs on almost any hardware, including the OLPC, Raspberry Pi, Macs, PCs netbooks.
What other company provides a full free operating system designed for children and learning?

I don't see microsoft or apple or amazon or google with anything close to this.
You can search "Kids tablet" or "kids laptop" but its just an under-powered android tablet with nothing special and hardly worth the $50 they are asking.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The $100 laptop was the fourth Google result for "$100 laptop," although I am unsure that anything higher-ranked was worth buying.
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Old 07-22-2020, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I won't write anything more than a short text on my phone. Everything I write on this forum was from a PC. I don't know how anyone could prefer a much smaller screen and the only input method is to touch that screen with greasy fingers.
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yet I have been asked dozens of times "Why don't you just use your phone?!"

My laptop has a 15.6" screen. My desktop has a 43" TV. I can type far faster than they can text and they may not care about it, but I can easily use proper punctuation. Why would I touch my screen when I have a mouse?!
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Old 07-22-2020, 11:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The only time I touch my laptop screen is occasionally when I'm reading through documentation and need to scroll.

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