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media:Fw: Simputer: Ultra-cheap Linux laptop

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 08:21:09 -0500
Message-ID: <001601c19c35$2a923830$c2f20141@cp286066a>
To: "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas Ward" <tward@bright.net>
To: <speakup@braille.uwo.ca>
Cc: "Emacspeak List" <emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu>
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 2:52 AM
Subject: fw: Simputer: Ultra-cheap Linux laptop


Hi, I thought everyone would be interested in this new pordible
computer.



Simputer: Ultra-cheap Linux laptop

TalkBack!
By
Ernest Khoo
ZDNet News
January 11, 2002 6:22 AM PT

SINGAPORE--Handheld computers are commonly seen as geek toys for
affluent
mobile professionals. An Indian group hopes to change that image with
the
Simputer,
a device designed to bring portable computing and the information age to
developing countries.

The
Simputer Trust,
a group of individuals from the Indian Institute of Science, and
Encore Software
are behind the device. Vinay L. Deshpande, CEO of Encore, said the
machine
is expected to arrive in the second quarter.

The finished product, which will run the Linux operating system, will be
slightly larger than a Palm handheld but will operate as a simple
portable
computer.
It will use 32MB of flash memory and 32MB of RAM.

Other hardware features include a built-in modem, infrared port and USB
port
for connection with other devices.

 frame

 frame end

The interface comprises mainly icons and graphics on a 240-by-320-pixel
touch screen. The device also supports text-to-speech capability and
will be
able
to provide voice feedback in local languages, according to
specifications
provided by Encore Software.

Sharp Electronics Singapore has been engaged to provide its monochrome
and
color LCDs, flash memory and smart cards for the Simputer. At a media
briefing
Friday, Encore said Sharp will also offer its engineering expertise to
help
with the development of the device.

Sharp's Zaurus handheld, recently rereleased in the United States, also
uses
Linux.

To use the Simputer, individuals will need to purchase a smart card to
store
personal information. Once inserted into the device, the card will
provide
access to private information, such as bank accounts.

The Simputer will initially be available for government organizations.
It
will be targeted at businesses and consumers at a later date, Deshpande
said.

India will be one of the first countries where the product will be made
available, he said.

Bangalore, India-based Encore, which develops digital signal
processor-based
software and embedded systems, began the project two years ago, working
on
the idea of getting rural areas in India networked and connected to the
Internet.

The Simputer will be used in villages and districts so that small
communities can share the device for various uses such as sending and
receiving e-mail
and carrying out banking transactions.

Expected to cost about $200, the Simputer will be powered by three AAA
batteries that can offer 6 hours to 8 hours of continuous usage, Encore
said.



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Received on Sunday, 13 January 2002 08:21:04 GMT

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