The Internet is maturing into the foundational library of human beings. It cannot fully manifest this destiny without the pre-requisite conditions of having everyone capable of connecting and capable of contributing.
At this moment in time, approximately 20% of humanity is connected to the Internet through computer access, 80% of the population of the world is not. Access to information and the capacity to generate and share one’s experience is foundational to education, health care, development of social infrastructure and a healthy gross national product.
We believe that every parent wants the best for their children. We believe that information can transform human beings and their families. Improvement in living conditions has at its heart, improved access to information. Access to information must become a birthright of every person. That is our mission.
Traditional means of access to information have been synonymous with privilege. Access to books, libraries, videos, audio tapes, text books are all resource intensive and require significant resources to be realized. Access to institutions as sources of knowledge and information is part of that privileged access.
There are not enough resources in the world to duplicate the best of information access unless we apply radically different principles. Paper based text books are expensive, impossible to update and wear out rapidly in terms of the physical status and in terms of their information relevance status. Electronic books are extremely low cost, easy to update and are capable of perpetual relevance. The hitch is the electronic books are accessible only through a specific socio-electronic infrastructure. Access means having a computer and access to the Internet.
Making Internet connected computers available on a massive scale provides the social infrastructure to level the advantage of access to information. If people have access to information about AIDS, AIDS infections will slow down. If people know how to make potable water, many people who now die on a daily basis will have life. If people know how to participate in global commerce, they will take advantage of the tools of commerce and bring new found wealth back to their communities and families.
We have the ability within our lifetime for every person to have access to the knowledge and have access to becoming a full participant in the global library and global communications infrastructure. These are powerful, transformative keys.
The keys to this dream have to do with an invention known as the INK Media-mC, a low cost powerful ROM based computer developed by Ink Media Inc. Ink Media is a Canadian technology company interested in providing powerful tools of access. The attributes of the INK-mC are that the computer has no moving parts and that all of the programs and operating system are built into the hardware. The computer requires no servicing. The computer is impervious to attacks from viral agents, worms, spyware or adware. These built in characteristics provide a fully functional computer that cannot slow down over time. The machine is built to the highest industrial standards and meets the existing software standards of file type compatibility. The machine is operable in 20 of the worlds’ major languages. Below is a list of the included software.
The computer includes the following software as part of the purchase price:
Office and Educationally oriented programs:
• Word processing (similar to Microsoft Word)
• Spreadsheet (similar to Microsoft Excel)
• Presentation software (similar to Power Point)
• Drawing program
• Web Design program
• Text Editor
• Internet Browser
• Web Meeting
• Instant Messaging
• Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
• File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
• Vector Drawing
• Paint Program
PDF Creation (similar to Adobe Acrobat) and Publishing program
Also included are: DVD and CD burning, DVD movie player, MP3 player and online media players.
All of the software allows for inter-operability with the Microsoft world of software. Additional software can be added by using various USB storage devices.
The cost of ownership of a normal RAM based computer is widely considered to be 1/3 hardware, 1/3 software and 1/3 support. This multiplies the cost of the machine’s purchase price times three when the total cost of ownership is calculated. The cost of the INK-PC is the cost of ownership.
The machine’s form factor will be a book style laptop weighing less than 2.5 kg will provide it’s users with basic communications and computing which include:
1. A telephony base station for wireless telephony
2. Voice over IP
3. WIFI and WIMAX wireless connection
4. A DVD player
5. Full sized primary keys key board and a color screen the size of a Sony Viao
6. Fully compatible with international standards for communications protocols (and therefore compatible with local telephony and internet providers).
Ink Media has agreed to provide these machines to a foundation at just slightly over cost providing the Foundation with an exceptional opportunity to subsidize the computer down to a sub $100.00 price without compromising the quality or speed of the unit.
There are 4 key elements to the successful accomplishment of providing universal access. These include:
1. The Funding Mechanisms
2. The Infrastructure Program
3. The Computer Manufacturing Program
4. The Distribution Mechanism
The role of the Foundation is a distribution mechanism. On the surface, this may seem to mean only the delivery of the machine to the end customer. This is not the intent. The Foundation will work to aid in the development of the necessary telecommunication infrastructure on an as needed basis and will also work to provide local expertise in the set up of Schoolnets and on-line communities that benefit health care, social care, small business and agri-businesses within the country. The foundation will provide localized training regarding the computer and the needed infrastructure. The Foundation President was involved in the initial development of Schoolnet India and other education infrastructure programs.
There is a great need for people to get involved.