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Absolutely amazing – “Municator”

July 7th, 2006 . by Matt

The Municator slogan

Remember the $100 laptop being designed by MIT? It looks like a Chinese company has produced a desktop that will cost only US$150. It is called ‘Municator’, and it was demonstrated at the CeBit trade show.

The Municator is more suited for Chinese circumstances than the $100 laptop. It runs on a customised version of Linux, called Thinix OS, so it runs all the software currently available on Linux. It comes with preinstalled open source sofware like firefox for browsing the net, mozilla for email, and Gaim for instant messaging that is compatible with virtually all the IM services. The technical specifications for Municator is here. To summarize the specs, they are: 40GB Hard Disk, a 64-bit 400mhz/800mhz Godson 2C processor, 256mb ram, 4 usb2 ports, VGA-output, ps2 input, and tv-output. The TV output is important because these days even poor Chinese families have a color TV, so being able to use Municator on the family TV is useful for those people that cannot afford to buy a monitor (although of course Municator can use a monitor). Municator is both software and hardware upgradable, and accessories like DVD burners, extra ram, and so on can be bought optionally for a little extra money.

The interesting thing about this Municator is that it is being made almost entirely in China, using Chinese technology. The continuing ability of China to produce products like this at this price is amazing. I wonder if we will be hearing about the Chinese CPU manufacturer ‘Godson’ in the next ten years as a credible rival to Intel and AMD.

Unlike the $100 laptop, Municator is ready for production right now, and does not need millions of pre-orders to get started. Of course, the target audience of the Municator is not the same as the $100 laptop. Realistically, only having 500mb of storage capacity on the $100 laptop means that it is only suitable for the poor of the poor, while Municator will find buyers everywhere, including the west. I would certainly buy one, just for the ability to carry around my internet settings with me so that I am comfortable.

Internet connectivity and the ‘digital divide’ is simply a matter of cost. Municator and the like will connect the rest of the planet in a few short years.

One Response to “Absolutely amazing – “Municator””

  1. […] Intel to develop and sell basic notebook window.document.getElementById(‘post-692’).parentNode.className += ‘ adhesive_post’;Intel will develop a basic notebook that will compete with the OLPC notebook designed for Children in developing countries. The OLPC project has spawned many other similar projects designed to bridge the “digital divide”, like the new Intel notebook under development, and the “Municator”. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, is planning to mass market a $199 (£99.70) notebook computer. […]