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internetnews.com: Linux-based 'Simputer' Brings Low-Cost Tech to India

Jul 02, 2001, 19:00 (15 Talkback[s])

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"A Simple Inexpensive Mobile Computer or Simputer stands to bring the IT revolution to rural India."

"Running on three AAA batteries and an Intel chip, the Simputer will boast a free Linux operating system, 32MB of RAM and 16MB of Flash memory. At a cost of only $200, this simple device (which resembles a hefty Palm) may well bring the e-revolution to India where a scant 2 million PC's are currently distributed between a poverty stricken populace of nearly 1 billion."

"Given that even $200 is too dear for an average Indian family, the Simputer's makers are hoping to interest the Indian government into buying and distributing the machines at the village and district levels. To facilitate this end, the Simputer sports a smartcard reader that enables it to be used on a shared basis. Retailing for between one to two dollars, most villagers, it is hoped, will be able to afford a smartcard. Villagers can then hypothetically rent the local Simputer at a minimal hourly charge and use their smartcards for storing and accessing personal information."

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