Intel feeds Portuguese 500,000 Classmate laptops
Socratic oath defies OLPC
Intel has scored a massive low-cost laptop deal with Portugal's government to provide primary school students with 500,000 computers based on the company's Classmate PC notebook design.
Chipzilla plans to deliver the half million machines — which will be manufactured under license in northern Portugal — in the upcoming school year.
The deal was inked as a part of an education technology program called the Magellan Initiative, launched today by Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates and Intel Chairman Craig Barrett.
"This new collaboration with Intel underscores Portugal's commitment to advance quickly toward a knowledge-based economy," Sócrates said. "By equipping our schools with state-of-the-art computing technology and Internet connectivity, we hope to hasten the transition to economic models that benefit our citizens."
According to the Associated Press, Socrates said the computer would be distributed to students under the government's existing subsidized "e-School" program. The cost to students will be determined by the family's income, with a maximum price of about €50 ($78).
Intel's pact also fans the flames of a market rivalry between itself and the non-profit One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) foundation. Both companies compete to sell small, cheap notebooks geared towards the education of youngsters in developing countries.
Early this year, Intel walked out of the OLPC project after receiving a frosty reception due to its continued sales of the Classmate PC design.
OLPC's visionary Nicholas Negroponte slammed Intel before it joined, telling the company it should be "ashamed of itself" for undercutting his own scheme to get affordable laptop computers to children in developing countries.
After Intel joined the organization, Negroponte continued to press for ending sales of the Classmate laptop. After only about six months, Intel was fed up. OLPC denied Intel's departure was about rival machines, but claims relations broke down because of "a complete lack of cooperation by Intel on software, learning etc." ®
I think that is about to happen, this is why the stage was set by the head banker calling a food crisis.
They have to sell up some of there land, and allow western companies in to produce food, ironic really as the UK is one of the most arable locations in the world.
If that happens, they need to educate to work in the industrial farm complexes, and computers will do just that, I don't think they will get much net access, just a load of basic programs and a load of manuals on a disk. The manuals will be on how to work in industrial farm complexes.
It will be just like this:
but obviously not in our backyards.
---"Um last I checked Portugal was not exactly a 3rd world poverty stricken country"---
Um, youre right its not....and so? Your point is that low cost laptops should not be used in education for developing countries but only in poverty stricken third world countries?
For me, countries fall into 3 basic classes:
1)Fully industrialized nations like the US, France, Japan, etc
2)Developing nations like China, India, Mexico, etc
3)Poor third world nations like most countries in Africa, etc
These low cost laptops will be most effective in developing nations by integrating them into the educational system. I think they should be distributed in communities within poor third world nations, but one for every child will be of little use unless there is an educational program to go along with it.
The idea of low cost laptops goes way beyond third world outreach, it will become a part of the worlds educational system. If Negroponte cant except that, thats too bad.
"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you'll never see the bugger again.."
Um last I checked Portugal was not exactly a 3rd world poverty stricken country
The problem here is not Intel, it's the OLPC failure to provide what they promised: $100 laptop for children. They delivered a laptop almost double priced, well in reach from Intel's more capable offering. And then they slammed windows on it, as if it would help...
As for the Portuguese contract, they key driver was the local production of the machine. With lagging economics, the Portuguese government just couldn't resist a PR stunt like this one. But it is only fair to say this e-school program was already active, for older students and teachers, with full featured laptops.