Nivo 2

The idea of a thin client — a smaller, less powerful machine that relies on a central server for processing duties — is an old concept, but recent advances may have perhaps made them user-friendly enough for the average user. Because they provide the ability to effectively share a single workstation among multiple users, not-for-profit UK developers Ndiyo are looking at using them to bring more affordable computing to the developing world. They've designed a small (12 x 8 x 2cm), sub-$200 thin client box called Nivo that runs on open source software and has ports for ethernet, keyboard, mouse, monitor and power. A school or cybercafe would be able to set up a single beefy server, a switch, and a couple of dozen Nivo boxes and be able to provide enough computing power for a group of users at a fraction of the price. Plus, small business and schools would save on maintenance costs off the top. There may not exist a single solution to narrowing the digital divide, but this does seem like an actually promising effort.

[Via Boing Boing]

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Nivo thin client aims to bring computing to developing nations