NewsBytes: Oracle Spin-off Launches $199 PC With Giveaway

“In elaborate ceremonies at the Booker T. Washington School for
the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, Ellison was joined
by the newly appointed chief executive officer of NICC, former
technology journalist Gina Smith, and retired US General Colin
Powell in announcing a $100-million school-aid commitment by Oracle
which parallels Powell’s nonprofit organization, America’s Promise:
The Alliance for Youth.”

“Through a campaign he called “Oracle’s Promise,” Ellison said,
his software company will work to improve access to technology in
schools around the world, beginning with a donation of 1,000 of the
Internet appliances from its NICC spin-off to 23 schools in

The NIC is a diskless workstation with a 266MHz central
processor from Cyrix Corp. and an operating system based on the
Linux kernel. Unlike some early visions of the “Internet computer,”
which suggested much of a system’s software could be served up from
remote hosts, the NIC keeps its operating system and support
software on a CD ROM. The system is updated by swapping in an
updated CD ROM.

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