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$199 Lindows-based PC

3540 Views 76 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Steve Mehs
Take a look at this folks - http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,468924,00.asp !

This is, while certainly not likely to be a good system, a great deal for newbies. A computer for less than the cost of a copy of Windows XP Professional (priced at $299 retail for a full copy)!
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I still have not seen Lindows in action. I went to their web site and they wanted $99 to join the society of which one benfit is getting the SW.

But if Lindows is close enough to Windows, then that sounds like a good option.

Part of it is the neighbor factor, It might be worth an extra $200 so that I can ask my neighbor how to fix something because they are 5% more litertate in Windows than I am. But if Lindows is different enough where they need to hunt someone down for help on moving a file it will be a problem. Where is that FREE copy of lindows so I can "Evaluate it" :D

I wonder how long a $199 computer is expected to last. My assumption is that the PC will not be running 3-4 years later like the $600 entry level computers might (or might not) Maybe it is like some of those new Battery Powered Tooth brushes, when the brush wears out, just throw it out and but another one. Maybe $199 every 2 years isn't tooo bad for most people?
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It SHOULD last as long as any other PC, except it will likely get outdated quicker. Personally, I've heard NOTHING but bad comments about Lindows. But when these come out, I am seriously thinking about buying one and putting Mandrake on it. It seems like it could be a very good deal. I'll have to see what the exact specs are. I expect it won't come with enough RAM, but other than that...
If just using unused older parts that will be obsolete sooner than it should last as long as any PC. But having done support so long I've learned that memory and other power supplies and cables are not all made equal and if they skimp on quality below a certain point those machines will not last long without repairs. How are they getting the price down to $199 (I just assume low quality parts???) Kind of like the Yugo auto, cost $5000, but any accident could often cost $4000 to repair. The beneift of the product went down the drain. If they use sub-par parts, it may cost them $50-$100 just to bring the PC in for repair every 6 months, making it not such a great deal.

I remember Compaq came out with a real inexpensive home model (must have been around 1995, one of the first $999 PCs). I recommended it to several people based on my corporate experience, and boy was that a mistake. Everyone I know who bought it (monitor included) had several parts failure within 6 months. Looking inside the case, it was obvious that for this unit Compaq did not mean quality.

But again this is all conjecture. Until someone actually opens up one of these babies and gives up what is really going on inside (as well as inside the OS)
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Good point gcutler. Look at eMachines. I've owned an eMachines, and know many others who own them. The cost of repairs for those things is usually very high (I have personal experience with 5 older eMachines computers - all but one of them have had the power supply go bad!). Now admittedly, I believe eMachines has switched to a somewhat better supply since then. These systems were all from 1998.
Hey, you get what you pay for, I don't think I could build a computer for $199 myself... :D
It would be tough certainly James. Heck, I know of cases that cost that much:)
Yea, you get what you pay for.... :lol: Just try and put some RDRAM in a $199 computer... :D
But for a second system to use the internet on - a $199 system wouldn't be half bad in all liklihood!
Right, but you'd expect it not to last. Its like buying a Kia... Yea it costs $9,999 new, but will it be around in 2 years? :confused:
RDRAM, is that stuff still around? I assume prices came down quite a bit from when it used to be $800 for 128MB. I remember Leo and Patrick always bashing it for the price...
:lol: I have RDRAM on my Intel 850 motherboard... 1 gig of it.... Don't ask what I paid for that 18 months ago :eek2:
"I remember Leo and Patrick always bashing it for the price..."

Leo and Patrick are funny guys. They make lots of mistakes, yet the "half-newbies" who are still newbies but don't like to think of themselves as such worship them! They've bashed HDTV, basically calling it a scam, they've gave bad advice, and done many other things. They're just one step above Consumer Reports, IMHO. RDRAM is a good system. Expensive - yes (though that's actually changed a lot). The best - you betcha! Oh well, I'll admit I watch The Screen Savers occasionally - it's funny at times, and sometimes they show off a cool new product or something!
Originally posted by Zac
But for a second system to use the internet on - a $199 system wouldn't be half bad in all liklihood!
Very true, with a memory upgrade would be great for the 2nd machine OR 3rd machine in a lab to testing or just playing around.

My co-worker (entry level pc tech support kind of guy, is learning a bunch of stuff like editing the registry, etc) had to go out and buy another PC just to tinker with at home. His wife was about to divorce him because he tinkered tooo much with the family PC and she couldn't do Quicken anymore. :D He has not been banished to the garage overnight since he only tinkers on the 2nd PC.

But Lindows and Walmart seem to be trying to market these to every day users who have never owned a PC before???
Yea, windows is hard enough for an end user, I've never played with Lindows, but I'm sure its not easier... :nono:
But the question is James and gcutler - is Linux any harder to LEARN as a FIRST OS? I don't believe it is, and if it is - it's not much harder. I don't think that's an issue for a first computer, only for people interested in switching to Linux. Neither is that hard, I use both on a regular basis. I must admit I prefer Windows - more software and hardware available, plus my cruddy modem doesn't work with Linux. But I don't see why Linux would make a bad newbie OS. It's like learning Danish - it could be very difficult to a native English speaker (some of the Danish pronunciations are TOUGH). But is it harder to learn as a first language? Not at all!
Unless they figured out how to make installing software easier, then I doubt it will take off...
Doesn't Lindows allow use of RPMs? With RPMs, installing Linux software is no harder than installing Windows software. Even with precompiled binaries that aren't hard. It's no different from Windows, RPMs are like having a Windows installer, precompiled binary packages are like having the software with no installer, and source code only programs aren't any harder (in fact I think they are easier) to compile on Linux as such programs for Windows are.

The DIFFERENCE is... More Linux programs are only available as source, and far less have an installer (are RPMs). But I think again, it's learning Danish vs. learning English. I don't think Linux is harder to learn as a first "language". I think it's hard to learn after knowing Windows. In a similar way, I'd say Windows is probably going to be hard for someone who buys one of these boxes as their first PC and only learns Windows.
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You are partly correct. The fact that plugin and play isn't really supported and that most software GUIs are not similar, will hurt new owners of computers IMO. I agree, that if its all you know, then it might not be as hard, but most people have used windows or macos and would feel out of place on Lindows...
"The fact that plugin and play isn't really supported and that most software GUIs are not similar"

Plug and Play is a relatively new thing as it is, and most newbies don't even get around to installing software, much less hardware for a long time after they've got their PCs.

"I agree, that if its all you know, then it might not be as hard, but most people have used windows or macos and would feel out of place on Lindows..."

Correct, but for a first PC, I don't think Linux would be bad. If you know nothing else, it would be easy to learn. Heck, it's not that hard to learn if you're willing to spend a couple Saturdays even if you are familiar with Windows or MacOS.
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