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Crank it up

Remember One Laptop Per Child, the wind-up laptop for less than $100? It was launched a few years ago by American brainiac Nicholas Negroponte, and aimed to revolutionise education in developing countries. Except, well, it cost more than $100, and you couldn't actually power it from the wind-up handle - it used too much power.

Well, it still costs a bit more than $100, but the OLPC has become a part of education in several developing countries, including Ecuador and Brazil. And now, you can power it with the hand-crank!

You see, OLPC have just switched the processor on their XO Laptop from an AMD to an ultra-low-power CPU made by Marvell. And the power drain of the XO is now low enough to charge the laptop with its hand-crank attachment.

Less than 20 years after the invention of the wind-up radio, we now have the wind-up PC. And no, it's not a wind-up (b-dum-crash!)...

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