W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2001

Re: Fresh start? Re: Minimal Browser Capabilities

From: Vadim Plessky <lucy-ples@mtu-net.ru>
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 20:29:30 +0000
Message-Id: <200112281730.fBSHURH11644@post.cnt.ru>
To: Access Systems <accessys@smart.net>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Friday 28 December 2001 14:20, Access Systems wrote:
|   I don't think a lot of people on these committees realize what many folks
|   with disabilities are actually operating with, even in this
|   country.  we're talking folks who may live on the less than $500 a month
|   from SSDI and paying the rent, phone and food bills consume most of it.
|   and in other countries as little as $5 a month.
|   BUT even on these budgets some internet access is still possible, but it
|   sure isn't a pentium anything.  I know folks who are trying to get enough
|   memory to install windows 3.1 but are on the internet and it is their
| only source of outside information,  we cannot disenfrancise these folks
| and then call it "access"

as this is 3rd or 4th message saying "let's take old computers and donate 
them to the 3rd world", I guess I need to express my opinion.

I was working around 5 years for leading distributor of computer & office 
equipment, and can tell you that *cost of the unit* is sometimes nothing 
comparing  to transportation costs.
For example, simple inkjet printer costs, say, $50 FOB Netherlands. When I 
deliver it to Russia (and it's also valid for many other Eastern-European 
countries), I need to add transportation cost. And it will be ... around $20 
per unit! So, cost will be already $80. Add taxes, and unit is already close 
to $100!
 This is also very visible with monitors. Their boxes are much bigger than 
for ink jet printer, so you need to add $25-$30 per unit for transportation 
Now imaging that you add another $10-15 for shipping this printer from South 
Korea or Taiwan to Netherland - and you will get an idea what %% 
tranportation cost accounts for.
Same is valid for used (old) computers. Transportation always costs money, 
you can't get it for free unless you use own car.

Anyway, here is my solution.
All computers (system block) should be small, really small - with a size of 
typical book or a little bit bigger. Anc cheap, damn ceap! I see no reason 
why such packaged unit, with no expansion slots (but USB available) should 
cost more than $200. And, in fact, VIA (Taiwan) is very close to produce such 
Key factors to be successfull with price reduction:
* own (or 3rd party but cheap) processor
* graphics adapter integrated on chipset (VIA already has it)
* common memory (available already for several years)
* memory - is already very cheap
All this packaged on one small motherboard gives both very attractive 
form-factor and low price. As transportation cost for it will be quite low, I 
believe it has better chances to be *affordable* on different world markets.

As about software - of course there is no room for $70 MS Windows98 (it's 
price or OEM version, IIRC). Indeed, Windows has to be skipped.
Linux, QNX or FreeBSD can do the job - browser, ftp client, mail client are 
already there, and available for free (only media cost, but it is around $1)

So my understanding of problem [computer for developing countries] is that we 
need to push technologies and vendors forward, and to push them ASAP - using 
out buying power. We will just waste our time trying to re-animate old 

|   The whole world cannot upgrade twice a year!
very well said! :-)


Vadim Plessky
http://kde2.newmail.ru  (English)
33 Window Decorations and 6 Widget Styles for KDE
KDE mini-Themes
Received on Friday, 28 December 2001 12:31:33 UTC

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