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Comment Re:Not just being grumpy (Score 2, Informative) 159

That's exactly right. The only reason the OLPC group set out to design the XO in the first place was that there were no computers in that size and price range at the time. They simply did not exist.

Well, now they exist. Cherrypal is selling them. They're not going to have the same kind of standardized architecture that the XO does, but nonetheless they're Real Live Computers that can run real operating systems (and by "real operating systems" I of course mean Linux).

OLPC ought to be putting educational software on those rather than blowing more money chasing this touchscreen pipe dream.

Comment Re:Low price attempts are good PR (Score 1) 159

To be fair, the approaches of the two projects are a bit different. OLPC is like the Apple of the third-world-laptop world. They're designing a specific set of hardware, and tailoring not just an OS but a specific educational software suite to run on it.

Cherrypal is like the PC, taking the "beige box" approach of just buy or throw together any old thing, all it has to do is access the Internet. Let the organizations who buy it come up with their own curricula.

(And by the way, my interview with the chairman of Cherrypal is now up on TeleRead.)

Comment Re:Niche Market (Score 1) 234

The niche is a little larger than that, actually, and it's an entirely different one.

The target are people who need Internet access but can't afford anything better. As more and more government and other services nudge people toward the Internet, those below the "digital divide" have an increasingly hard time accessing those services.

I talked with their chairman about it, and wrote up the interview last night.

Comment Re:We've been over this before. (Score 1) 234

Thank you for pointing that out.

As it happens, I will be getting a review unit of the Africa, and of the Bing, to review for TeleRead, so I will have a chance to evaluate them. It is possible that the Africa may well have better specs than the minimums promised, in which case it would be a matter of comparing the specific unit I have to what's available on that refurb site.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 234

Well, I'm going to get my hands on review units of the Africa and the Bing so I'll see how they look in person. I can't speak to the Bing's similarity to the Mac, but I will note that I only heard of Bing a couple of months ago and I gather CherryPal was making its prior model of Bing earlier than that.

And I'll definitely be asking him about the components vs. job lots matter in the interview tomorrow. His blog post certainly makes it SOUND like components.

Of course, even if they are job lots and not hand-assembled, the Africa still looks a pretty good value. As I pointed out in my article linked from the OP, the closest thing to those basic specs is the Menq EasyPC (similar specs but less memory), and that normally wholesales at $80. Getting something at least slightly better for $99 retail seems reasonable by comparison.

Someone down-thread is talking about reconditioned Eee 7" models costing $100. I haven't been able to find anything like that for less than $250. And while my budget might stretch to a $99 Africa, it certainly won't stretch to a $250 Eee.

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