The reason for the anger is that "My First PC" incorporates Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition, making the license price 20 percent of the total price of the computer. Open-source defenders say that you can get a better operating system for free.
"My First PC" also includes the Encarta Encyclopedia, tacking on another 12 percent. Critics say users could save their money if they use, for example, Wikipedia, or search for information on the Internet.
"In India the PC of the plan costs 127,000 (Chilean) pesos (approximately $260) and in Chile, 240,000 pesos ($480). Although the income per capita in Chile is higher ($10,700 versus $3,100 in India), this is not a reason to be more expensive, because the price of the parts and configuration in both are almost the same."
Prieto also explained that the Windows XP Starter Edition chosen for "My First PC" is very limited and that no more that three applications can be open at one time. "The Indian PC has 1 Ghz of speed, 128 of RAM and 40 GB and you can increase it without limits."
A group of friends couldn't be quiet: As bloggers, they had to do something. Alberto Contreras, a designer, Christian Leal, a digital journalist, and Claudio Bustos, a psychologist, began the adventure, transforming their anger into the campaign "My First PC... But for Real!" in which they wrote a letter to Lagos asking for a review of the plan The letter is available in English, as it was translated by the blogger Carlos Moffat.
The principal items of the letter are:
1. Equal or lower prices already exist in the market: They give examples of PCs or assembly parts actually available in shopsThe letter also points to Uruguay as an example of a government's successful efforts at technological development.
Contreras, owner of the blog Virtuality in Black, talked about phenomena like "blogger power" and analyzed his unexpectedly successful campaign. It is a campaign from the connected for the nonconnected, so it is against individualism. It is also the first campaign by Chilean bloggers; people began to give advice on the site and one Internet user put the letter in an e-mail and sent it to all her contacts -- on Google the page ranks at the top.
A final point is that the creators of the campaign have never seen each other; they will, finally, at La Moneda, the Chilean government headquarters, when they go to submit the letter (in CD format) with all the signatures.
The Web page of the campaign started slowly and now has an English version, icons to add to the pages that support the campaign, news feed and more.
The president of the Latin American Digital Journalists, editor and professor Arturo Catalan, talked about the government plan. In his blog, he gave the example of Spain, which has designated money to offer people who want to get a PC loans at 0 percent interest. In another post, he predicted the effect of the government plan: At the end of 2005, PCs will be cheaper due to competition.
The most famous blogger in Chile, Roberto Arancibia, wrote in his blog about having his own "Deep Throat," and about the government trying to "fix the cake" (a Chilean idiom that means, "fix an error"). He explains how he likes bloggers with names and not only nicks, because now many bloggers are divulging their identities. His post is in Spanish but his blog has a translation available.
The campaign is growing and growing, and all the bloggers in Chile are talking about it and are putting the logo in their blogs. The organizers said theirs is not a campaign against Microsoft, only a suggestion that the government plan could be improved.
In the frequently asked questions there is a question for the organizers:
Question: Do you believe the government will listen to you?
Answer: To us not but to the people, yes.
And it seems to be working.
2005/08/20 오전 5:06
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