Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The XO-1, previously known as the $100 Laptop or Children's Machine, is an inexpensive laptop computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world, to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to "explore, experiment and express themselves" (constructionist learning). The laptop is developed by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and manufactured by Quanta Computer.

The laptops are designed for sale to government education systems which then give each and every primary school child their own laptop. Pricing was set to start at US$188 in 2006, with a stated goal to reach the $100 mark in 2008.

The rugged, low-power computers contain flash memory instead of a hard drive and use Linux as their operating system. Mobile ad-hoc networking is used to allow many machines to share Internet access from one connection.

This laptop helped to define the emerging (2007) category of Netbooks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Intel 80386

The Intel 80386, otherwise known as the Intel386, i386 or just 386, is a microprocessor which has been used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers and workstations since 1986.

As the original implementation of the 32-bit form of the 8086-architecture, the i386 instruction set, programming model, and binary encodings is still the common denominator for all 32-bit x86 processors. As such, it has remained virtually unchanged for over 20 years, enabling modern processors to run most programs written for earlier chips, all the way back to the original 16-bit 8086 of 1978.

Successively newer implementations of this same architecture have become several hundred times faster than the original i386 chip during these years (or thousands of times faster than the 8086). A 33 MHz i386 was reportedly measured to operate at about 11.4 MIPS.

The i386 was launched in October 1985, but full-function chips were first delivered in 1986[vague]. Mainboards for 386-based computer systems were at first expensive to produce but were rationalized upon the 386's mainstream adoption. The first personal computer to make use of the 386 was designed and manufactured by Compaq.

In May 2006 Intel announced that production of the 386 would cease at the end of September 2007. Although it had long been obsolete as a personal computer CPU, Intel, and others, had continued to manufacture the chip for embedded systems, including aerospace technology.

Monday, December 1, 2008

PowerBook 150

The PowerBook 150 was a laptop created by Apple Computer in 1994. It was the last member of the PowerBook 100 series to use the original case design, the most affordable of the series when introduced, and also the last consumer model. It was 8 MHz faster than its predecessor, the PowerBook 145B. It lacked an ADB port and used a lower quality passive matrix display than other current offerings, both to reduce the price. Like the Duos & PowerBook 100 before it, the 150 only had a single serial printer port, however, a third party adapter was available for use in the optional modem slot. For those users requiring an external keyboard or mouse, this made a serial option a practical consideration. It also lacked a rear port door, unlike the rest of the 100 series models. Though it used the 140 case design, its internals were based on the PowerBook Duo 230 and actually more similar to the features of the PowerBook 190 (which used the PowerBook 5300's case design). Notably, this new logicboard design allowed this 100 series PowerBook to use more than 14MB RAM for the first time, as well as the first Macintosh ever to use less expensive and larger IDE drives (formatting required a unique software application limiting the selection of compatible drives). It was also the first of the 100 series to include a lithium-ion backup battery to preserve RAM contents when the battery is replaced. This is the last PowerBook model to include a trackball. However, like the 145B it replaced, the 150 could not be used in SCSI Disk Mode, unlike the Duo, 190 and 5300 which had HD Target Mode implemented.