Ever since the One Laptop per Child initiative was announced in early 2005, it's since become the next big technology hurdle: find a way to make computers affordable enough so that developing nations can purchase machines without going broke. Well, YellowSheepRiver Municator Inc. has developed a cheap machine of their own, though unlike the aptly-named One Laptop per Child initiative, YellowSheepRiver's machine is a desktop. Also unlike the OLPC laptop, YellowSheepRiver's machine plugs into a wall rather than relying on hand-cranking.
The YSR-639 will cost $150 USD and will come with a 400 or 800-MHz Goodson processor, a 40 GB hard drive, 256 MB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g wireless networking, and a DVD IDE drive. This machine will run THINIX 3.0 (itself based on CSIP RPLinux), and while it probably won't be much good for gaming or anything super-intensive, it should run basic email, web browsing, and word processing applications perfectly well. It's extremely unlikely we'll see this machine hit the States, but computer like this might herald in an era of cheaper machines for all. It would be nice not to have to sacrifice an arm and some blood to buy a new gaming machine, so my hopes are high that these affordable machines are the beginning of cheaper computers worldwide. I can dream, right?