Photos: PCs for the poor

Photos: PCs for the poor

Summary: A look at a few possibilities for bringing an inexpensive computer to the developing world.

TOPICS: PCs, Hardware

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  • Mobile photo studio

    HP scotched its experiment with a four-person, multilanguage PC called the 441 System. But related efforts are still alive. Women in Kuppam, India, have created a business out of taking portraits and ID card photos with a solar-powered HP printer and a digital camera, and the company has also created a van rigged with PCs to let farmers test their soil.

  • Brazil's Linux PC

    Brazil's first official stab at a low-cost, Linux-powered computer for the masses was the Popular PC, in an initiative launched in 2001. Many components, including a flash drive, were to be built domestically to avoid high import taxes, but the project never got off the ground. That version was to cost around $250. A subsequent version of the Popular PC used a more conventional architecture that pushed the price tag to the neighborhood of $600. The program went into limbo in 2002 with a change of government.

  • The Personal Internet Communicator

    Designed by Advanced Micro Devices, the Personal Internet Communicator runs on a version of Windows CE and an energy-efficient processor. The machines cost about $180 without monitor--not that much cheaper than a full-fledged PC with monitor. They've been released in India and the Caribbean, but sales have been tepid.

Topics: PCs, Hardware

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