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Where I found the $1.25 calculator a dollar store that catered to a poor Hispanic neighbourhood in Mesa, Arizona. Better brand-names are still $8 and $10 at Staples, but $1.25, or $1 for the four-function calculators beside it, are the prices their traffic will bear. Similarly, Professor Negroponte shocked the whole industry into a new competition when he came out with a useful product for the poor man's pocketbook, and the notion of making billions of them. Hey, billions -- just the number the chipmakers need to sell to stay in the game at all.

© Roy Brander, P.Eng 2008