This will be short. On October 5, 2005 the word was breathlessly passed that Trevor Bayliss, famed inventor of the wind-up radio which is making progress in the developing world, would be involved in the crank-powered aspect of the One Laptop Per Child initiative.
The world waited, and I jokingly told friends that OLPC had gotten "the crank crank" to solve their power problem (note well - "crank" in this context is meant to imply dedication in the face of derision, and should not be taken as disparagement).
Then, on Nov. 25th we learned that Bayliss had withdrawn from the project, citing the incomplete status of the prototype and his perception of various failings in the project management.
Unfortunately the headline under which the latter news emerged has Bayliss "rubbishing" the project, which I do not believe the be true. I am on record as disclaiming any interpretation under which I "rubbish" the OLPC project, and I believe that Bayliss would take the same position. He has in the past experimented with powering an Apple Newton eMate with one of his generators.
I hope some day soon to discuss questions about power generation for such uses with Mr. Bayliss. I would very much like to meet him, but I will first approach him through email. We cranks must make common cause.
(Link to my original post on the OLPC)