MIT’s $100 laptop project

18 Mar 2006 (Sat)

HAVE BEEN following news on the MIT $100 laptop project with interest over the past few months. Latest news, thanks to ZDNET and John Brecht, who manages the g1to1 list:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on Wednesday mocked a $100 laptop computer for developing countries being developed with the backing of rival Google Inc. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The $100 laptop project seeks to provide inexpensive computers to people in developing countries. The computers lack many features found on a typical personal computer, such as a hard disk and software.

“The last thing you want to do for a shared use computer is have it be something without a disk … and with a tiny little screen,” Gates said at the Microsoft Government Leaders Forum in suburban Washington.

Reminds me of one of those famous last words (negative predictions on ultimately successful technologies). As one of the list members, Yisahy Mor, put it, “Thinking of technologies Gates went to the trouble of playing down. Some examples that come to mind: Mac, Linux, Internet standards…”

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Posted by J.K. in Mobile, Open Source, Possibilities, Problems, Technology | View Comments |

The Ultimate Mobile PC?

12 Mar 2006 (Sun)

UMPCMicrosoft’s Ultimate Mobile PC” (UMPC, or code-named “Origami”) looks like a smaller, lighter and easier to use tablet PC; OR a PC-version of PlayStation Portable. ;-)

Hardware Specs: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 OS, approximately seven-inch (17.78 cm) touch panel, minimum 800 x 480 resolution, approximately two pounds (0.972 kg), WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled.

Software: Apparently, all Windows XP software are still supported. Instead of a cryptic Start button, the “friendlier” program launcher now has these functions on the desktop by default: Connect, Communicate, View, Listen, Play, More Programs and Tools.

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Posted by J.K. in Mobile, Technology | View Comments |

Free DBs from IBM, Microsoft & Oracle

1 Feb 2006 (Wed)

‘Free’ is the new ‘cheap’ for software tools, CNET News.com reported on Jan 31st:

“Free entry-level products are rapidly become de rigueur in many areas of software, notably in programming tools where there are hundreds of thousands of freely available goods. On Monday, IBM introduced DB2 Express-C, a free database aimed squarely at software developers. It is a trimmed-down version of its commercial product, and IBM limits its deployment to two-processor servers.

“Oracle and Microsoft also recently introduced free versions, joining a number of existing open-source databases, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, that can be freely downloaded. The moves by the big three corporate database providers–Oracle, IBM and Microsoft–reflect some of the changing economics of the software business, where freely available open-source products are forcing established vendors to adjust the way they do business, analysts and software industry executives said.”

Note: Last November, Microsoft announced SQL Server Express, a free stripped-down version of version of SQL Server 2005. Oracle also introduced a beta of its own free offering, Oracle Database 10g Express Edition. Both editions limit usage to only a single CPU, a 4GB database and up to 1GB memory, making them suited only for development of lightweight applications.

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Posted by J.K. in Open Source, Possibilities, Technology | View Comments |

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

15 Jan 2006 (Sun)

  1. I drove a pickup to work and everywhere else for seven to eight years.
  2. I had undergone training in AR-15 weapon handling and taken part in air rifle competitions.
  3. I have travelled in almost 20 countries so far.
  4. I have worked as a post-girl, a relief teacher and a trainee nurse during school vacations.
  5. I used to read stacks of 20-plus books (in English and Chinese) every week.
  6. A primary school teacher wept with joy while reading and praising my Chinese composition aloud in class.
  7. I had four job offers (three unsolicited) while working as a reporter with an IT magazine.
  8. I helped a multinational corporation save millions of dollars a year in publication costs during a period of financial crisis.
  9. Before the actual release of my “A” Level exam results, I literally (and correctly) dreamt of looking at the first three grades in the results slip.
  10. My childhood dream for a long time had been to be a critically acclaimed writer and teacher.
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Posted by J.K. in Miscellany | View Comments |

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