Use of bioplastics in the case and plastic parts
The use of biobased plastics or biobased polymer composites (bioplastic reinforced with natural fibers) for the case and plastic parts should be considered in the near future. Recently (2006) companies in Japan have produced a bioplastic laptop and bioplastic cell phones. Bioplastics can be (and are also being produced) in undeveloped countries from local agricultural materials, are compostable and biodegradable, and help to eliminate plastic pollution and increase the value of local crops.
Perhaps it should be considered as well future production and assembly of the laptop case and (bio)plastic components in the recipient countries.
November 30, 2006- M. Hesser
The colour of the case
If the laptop is sold to individuals in developed countries at a somewhat higher cost than $100, would it be a good idea to have the cases moulded in a colour different from the $100 laptops?
For example, maybe a college might buy some for an open access computer room and they would all be one colour and that colour would not be available on the open market for students, so students could easily take their own machines into and out of the computer room with it being entirely clear which laptops were the property of the college and which were not.
Maybe it would be possible to purchase a laptop with a case personalized by being made up of parts in several colours.
There is a webspace with a lot about colour. http://www.pantone.com
Maybe a laptop in Baja Blue with an Art Deco look? William Overington 19 March 2006
The Theft Problem
There is a serious theft problem that must be addressed if this laptop is to be made available in developed countries and that includes many of the orange countries on the map. As long as the laptop is distributed to children only, there will be no adult market for the laptop. In other words, there will be no motivation for adults to steal these laptops from children for their own use.
It is good that these laptops look like toys and are available in distinctive bright colors.
I think that the project leaders need to make a statement on adult availability including the "three for one" pledge that was recently published on Slashdot.
If there is to be any distribution to adults, it should be in a different physical form factor from the one distributed to children. For distribution to developers, it could be in a desktop form factor that runs off mains power, i.e. non-folding ugly functional plastic case. If there is to be a model distributed to adults in the target countries then it should be made in a more traditional dull laptop color and it should have a wifi system that works on DIFFERENT frequencies and with some kind of an incompatibility in the protocol. Adults should not be able to eavesdrop on the kids, pretend to be kids, or send kids inappropriate materials.
This is a serious topic which really needs its own page.
The possibility of a red laptop
I think that the colour of these laptops should be Red in whatever shade. Red is the natural color to provoke a sense of caution, caution to be taken by anyone who works with the laptops or tries to take one. Post office boxes and Phone Boxes in the UK arnt red by accident!
- Some readers may not be familiar with the traditional United Kingdom letter boxes and telephone boxes.
- The model often found in villages is the Kiosk No.6 and the Kiosk No.6 Mk.II and is what is regarded as the typical traditional telephone box.
The possibility of a red hand crank to complement a light blue case
It could be that the laptop is made in the same blue as is used in the flag of the United Nations. However, it could be a good idea for detachable parts, such as a hand crank, to be made in a particular red colour, using food grade plastic, so that they are clearly distinct and the highly noticeable red colour would perhaps make losing them less likely. Also, photographs showing the laptop in use would have a clear contrast between the light blue of the laptop and the red of any attachments being depicted in the photograph. With such large numbers to be manufactured, it could well be possible to specify a particular colour, perhaps using a pantone code, so that all of the red-coloured peripherals would match each other in colour. If, as will hopefully be the situation, a decision is made by the management to use food grade plastic for the case and hand cranks, it would be desirable to find out which red colours can be produced using food grade plastic before a decision of which particular red colour to use is specified as it might be the situation that intense red colours could not be produced in food grade plastic.
The possibility of a yellow laptop (probably best not!)
A yellow laptop, the colour of sunflowers! Yet wait, when British Telecom was formed by splitting off from the Post Office in the United Kingdom, they announced that telephone boxes and vans would be painted yellow with a blue logo. There were some yellow vans, yet later the vans were light grey. The old telphone boxes are still red, and the newer ones are beige and transparent colourless plastic and so on. Yellow objects in the open air can attract insects, including wasps and bees. So maybe a yellow laptop, which might be great artistically, would be a liability if children in hot developing countries had to carry them in the open air! So, yellow is probably out!
The possibility of a blue laptop, the same blue as in the flag of the United Nations
The picture at present on the main page of this wiki is of a light blue laptop.
This is not too different from the blue colour of the United Nations flag.
Would it be a good idea to seek the permission of the United Nations for the cases of the laptop to be in the blue colour of the United Nations flag?
I am sure someone, somewhere is going to e-bay one of these things from the grey market and casemod it to look cool. The first prototype looked really cool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Laptop0956.jpg) but a design was chosen to look like kids' crap so adults won't walk around carrying what looks like kids' crap. That's actually a nice move, and I find the prototype image on laptop.org (green and white) visually pleasing while also visibly distinct and child-like (the ugly orange ones... I can't see giving one of those even to a child).
The case "ears" can be very dangerous for children and can crack very easily. The first prototype looked safer.