Modular design


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In poor countries (and not only), exchanging components could be very useful... You can't imagine how useful! For instance, when some kid's monitor is dead, but the rest of the computer still works fine, it would be WONDERFUL if that kid could get a monitor from another kid whose monitor is still working but the rest of the computer is not. Modularity also provides a feeling of freedom, as you don't feel helpless as soon as the first component is dead. Also, it teaches those kids how to play with the components and build their own computer, which makes OLPC even more educational (in even more ways)!

Detachability would make this laptop's "market" much more fluid. Actually, the laptop will become even more of a legend, as its components' reusability will make them much more valuable by themselves. Imagine kids switching components: this is really an adventure -- or should I call it a social phenomenon? Just like cars! And we are not kidding at all! Certainly, I understand that integration is very much necessary for getting such a low price, but some components are independent enough to be made detachable.

So the questions are: Is (at least) the monitor DETACHABLE? What about the antenna, keyboard, and touchpad? NOTE that the keyboard and touchpad are the most exposed to deterioration BUT also the easiest to make detachable, so you MUST design them so! Did you bear this principle of detachability in mind when you designed this laptop? If not, then please at least make the monitor and the keyboard detachable, or else the OLPC laptop will be dead and unuseable as soon as a.. key is damaged.

(Monitor) detachability might turn out to be one of the best features of this laptop. Actually, all laptop monitors should be detachable, but companies use bundling for commercial reasons, just like Microsoft does with its IE or Media Player. Since OLPC doesn't have (primarily) commercial purposes, it's the best project to implement it first -- which we hope will be a model for laptop manufacturers, too.

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