This post has been disavowed. Please refer to the UPDATE link for additional information.

John Gruver wrote in to share this spectacular bit of news, that an MIT team may develop an OLPC based “loosely” on the Apple II. The Boston Herald [article] and PC Pro UK [article] are reporting the device is projected to cost $12 per unit, which is significantly less than the original OLPC and even the recently announced second generation OLPC.

The possibilities of this project for the Apple II Community are tremendous. Not only can we contribute expertise to the success of this project and help get inexpensive machines out to the children, but it may even provide an incentive to software publishers to reclassify their old commercial Apple II educational titles as freeware.

What do you think? Is using a 30 year old platform (even modernized, with an extensive educational library) a good idea? Would you support it? Would you want to own one? Are you afraid it would be just another Tiger Learning Computer?

UPDATE: As it turns out, the Boston Herald had it all wrong. Eric Lai at Computerworld [article] has the scoop on the real story, and it’s very disappointing news (for Apple II enthusiasts). Thanks to Ken Gagne for bringing this to our attention.

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One reply on “MIT team developing $12 OLPC loosely based on Apple II UPDATED”

  1. I think this is a great idea. The best way IMHO to create a low-cost computer for developing countries’ children is to avoid using modern technology and use parts that are super-cheap. Building Apple II clones can be done for practically nothing when done in large quantities.

    The software needs of these children are not substantial. Some basic educational software (math and language quizzes, etc) and a word processor, and their real needs are met. Anything more is icing on the cake.

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