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The $25 PC

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Zombie James

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Dec 28, 2005
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http://www.geek.com/articles/games/game-developer-david-braben-creates-a-usb-stick-pc-for-25-2011055/

Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25.

The hardware being offered is no slouch either. It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0 allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. Storage is catered for by an SD card slot. It also looks as though modules can be attached such as the 12MP camera seen in the image above.

We can expect it to run a range of Linux distributions, but it looks like Ubuntu may be the distro it ships with. That means it will handle web browsing, run office applications, and give the user a fully functional computer to play with as soon as it’s plugged in. All that and it can be carried in your pocket or on a key chain.


Do want.
 

RevDM

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Sep 19, 2007
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I'm not familiar with that processor/specs (actually I don't know much about Linux at all). Could this thing stream Netflix?
 

Zebra

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Oct 6, 2010
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I absolutely love this!

If this becomes commercially available, I would buy one for each of my friends and family members.

25$ just blows my mind. Kids in the coming generation won't know how great they've got it when computers become so cheap they can get one with a week's allowance.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Zebra said:
I absolutely love this!

If this becomes commercially available, I would buy one for each of my friends and family members.

25$ just blows my mind. Kids in the coming generation won't know how great they've got it when computers become so cheap they can get one with a week's allowance.
Damn, I only got $5 a week for allowance!
 
Oct 20, 2009
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So basically this thing is more advanced than a PC from the 90s. Amazing how far we've come.

My first computer had a 3GB HDD and struggled to run 3D games.
 

Zebra

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BrassMonkey1010 said:
Damn, I only got $5 a week for allowance!
Ahah, well so did I, but the notion is that if this thing is 25$ now, something similar to this will be even cheaper for the coming generation. 5$ would be amazing.
 

2th

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Apr 21, 2008
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make it have two micro usb ports and then find me a keyboard and mouse that use micro usb and this would be a freaking winner.
 

buy teh haloz

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Zebra said:
Ahah, well so did I, but the notion is that if this thing is 25$ now, something similar to this will be even cheaper for the coming generation. 5$ would be amazing.
Eventually they'll just start giving out computers as prizes in cereal boxes.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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I'm curious about its graphics specs. If it could do hardware accelerated stuff at a decent resolution at 60 fps, I'd be very happy.

I'd probably buy a cheap USB hub and put it inside of it.


Edit: Provisional specification:

700MHz ARM11
128MB of SDRAM
OpenGL ES 2.0
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
Composite and HDMI video output
USB 2.0
SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
General-purpose I/O
Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
 

NH Apache

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Aug 1, 2007
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lightless_shado said:
So basically this thing is more advanced than a PC from the 90s. Amazing how far we've come.

My first computer had a 3GB HDD and struggled to run 3D games.
You must be young.

My first laptop:

http://koti.mbnet.fi/~oju/retro/Kaypro_eng.html

Amazing how miniaturization works.



Trent Strong said:
Can you do anything with 128MB of ram? Wouldn't this thing be so weak as to be almost worthless?
Word processing and basic internet usage would be fine. I don't believe flash would run well.
 
Dec 22, 2007
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They should make it a bit bigger to accommodate the luxuries we're used to.

Double the size to allow for a mouse and speakers (which would still easily fit into your pocket), and they'd probably have a hit on their hands.
 

loosus

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May 31, 2006
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Make it $100 with considerably better specs (and maybe a half-inch larger, if need be), and I'm in.

I would honestly prefer an Intel architecture, though.
 

giga

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Oct 28, 2006
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I know it's only $25, but the ARM11 is definitely a slouch. Slower than an iPhone 3GS. Would be cool for experimenting though.

Wonder what GPU it's using though. 1080p high profile decode means it's already better than the Tegra 2's.

loosus said:
Make it $100 with considerably better specs (and maybe a half-inch larger, if need be), and I'm in.

I would honestly prefer an Intel architecture, though.
Would be so great if we could use the Apple TV as a computer with a desktop OS. Apple A4, 256MB RAM, 8GB storage, 802.11n for $100.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple-TV-2nd-Generation-Teardown/3625/2
 

wwm0nkey

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giga said:
I know it's only $25, but the ARM11 is definitely a slouch. Slower than an iPhone 3GS. Would be cool for experimenting though.

Wonder what GPU it's using though. 1080p high profile decode means it's already better than the Tegra 2's.


Would be so great if we could use the Apple TV as a computer with a desktop OS. Apple A4, 256MB RAM, 8GB storage.
.
 
Feb 28, 2008
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Damn this is nice and I wonder if it will get some sort of tangential cascade going in terms of this and the likes of Beagle/Pandaboard,, SuperJumbo/Always Innovating, and the Arduino/Gameduino line of things? Hell, the XGameStation guy was I think last working on a new revision in the mobile space where I think the aim was something wristwatch sized.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but something along these lines some years out with the forthcoming A15 should be incredibly capable in an absolute sense...

Hell, with Braben on this thing maybe it can get us another proper Elite in an incredibly roundabout and unpredictable way?
 

clav

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Apr 22, 2006
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Seems like a better initiative than the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program. That was such a failure. My relative got one, and I have it in my hands as it's so useless to the commoner. Man, web browsing is a chore on this thing. Inputting letters literally takes a second in between.

I don't know if I'll get one of these for $25. It needs to be a bit more beefier at least enough for web browsing. Javascript and/or Flash would kill this. It'll have to run a modified version of Android or Damn Small Linux (DSL) for this to work.
 

Moppet13

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Soon enough your wrist watch will be able to run Crysis.

Edit: beaten sort of, by quite a bit.
 

tino

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May 25, 2005
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You can just buy a wm phone and flash android on it. I brought a Touch Pro 2 for 65 last week.
 

Zebra

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speculawyer said:
Cool but I wouldn't call it a 'PC'. Although that is vague term, I'd say that it implies something that can run Windows.
I would say that calling it a PC implies that it is a personal computer.
 

DurielBlack

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Nov 17, 2009
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This is cool tech, and at that price I could see splurging on it a bit to find some sort of use for it.

I assume it uses flash memory for storage, but the article doesn't say how much it contains, I'd assume at least 1-2gb.

I'd pay 50$ to include a second USB connection for a mouse.
 
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