UK Developers ARM Less Fortunate with Linux Power
posted Sunday May 15, 2011 by Jon Wurm
I always like to see someone with a cause leverage technology to better mankind, especially when it's geared toward those that could use it the most. The last news of this nature that we had to report came from ConvergeUS, who is a conglomerate that finds ways to leverage technology to solve social problems. It seems that organization, and a lot more, could possibly benefit from what a UK developer has developed.
David Braben from Frontier Developments has put together a nifty little prototype computer that consists of a USB port, HDMI port, 700Mhz ARM11 processor and 128MB of RAM. The mini-computer is the size of a flash drive and runs Linux Ubuntu for the OS. Did I mention it also has an SD expansion slot and a 12MP camera? Braben's goal is to have them mass produced and in the hands of every kid, especially those that are socially or economically disadvantaged. How much would this little delight cost you? If mass produced it would only cost about $25 USD. Sign me up!
Watch Braben explain what he intends to achieve with this little device by hitting the break.
There are a few peculiarities with the design of his device which might make it less useful than Braben thinks. I understand that HDMI fits in well with the design of the device but many of the kids who will benefit the most probably don't have monitors at all never mind a monitor with HDMI. Also preloading the Linux Ubuntu OS is an interesting choice. I understand that many mobile OS like Android, WebOS and iOS are Linux-based and moving into the future and the mobile sector will grow by leaps and bounds but Linux is incredibly lacking when it comes to development. Besides, everything important is developed in a Windows environment. I'm not knocking what Braben is doing. I'm simply highlighting some things to think about.