Pedal-Powered Computer

Photo: OLPC

The One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) hopes to distribute a simple but useful laptop computer to impoverished children in developing nations at a very low cost per unit. One recurring problem in the project has been power supply. So the Afghan IT company Paiwastoon has developed this prototype pedalling machine that allows the user to crank electricity into the computer.

Link via CrunchGear | Paiwastoon

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It's not a problem with the tools, it's a problem with the infrastructure. The laptops work fine, but there is no battery on earth, even in developed nations, that lasts indefinitely. The issue is that billions of people are living without regular access to electricity (and clean food, water, medicine, etc.), not that the laptop program has flaws.
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The OLPC is a fantastic project. This is unacceptable. The idea that "substandard laptops are better than no laptops at all!" is a false argument. These laptops have a flaw and it needs to be addressed by OLPC.

Not only is this a ridiculous solution and a huge distraction; we would be loathe to accept this kind of equipment for our own kids. Why should it be acceptable for anyone else's child? Schools deserve tools that actually work, wherever they are.

An "at least they get to exorcise!" sentiment is roll-your-eyes worthy.
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