Municator is direct threat to Negroponte’s OLPC

I could not help but think that China may be a sleeping giant on the verge of breaking loose. A Chinese company has just launched a $150 Linux-based mini PC called the Municator.

It looks like an external USB hard disk drive casing but comes with much more connectors.

Even if it is more expensive than the One Laptop Per Child device that Mr Negroponte is hoping to release soon, it highlights the difference in strategy between some - like Negroponte and the Simputer Project on one side - and the Municator. YellowSheepRiver chose to walk the walk first rather than talk the talk and the results are impressive.

The creators of the Municator make their views clear here with slogans like Say no to Wintel and unlike other similar projects aiming at the very low end, the Municator comes with more than a few good surprises like an S Video output, a 16MB Radeon 7000 video module and a 64bit CPU.

The mini-PC connects to a television and uses Chinese-sourced components like the Godson-2 CPU. It also features a 40GB USB Drive, several ports and an optional battery pack. As expected, the computer runs on a Linux distro called Thinix 3.0 which is a variant of another home grown Linux distribution.