[AI] How Bhargavi built computers, chip by chip

Vishnu Ramchandani vishnu.ramchandani at mphasis.com
Wed May 12 02:08:34 EDT 2010


How Bhargavi built computers, chip by chip
NT Balanarayan / DNA
Bangalore: It all started with a simple question, "What's the difference
between a laptop and a PC, why does the PC have so many cables?" Ten
months later, T Bhargavi, a housewife had made a single piece computer -
Cabtop - which had only one cable. 
Tired of cleaning up all the messy cables around a computer, she started
by trying to convince her husband Ranga Reddy that they could make a
computer that needed only one cable like a laptop. Reddy tried to wave
it off away by saying that "it's complicated," but Bhargavi wouldn't
budge. "Ultimately I opened the system and a laptop and pointed out the
differences and she was of the opinion that since there's so much free
space in a CPU box, one could accommodate a thin screen in it," Reddy
says.

The very next week, he bought two spare parts for each part of a
computer, taught her the basics and gave her a free hand with it. In a
while, she came up with a few possible designs for the product. They
started off by building a case - which incidentally looks like a
suitcase - for the Cabtop and started seeing how they can fit in all
components within it. 

In 10 months, the couple went through 14 versions before settling on the
final one. "One of the initial models we made was like a laptop but with
a fat base. A lot of people we showed it to thought looked cheap. The
final one has got a lot of praise from everyone though. All the
components are behind the monitor and the SMPS and DVD drives are at the
base," says Bhargavi.

It was in the middle of developing the product that Bhargavi decided to
make it work separately as a TV and not just as a computer.
Incidentally, not all the components are dependent on each other; for
example, you can turn on the TV and watch DVD without turning on the CPU
despite having only one power input. 
Bhargavi managed to do this by having separate boards and SMPS for the
CPU and monitor. "The DVD player gets power from the same SMPS as the
monitor. Also there's an integrated TV tuner card if you want to watch
TV on it," says Reddy, who has been providing technical help to Bhargavi
throughout. Now, 10 months and 14 experimental models later, the Cabtop
has a configuration of Core 2 duo, 2 GB RAM and 320 GB hard disk and
weighs around 10kg.

Bhargavi now wants to set up a factory near Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh
and is hoping to find someone who can finance her dream. She has applied
for a patent on the Cabtop and expects it to be approved soon. (For more
info check seelamce.com)

Source: DNA.com

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