Remember the “digital divide”? Supposedly poor folks were getting left behind in the electronic age, as they couldn’t afford a computer, etc., etc.
Well, some folks ARE getting “left behind,” but it’s not from a lack of hardware or software. Or even Internet access.
Maybe eight years ago I wrote a column about this canard. At the time, there were numerous options: 1. Used, “outdated” computers sold for a pittance. 2. Free computer/Internet access at libraries, schools and work. 3. Charities that gave free used computers to needy folks. 4. Quality free software — such as the excellent “OpenOffice” clone of Office Windows (which I use today).
I asserted that a time was soon coming when one could buy a rudimentary computer for $100. I was ridiculed by critics. Turns out, I was too pessimistic. Recently I saw a new computer “on sale” (there’s always one of these sales items) at Fry’s for $54 — and free shipping.
Yeah, yeah, it’s not much of computer compared to the beasts some of us own. It’s basically… Read More