Saturday, February 05, 2005

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column

PBS | I, Cringely: : "Compared to the Mac Mini, AMD's PIC is Half the Computer at Less Than Half the Price. What's Wrong With That?
After two weeks of writing about Apple's Mac Mini, I have tiny PCs on my brain. This time, it is AMD's Personal Internet Communicator -- a $185 PC that probably ought not to exist at all, but I'm glad it does. The PIC's stated objective is bringing computing to 50 percent of the world's people by 2015, and to do that, AMD is selling the little bugger through third world phone companies and ISPs. I think, with a few modifications, they should sell it here.
I'm not sure why AMD is doing the PIC, since profit margins on this type of device are infinitesimal, but most people trace the project to AMD CEO Hector Ruiz, who supposedly wants to bring the Internet back to the Mexican village where he was born. AMD founder Jerry Sanders probably rolled over in his Mercedes when he heard about it, but bringing computing to the third world is laudable, and a little gizmo like this appeals to a lot of us in the first world, too."

More interesting insights from Cringely -- check out the AMD PIC specs; it is a fascinating device in many ways.
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