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little laptops that couldn’t

All our stuff is made of dreams, and all technological accomplishments rest on an initial imaginative leap. So tomorrow, in Tirupati, land of miracles, India will unveil a ten-dollar laptop. Developed jointly by Vellore Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Science and IIT Chennai, supported by companies like Semiconductor Complex, the laptop has reportedly been fitted out with 2GB of memory, wi-fi, ethernet, and expandable memory.

If that sounds fabulous, it probably is. Even with a huge Government subsidy, it is unclear how ten dollars can get you much more than a souped-up calculator. It supposedly costs twenty dollars to manufacture, but India’s massive economies of scale should drive costs down to ten dollars — roughly five hundred rupees. According to a report, “It uses a cheap microprocessor (not Intel or AMD’s standard PC chips) and removes the hard disk, CD/ DVD drive and other costly and problem-prone components, leaving the keyboard,

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