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$199 Lindows-based PC

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by MarkA, Aug 15, 2002.

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  1. gcutler

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    They will leave it there and run out of the store with $199 worth of Jacqueline Smith Collection clothes. Technically it wouldn't be shoplifting :D
     
  2. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    :lol: I personally can't stand the stores (Walmart that is).. all those damn :) staring at me. :eek2:
     
  3. Bogy

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    I went back and re-read the link in the first post again today. The target market are the folks who just want a box to do e-mail and surf the web. As long as Lindows doesn't make it to hard to do these things, it will do the job. These are meant to be upgraded net appliances. All my mother wants to do is send email, and play solitaire or freecell. I've got her set up with an old 486 that does what she wants, with a whole $30 investment in some more memory and a faster (used) modem. I've thought about upgrading her, but it would just confuse her if I made to many changes. She's happy. She prefers Target to Wal-Mart, but she's the same kind of person who would be interested in these.
     
  4. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    "Will they be able to install it"

    No offense or anything if you've tried and failed, but having installed XP many times (the most recent being today - my computer was starting to slow down and stuff so I wiped the drive and clean installed Windows - just finishing reinstalling my software now in fact), both for myself and other people I have to say one thing - How could you NOT figure out how to install XP? It has at least functional drivers for almost all hardware ever created, and the only questions it asks you during the install are:

    Do you agree to the license?
    Where do you want to install Windows?
    What's your product key?
    Do you use a non US standard time, date, or currency format, or are the defaults okay (most people just need to click next, I have to setup my times and dates the way I like them:) )?
    What time zone are you in?
    Do you want Windows to automatically handle daylight savings?
    What time IS IT?
    Are you on a domain, if so what is it?
    What's your computer's name?
    What's your workgroup name if you're not on a domain?
    Enter an admin password?
    Do you like how your screen now looks?
    Can I help you connecting to the internet? If so, what are your connection settings or what is your major ISP?

    Serious, that's it. Installing Windows XP is a piece of cake, that anybody who can read could figure out how to do (if they'll want to figure out how is another story...)

    Mark
     
  5. gcutler

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    But these are exactly the people who are constantly calling the relative with computer skills for help (your mom may vary :D ). I think a net applicance may be safer for these type of people as it is harder to get lost (due to it doing less). If Lindows is a fully functional OS, it will be pretty easy to get lost, but without the benefit of someone free to call. Would you be able to support this machine for your mom. (We may not be able to answer this till we see Lindows in Action)???
     
  6. James_F

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  7. gcutler

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    Mark,

    How Arrogant can you be???. Just because you think it is easy, you assume everyone will have no problem (or they are being lazy if they can't do it)... That Teaching Degree you want is sounding more and more inappropriate!!!

    People will often panic when they come across a screen that they don't understand.

    I have been providing tech support for over 15 years, and there are tons or reasons people may not be able to do the install.

    Here are just a few samples where an install will not complete or will not end with a 100% working machine.

    1) PC is not setup to boot off of CD, most people don't know how to go into CMOS and change the boot order (or that it is even an option). I have seen this hundreds (yes hundreds) of times... And they won't know about making a boot disk either.

    2) Partition table is full with partitions that are not compatible with OS or not enough room. The Partition table is very intimidating to people, I can think of 50 installs I have seen by people who were stuck at the partition table. They are afraid when they get the "Delete" or "Format" dialog box that says they will lose all data (User dosen't realize on a new machine it really dosen't matter)

    3) Hardware/Drivers not part of install. Last week a friend frantically called after installing Win2000 Pro, it finished but nothing was working right. Even tough the Machine was bought 6 months before W2KPro was released at least 4 sets of drivers were not part of the install. They had no idea how to get the Video drivers, Network drivers, etc installed if they were not included in install package. And they had the catch-22 of the Modem and Network card drivers were not installed and even if they could find them they would not fit on a floppy. Luckily by them coming by I was able to download all the drivers and burn them on a CD from my machine and they were able to install them once on the CD in their machine. On my personal machine, after Installin XP I still needed to install additional drivers to get it working. Rarely does any install give you EVERY driver!!!

