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Venezuela begins semi-cheap PC rollout

Evan Blass

Well they're no OLPCs -- heck, they're not even as cheap as some Dell systems that you can buy in China -- but Venezuela has finally begun rolling out its long-promised, domestically-produced computers in a move designed to give the South American country more technological independence. Consisting of four models (three not-ugly desktops and a laptop) ranging from a relatively inexpensive $405 to a "did Sony make this one?" $1,400, the machines all run an unspecified Linux distro powered by 1.5GHz to 3.0GHz Pentium IVs (desktops) or a pretty high-end 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor (notebook). Santa Chavez and his revolutionary elves have apparently been handing these out like candy to domestic interests since last year, and are now in the process of ramping up the scope and scale of production so that more components can be produced in-house while sales channels become international. These so-called "Bolivarian Computers" are currently being manufactured by a joint venture between the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce and Chinese company Lang Chao's Venezuela de Industria Tecnológica, with the latter company apparently unafraid of getting nationalized like so many of its colleagues.

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