Although Cubans have been able to get underground PCs for a while now, the Cuban government only recently lifted the official ban on them, and the first publicly-available machines just went on sale Friday. The state-approved QTECH PCs are only available at one store, where crowds formed to gawk at some pretty clunky tech -- the $780 towers feature Celeron processors, 512MB of RAM, Windows XP, and come with a CRT display. Not only that, but most Cubans won't even be allowed to have Internet access as only "trusted officials" and state journalists are allowed home net access. That's a pretty weak state of affairs, but it's not necessarily as dire as it seems: now that computers are legally available, some Cubans expect black market prices on up-to-date gear to come down. The managed economy in action -- anyone know if Cubans have unofficial ways of getting online as well?

[Via CNET]

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Cubans line up to buy first legal PCs