    You may not consider these valid reasons why someone might fail to complete an install by themselves, but perhaps you should remember back to the first time you added hardware or installed an OS by yourself (without any help). Unless you are just special
    :rolleyes:
     
  8. James_F

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    And what happens if they go out and buy a CD burner??? Where do they get the software? Download... Come on... That isn't a solution. Also there is no guarantee that the hardware is even supported by Lindows...
     
  9. gcutler

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    Or even a printer or scanner or digital camera or any other device it could be just as scary.
     
  10. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    "How Arrogant can you be???"

    Sorry gcutler, but I think you didn't understand what I meant. I said anybody COULD figure out how to install XP, and I strongly believe that. We live in a society where most people drive. Driving is a lot harder than answering 10-15 questions.

    "People will often panic when they come across a screen that they don't understand."

    That's more like it. People are afraid to take risks. When the come across something they don't understand they'll freak out. People need to learn to take chances! They're wiping their drive to install Windows anyways! They need to just take a guess and if they get it wrong, so what? They can try again. Learning is a process accomplished through trial and error. Too many in out society are forgetting that, IMHO.

    "2) Partition table is full with partitions that are not compatible with OS or not enough room. The Partition table is very intimidating to people, I can think of 50 installs I have seen by people who were stuck at the partition table. They are afraid when they get the "Delete" or "Format" dialog box that says they will lose all data (User dosen't realize on a new machine it really dosen't matter)"

    Again, they CAN do it, they're just scared. When you live out in the middle of nowhere, you quickly learn life is about more than always taking the safe way, the beaten path...

    "1) PC is not setup to boot off of CD, most people don't know how to go into CMOS and change the boot order (or that it is even an option). I have seen this hundreds (yes hundreds) of times... And they won't know about making a boot disk either."

    Agreed CMOS setup is a scary place. There are certain things, like a BIOS flash that even scare me todays. But this will not be an issue a person will (at least, if the people building these things have any common sense) encounter on a new system.

    "3) Hardware/Drivers not part of install. Last week a friend frantically called after installing Win2000 Pro, it finished but nothing was working right. Even tough the Machine was bought 6 months before W2KPro was released at least 4 sets of drivers were not part of the install. They had no idea how to get the Video drivers, Network drivers, etc installed if they were not included in install package. "

    These are very basic systems, I seriously doubt there is anything XP doesn't have built in drivers for on these boxes.

    "perhaps you should remember back to the first time you added hardware or installed an OS by yourself (without any help). Unless you are just special "

    Fond memories! First hardware upgrade (other than RAM) I did was a new hard drive. It was fun. And it was a Windows 3.1 system:) I spent all day getting it working, reformatting 5 times or so after giving up in frustration. I was like 11 or 12 at the time (11 I THINK). But when it was done, I was happy - and I didn't need any help! Think about that. If I (or anybody) can handle 3.1 at 11, I think XP is easy enough for a grown adult:) That said, I can see why people would get scared. That's why I think all computers should come with a big poster or something in bright letters that says "DON'T WORRY! If you've backed up your important files to CD beforehand, nothing you do to your computer software is reason to be worried or afraid!" :):):)

    Sorry if I bothered anybody, that's really not my intent, nor is it ever. I tried to make that nice:) It's all good man! Computers are fancy, expensive toys. People buying a $199 box could either:

    1.) Take the easy way, ask friends for help, and only do things that they feel safe doing - like email and typing.

    2.) Take risks. Climb mountains, and use their $199 box as a great learning tool. Experiment. Have fun. Learn. Live. Teach others in turn.

    Now, which would you rather enourage people to do? Personally I'm all for number 2.

