Check out WorldChanging’s in depth review on the One Laptop Per Child project.
One of the most intriguing features of the prototype was the handcrank. Well, its missing from this latest iteration and WorldChanging explains:
The one feature missing from the prototype I saw – the crank. It’s been clear – even before Kofi Annan broke the crank off an early laptop prototype – that a power-generating crank attached to the machine, like cranks are incorporated into FreePlay radios, might not work. Jim, who has designed the motherboard of the machine and has been focused on power consumption, helped me understand why.
Contrary to what you learned in The Matrix, human beings are lousy at generating electric power. Small children are capable of generating between five and ten watts, for short periods of time.