August 6th, 2008

Allah Sulu-South Park

MIT Team Working on $12 "Apple II" Desktop

ZDNet — Developing nations, listen up: a computer is headed your way, and it costs less than two Value Meals at your nearest McDonald's. Today's Boston Herald has a great story about a new project underway at MIT to create a $12 computer, the same university that spawned the One Laptop Per Child non-profit laptop. The machines will be loosely based on Apple II machines, first unveiled more than three decades ago. The Herald's Jerry Kronenberg reports:

He and others at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology symposium hope to soup up the systems – which are based on old Apple II computers – with rudimentary Web access and more. "My generation all had Apple IIs that we learned to type and play games on," the 27-year-old said. "If we can get buy-in from programmers, we can develop these devices and give (Third World) schools Apple II computer labs like the ones I grew up with." A six-member team at the MIT conference is working on writing improved programs and hooking the devices to the Web through cell phones. The group also wants to add memory chips – which the devices currently lack – to allow users to write and store their own programs.

Even better, the team is actively recruiting enthusiasts of the retro computer to help develop the new PC. Fake Steve Jobs, this Apple's for you!