Make way OLPC, here comes the $12 NES clone (not Apple II)

Correction:
The project is modeled not on an Apple II, but rather on an existing $12 NES game machine clone, called the "Victor."

It's likely based on the rather infamous NES-on-a-chip based clones that have appeared in millions of joystick-based games and other knock-offs....

ComputerWorld Article

MIT: From the Boston Herald:

"Derek Lomas, Jesse Austin-Breneman and other designers want to create a computer that Third World residents can buy for less than you probably spend on lunch."

Yes, the same school that developed the famous OLPC (One Laptop Per Child project) is creating a clone of the venerable Apple II computer. Projected cost is $12 per computer.

Designers plan rudimentary web access, games, and it will undoubtedly use some existing Apple II software. Immediately, the old Contiki operating system comes to mind....

Original story, the Boston Herald website

Picture of Make way OLPC, here comes the $12 NES clone (not Apple II)
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'Want's one... badly...'

Actually I was wondering about using an older machine of some sort as a rudimentary web device for around the house, the laptop is just too obvious...
gmoon (author)  killerjackalope9 years ago
Want's two...

A couple years ago I was heavily involved in the C64 DTV community; making hardware hacks and reacquainting myself with 65xx assembly language programming. That game platform was essentially a C-64 clone, hard-coded into an ASIC chip, with extended memory (2mb) and graphics. Although the Apple II and C-64 were different, they shared the same microprocessor, memory bus, etc. It's very do-able.

Maybe these guys are completely crazy...but I think their project is more like a cheap "web appliance" than a full-fledged computer. You could send email, play games, get weather bulletins; even learn simple programming.

Despite the criticism on slashdot (for instance: "my cellphone is X times more powerful"), it's hard to argue with cheap. And how many people realize cellphone costs are a "lost leader", and really rolled into the overall subscription prices... A lot of questions remain--what about the display? Not everyone in the third world has a TV...

It might be a pipe dream, but I like it....
I knew what you meant by lost leader anyway... I would think the bottom of the end for displays could be a mutli line ticker style display from a single LCD, OLED screens are cheap enough and live for a while, basically nicking the screen from a big mainstream product would work, maybe old gameboys or advances the screens from a still manufactured product would be very cheap in comparison...-
oled and cheap ?? I was just in a Sony store looking at there there OLED TV all 11 inches of it, it's a thin little thing, but the $2400 USD price tag you may as well buy a genuine apple laptop for less ......
OLED screens have been in chinese MP4's for some time and they're dirt cheap... There are cheaper options like two tone LCDs etc...
gmoon (author)  killerjackalope9 years ago
Good point, there are lots of options... Maybe the developers chose the Apple II over other "antique" 8-bit computers (like the C-64 or Atari) not for it's software base, but because it utilized a monochrome display. A single-color LCD screen is dirt-cheap to manufacture.
Aye not to mention easy to adapt, any display the same size is a feasible way to display it, that way the pinouts should match...
gmoon (author)  gmoon9 years ago
...."loss leader"....
gmoon (author) 9 years ago
See the correction....NOT an Apple II, but an NES clone.
jaw drops