Spaniards lead development of eco-laptop for free software

Two Spaniards have led an international project resulting in the creation of a light, affordable, socially and environmentally friendly laptop computer. Ángel Blázquez, an IT businessman, and Pablo Machón, president of Free Knowledge Foundation, announced the creation of their 700-gram “minicomputer,” which uses a free operating system, recharges its batterieswith the help of incorporated solar panels, and is made from biodegradable plastic.

The creators said that a basic version of their computer costs around €160, “10 times” less than other computers made from bioplastics. Machón said that the solar panels, which prolong the device’s battery life and work in conjunction with traditional electric powering, “strike a blow for renewable energies, which is important from an eco-ethical point of view.” The computer, which was designed in Spain, but uses bioplastics developed in China, runs on a GNU/Linux system, withmore than 5,000 free software programs available. Machón’s Free Knowledge Foundation, an advocate of the free software platform, promotes the “freedom to use, study andmodify, copy and re-distribute” software. “

The social demand for this type of products will be progressive but we are sure that if governments use them and recommend them, citizens will follow,” Machón said. He added that he thought the only obstacle to greater acceptance of free software is “mankind’s habitual resistance” to change.

From El Pais International edition
May10th 2009

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