CHAPTER 22

WORKING ONLINE

Modern information technology could contribute, perhaps decisively, to better health, happiness and prosperity in the developing world. However, the current tendency toward unnecessarily expensive, complex and non-standardized personal computers limits this potential. In the words of Yale University computer science professor, David Gelernter, modern computers, laden with incomprehensible user manuals and unneeded features are ‘more a source of irritation, dissatisfaction and angst than a positive benefit’.1 This comment is one of many on the record along much the same lines.

This unrealized potential suggests development and global distribution of a simple, standardized, inexpensive computer, powered by batteries backed ...

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