For all the hype and buzz over the $100 computer project, it seems that many of the programs supporters forget that this is hardly the first time such a project has been tried. It's been nearly five years since the Simputer first hit the market, with a very similar story to the $100 computer. It was supposed to be inexpensive, built on open source technologies, designed for the poor in third world countries and a way to "bridge the digital divide." So where is it today? Well, it's pretty much dead. No one's making Simputers any more, and while some people are still selling old ones, there's lots of finger pointing about why the project failed. Over the years, many people have tried to come up with similar offerings. There was the PCtvt that tried to do the same thing. It was announced in 2004, and we haven't heard a thing about it since. In 2005, AMD said they were going to try to make their own version of a super cheap computer to "bridge the digital divide." It's definitely nice to see all of these attempts to help modernize less developed nations, but so far, these programs don't have a very good track record, and it's still not clear what the latest program is doing that's any different than those that came before it.
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