    ---- note, this posting wasn't meant to offend anyone. If you're a number 1 type person, that's fine. There are people like that out there. If you fit that category, no, the Microtel boxes aren't a good choice. But I feel they really have the potential to offer something really special, and are a GREAT opportunity, especially for lower-income families. And anyways - all this about these systems using Linux and people not being to install Windows is pointless. I offer you two situations:

    1.) A person can afford one of these Microtel computers, goes for it, and learns a lot. Leads to a better career with their new skills and therefore all of society benefits.

    2.) A person waits until they can afford a Windows box. Kids are grown up without the same skills, parents are too old at this point to learn sufficient new skills, all of society loses.-----

    PLEASE, keep this friendly. I had many questions about if I should post this. And if the mods don't think it's okay - go right ahead and delete it - I won't post anything like it again. I really am dedicated to being a new, helpful person. But then I decided this post might help lurkers on here thinking about these boxes (technically in computers it should be boxen, but that's another story...). If you're out there, perhaps looking at this at a friends house or a library, and are thinking about these, but scared of the Linux factor - I say go for it! If you can't afford any other computer, you would be denying your self the opportunity of a lifetime, no matter what OS it comes with...
     
  11. James_F

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  12. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    "And look, even if you buy the computer at WalMart, you still have to pay $99 to be an insider and get full service!!!!!"

    Now THAT'S crazy, we agree on that, but as I said two posts up - I feel these are a great opportunity.

    As for the Windows network, it doesn't seem like an unreasonable procedure for a Linux box, and home users need not connect to networks.
     
  13. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I'd disagree, home networks will become much more popular over the next year. What if someone got this computer as a second one for their kids. They couldn't share printers or files. Thats a huge mistake. I don't think this would be a single computer, but more likely a second or third computer....
     
  14. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Well, I think this thread has got to the point where it's pretty much pointless. Could a mod please close it? (I just don't think there's any need to debate it). In conclusion, we have determined that these boxes appeal to several different groups of people, and that many of these may want to be careful because of the fact that they don't use Windows.
     
  15. gcutler

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    And thats the point. You and most of us don't mind spending hours and hours redoing something 5 times. But the every day user (and the person who might be looking at this product as a newbie) does not consider it a benefit that after 5 tries they got it working. They consider it wasted time. My brother does not benefit if he spent 3 hours doing something over and over again, he only feels benefts when he had problem free operation.

    When I'm doing support and I spent 3 hours on the phone trying to get a users system to replicate with the e-mail system, it may be necessary and the user may be happy that it works now, but they also consider that they wasted 3 hours to their valuable time on something they feel should not have broken or should have worked to begin with.

    So people do not want to have to try reinstalling the OS several times, they get intimidated by screens with big warnings, and we should not find it shocking that the average user hits the brick walls when attempting to install (and it isn't them not being brave enough to try the unexpected). Sometimes it is better not to go foward if you are not sure.
     
  16. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Talk about try, try, try again! Today I just learned what it's like to be frustrated with a computer for real:) But now I look back on it as a learning experience... I just finally was able to get to Windows Update, after working on it for six hours, and doing two formats (I formatted because my computer was acting slow, then I couldn't reach Windows Update, reformatted again, still couldn't). Turns out all I had to do was delete the folders "catroot" and "catroot2" (for what it's worth, my problem was an endless loop. You need an updated Windows update... please wait while it's installed... you need an updated Windows Update... just repeating until I got tired of it).

    ---update--- OH, my! 28.6MB for everything except the .NET framework is all the updates on XP Professional! Anyways, Windows isn't all fun and games either. To get the very important updates, I had to go into several folders Windows warned me I could seriously mess up my computer by touching, then once I deleted the catroots, and Windows regenerated them from Win Update, System File Checker kicked in and wanted to restore the CD versions (which likely would have restored us to the begining...). Computers are funny things. Even Macs aren't perfect for user friendliness:)
     
  17. Steve Mehs

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    As Zac requested...
     
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