Tuesday, November 29, 2005

100 dollar laptops will be sold ...


... at 200 dollars!, says this report. [Scroll down to the update].

Now we have a free market evaluation of the utility of this machine. This was a concern that I had for a while; it is good to know that Negroponte and his colleagues at OLPC initiative are planning to sell it in open market, too. This is good news.

I reiterate my earlier view that it is still a bad idea for our government to spend money to buy this stuff in bulk for our school children. That money is better spent elsewhere. Further, this news implies that we can afford to wait for a year or so after the laptop hits the markets to evaluate if it is a good idea even for philanthropic organizations to buy this stuff to be distributed to kids.

2 Comments:

  1. Pablo Ares said...

    Hello,

    "That money is better spent elsewhere" I fully agree with you. Moreover, I see a problem in the way the Indian gov. tries to solve many problems in education/research. Instead of giving proper, working facilities to existing institutes and universities they always go for new stuff. Take for example Internet connection: there was some UGC plan to create new institutes with high speed connections; what about improving the terribly slow connections of existing universities? This laptop issue could be in those lines: take up some "smart looking, impressive" project rather than improve what you have.

    Pablo.

  2. Abi said...

    You are absolutely right, Pablo! There are indeed quite a few examples of this sort of stuff. Many small institutions catering to niche areas owe their existence to this tendency among the funding agencies. Leaving the universities to suffer.

    But, it is a rant for some other day!