Finally a rural PC

HCL Infosystem, the leading player in personal computer has finally come out to solve my problem. All these months since I got my PC curtsey Anand, I thought how nice it will be if in Pipra, my home village we can have PC that can serve me when I go there. And as it seems, it is possible now or it will be possible very soon, if I am to believe the news in Business Standard about a new initiative of HCL Infosystem to increase PC penetration among rural mass.

The company has developed a PC that can run on car battery, effectively solving the problem of unavailability of power in the rural area. Solar or renewable energy packs could provide the power needed for recharging. My brother Alok has already got the solar system and he uses that for TV and music system as well as lighting. Even after,57 years of Independence, we don’t have electricity in my village like lakhs of other Indian villages.

Chairman and CEO of HCL Infosystem also claimed that the battery was a more effective tool than UPS.

One of the major hurdles faced by the industry in the villages that power supply is erratic and unreliable. This has resulted in lower PC penetration in India. It will address effectively to the issue of e-governance and building of a sustainable IT infrastructure.

Further, if the government takes some more initiatives of some more tax breaks by the state and central governemnt, the price of PCs in India that has already reached as low as Rs 15,000 (US $350) can go down to around Rs 10,000. Why can’t the government give some subsidy, when it is wasting so much on commodity items? It will be only one time on capital investment that will be upgrading the knowledge base of the society.

HCL is offering innovative financing scheme to increase PC ownership among common people. It has launched a scheme that means only Rs 499 installment per month. Banks may come out with more lucrative schemes.

Changes in PC depreciation norms from three years to one year may provide further incentive for entry of PCs in the rural sector. I am seeing my dream of outsourcing and BPO reaching villages realized. Will it not be a great day? With entry of PCs and the internet, the dream of PURA (Providing urban facilities in Rural Areas) will go a step further..

India will move fast now and get globally connected. I am sure for some of those in USA who are having their parents in villages of India, it will mean a great thing. I grumble, if it would have been possible some 20 years ago. i would not have sold my properties in my village.

Some more good news .. And now a computer at $200

The ever- improving ability of PCs to display high-quality pictures is largely due the increasing power of graphics cards, sometimes known as GPUs or Graphics Processing units. Nvidia is an American company and specialist in producing graphics chips and works with Intel closely. Here is what Dave Kirk, the chief scientist of Nvidia said.

The increasing power of GPUs means they are taking on a larger share of the role of microprocessor, the computer’s brain. GPUs are typically much cheaper than microprocessors (also known as central processing units or CPUs. A PC built around a GPU can be much, much cheaper perhaps less than $200.

For decades, the processing power of computer chips has doubled roughly every 18 months, as predicted by the Intel founder Gordon Moore. However, as miniaturization continues, further progress is running into the problem of dissipating the heat generated by the chips. GPUs don’t face this problem, and typically double in power every six months. GPUs get faster much more quickly. A CPU gets 10 times faster over five years. A GPU gets 1.000 times faster. GPUs will open the door to better, and useable, handwriting and speech recognition technology that take enormous amount of processing power. Kirk sarcastically predicts- “The best days of the over-priced Rolls-Royce PC are probably over. That market is not growing so much. Austin Mini PC is going to take over world wide.

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