Power (conscious) PC

May 25, 2006 § Leave a comment

Portland, OR, USA –  May 19, 2006: While I rarely get excited about new computer hardware, the release of Intel‘s new Community PC platform is worth noting. According to Tony Salvador, the genesis of this machine can be traced back to a simple question: “How can we give telecentres more up time so that they can serve more people, offer more services and generate more income?” The answer was to build a basic PC that addressed the constant challenges of power, dirt and heat faced by rural telecentres.


The most notable feature of the Community PC is its power system. It runs for up to 10 hours on an internal batter, and it can be recharged from a car battery or solar panel (or any other DC source). It also has heavy duty dirt filters and can operate at 45C. Otherwise, it’s just a run of the mill PC. It just happens to stay running in tough telecentre environments when other PCs wouldn’t.

Salvador admits that this isn’t revolutionary in its own right. Instead, he sees it as a catalytic addition to the ecosystem. “You don’t really know what will happen, but you can guess that the extra computing time will change what telecentres do. What kinds of new services will telecentres develop if they can stay up all day when the kids are away at school? Will new people come to the centres? Will they generate more revenue? These are the things to be looking at once you see the Community PC getting out there.”

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