No $100 Laptop to Cambodia?
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No $100 Laptop to Cambodia?

It’s cheaper than a 2 GB iPod Nano of Apple, one of the most popular music players. No hard drive, but with four USB ports available for external storage such as flash drives, the $100 laptop with Wi-Fi capability of the One Laptop Per Child project will change the way we educate children in the poorest parts of the world.

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Samuel J. Klein, Director of Content of One Laptop per Child project, presenting the laptop to audiences in Delhi, India.

In the coming months, the Linux-based laptops with 500MHz processor and 128MB of DRAM will be shipped to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand. At least no Cambodia mentioned in the list. Not surprisingly it was mentioned that in one Cambodian village where the One Laptop Per Child project team have been working, there is no electricity, therefore the laptop is, among many other things to bring the brightest light source in the home. What brought the cost of the laptop manufacturing down is how they manage to do it and distribute them in large scale. But the most important factor to make the distribution possible to Cambodia is the interest of the government and international aid agencies.
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Of a population of more than 13 million, only 20 percent people in Cambodia can access to electricity. Talking about digital divide, only 12 percent of Cambodians access to the Internet.

The digital decade is happening
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The world’s richest man Bill Gates says that the world is moving into the digital decade, which we, not most, now live in this new era. At the world’s largest consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, the Microsoft chairman foresees that gadget lovers will be able to read latest news and weather forecast on their on watches, which receive FM radio signals to update the information. He told experts in Las Vegas that “The digital decade is happening.”

Almost every new communication device people in developed countries buy is just so sophisticated. A phone with all things they like: multimedia player that can handle music, picture, and video; communication that allow user to use email and browse the Web. As the saying goes: the new things come, the old ones gone. Of course, the best way of recycle is: export those old machines and gadgets to less developing nations. There is no surprise that best choice of electronic products for university students is: used products. An affordable secondhand laptop can do the job, so. So the developed countries are moving to the digital decade.

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Samuel J. Klein, Director of Content of One Laptop per Child project, presenting the laptop to audiences

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Samuel J. Klein, Director of Content of One Laptop per Child project, presenting the laptop to audiences

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Samuel J. Klein interviewed by Kamla Bhatt

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Kamla Bhatt playing with $100 laptop