Over the last few years I've kinda been keeping an eye on the OLPC(One Laptop
Per Child) project
. It's designed to give school children
in third world countries a low cost, rugged AC power optional laptop
in order to give them a better education.
I really didn't think much of it until I heard about the power requirements for it. The average power usage will only be about 2 watts, with a maximum of I believe 8 watts during heavy usage such as playing videos. It has wireless networking capability and an optional pull cord generator
which from what I hear can give reasonable results. (One number I heard was one minute of pulling for an hour of use.)
It's obviously designed for children
, but it runs a modified version of linux
and I have no doubt that there will be people out there creating new software
for it which will give it more capabilities. (Someone has already posted a video online of them playing the game
Doom on an XO)
There are now rumors that this laptop will be sold on the consumer market for a slightly higher price
with the profits going to provide more laptops for children.
It's not powerful, you'd only be able to play the simplest games on the thing and even watching movies might be a strain on it, but as a word processor, email
, and internet
browsing computer, it seems like a good idea for a boat. With the very low power
usage of about 2 watts, even a small solar
panel could provide all the power you'd need for it even if you wanted to leave it on all the time.
I'm just curious about other people's opinions on this idea and if they've heard anything about it or considered the same thing. There are other similar computers
of course, but this is the first I've heard of a laptop computer with such a low power