ten dollar computer

I learned this week that there is a movement around building things for a ten dollar computer (playpower.org). The existence of these computers, which can be found, for example, in marketplaces in Mumbai, came about due to a combination of two things: patents running out on old 6502 processing chips from the 1970s, and the propensity of small manufacturers in China to throw things together quickly and cheaply, if they see a market.

Given all the hype about the iPad and other relatively expensive devices, it’s intriguing that there is a computer inexpensive enough to be in the hands of a fairly large proportion of the world’s population — and in particular, the world’s children. Educational games made for such a platform (assuming they are well made) could easily reach a far higher proportion of children around the globe than anything we are currently doing that aims at a higher end platform.

There is something immensely appealing about the idea that illiteracy — one of the key contributors to endemic poverty — might be battled by enlisting the technological power of old video games.

3 thoughts on “ten dollar computer”

  1. Thank you Ken, this small notice prevents me from becoming a total cynic, talking too much to people, who believe that the privacy on their facebook account is the biggest problem in the world. 🙂 You made my day!

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