Marching Towards the $25 Computer?

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AzmatMalik
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Production Synthesizer
Are we? (I think we're there already)
AzmatMalik   2/15/2013 6:59:15 PM
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This is to 'computers' what Heathkit was to radio etc. At $25 hobbyists and 'inventors' will have a lower cost way of trying out their ideas.  It is not a PC in the sense of a laptop, or perhaps even a cheap tablet.

The incessant price reduction does indeed put pressure on the higher end applications, but we still see $90 'laptops' in the same advertisement with $1500 laptops.

 

BTW the Akash (the $35 item in Brains 'hot little hands') is just that: the throwaway price of the item. It cannot possibly factor in service, support, replacement etc. One has to be very carefull not to fall into these PR 'traps'. Most readers will have heard of microfinance doing magic; few ill have heard that the 'interest' rate is in the vicinity of 50% per year (it is not called interest in certain countries due to the religion-based prohibition on interest). This high rate is 'required' in order to pay the staff needed for disbursement of funds and collection of payments (both are done personally, face-face). This personal contact is a necessary element of the program > societal and community pressure to pay, on time.

(Brian: is it that your hands are 'hot', or the raspberry board)

(Sorry for the digression off topic, but it is important to understand what drives the NGOs to do what they claim they do: Very often to perpetuate their own 'jobs' of management and staff)

Wale Bakare
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Technology Drivers
Wale Bakare   2/15/2013 12:01:35 PM
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A popular adage from my place says" if you dont help them carrying it, one day it would get dumped at your backyard". I think, two factors are driving innovations (1) Consumerization (2) Internet-of -things.

Adeniji Kayode
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Re: "Horses for courses" as they say...
Adeniji Kayode   2/15/2013 9:17:16 AM
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I agree with you on that, Manufacturers are making so much efforts to make sure that consumers can not do without using their product in a day.

That to some extent may be a sign of good success.

t.alex
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Re: Computer in Embedded form
t.alex   2/14/2013 10:55:05 PM
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Reaching $25 price point with a display and some input like touch interface is a bit hard right now. Perhaps wait a while till the display becomes cheaper.

Brian Fuller
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Blogger
I think we're there already
Brian Fuller   2/13/2013 4:06:30 PM
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I have in my hot little hands a second-generation Akash tablet targeted for the Indian market. It's a nifty piece of engineering and the price point for that market is around $35 (and falling). 

On the occasional dark, lonely night, I see this as a death spiral for the industry. But semiconductor designers are not just about leveraging Moore's Law. They're about relentlessly driving more value into their VHDL and Verilog. 

In the shorterm, we'll continue to integrate to maintain value while trying, on the back end, to manage design costs to keep the overhead down. 

(That I think about on sunny, coffee-fueled mornings). 

 

Wale Bakare
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Supply Network Guru
Computer in Embedded form
Wale Bakare   2/13/2013 12:33:55 PM
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>>Raspberry Pi looks like an embedded development platform rather than a PC<<

That's exactly it! I have been very critical about it, no OS and other peripherals. How can you buy that and present it as a gift to someone with absolutely zero knowledge of software or hardware? But the fact that, it uses linux OS differentiating it with other embedded devices, and its architecture is similar to that of PC.

elctrnx_lyf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: "Horses for courses" as they say...
elctrnx_lyf   2/13/2013 6:24:38 AM
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Yeh this may not be a real computer as you said. It may be only that can work some hobbyists to do some tests and experments.

Cryptoman
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Re: "Horses for courses" as they say...
Cryptoman   2/13/2013 4:52:22 AM
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Raspberry Pi fits into the picture from a different application perspective.

Raspberry Pi looks like an embedded development platform rather than a PC. You need to buy a separate keyboard and TV to connect to it besides other peripherals. The user also needs to box it up to be able to use it like a computer without having to worry about spilling coffee over it while working! Pi also does not come with an operating system. So the user needs to have a degree of relatively "low level" hardware and software skills to get it up and running.

In my view, this puts Raspberry Pi to the embedded computing league for hobbyists and students. Raspberry Pi is interesting because it managed to squeeze into a niche application area in such a competitive market and managed to turn quite a few heads so far.

 

WaqasAltaf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: "Horses for courses" as they say...
WaqasAltaf   2/12/2013 9:01:03 PM
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Well said, Cryptoman. One uses smartphones for internet usage (or stuff other than phone call) while walking or where he cannot turn on the tablet. One uses tablets where he is settled down on a chair but the location isn't office so tablet is preferable to laptop. One uses laptop for advance applications and when in laptop. Where does this 25$ computer fit in ? Or is it simply an alternative for users for a smartphone.

WaqasAltaf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Computers are in the position
WaqasAltaf   2/12/2013 8:56:51 PM
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@ Rich

There are limitations as well if the computer size is shrinked down. Many computer users dont prefer smartphones and tablets because of smaller screen size and to-date slower processors. So if 25$ computer is following the trend of smartphones, then it will usual have the same limitations as that of smartphones.  

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