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AOL's $299 PC

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the pablum-for-the-masses dept.

America Online 367

cmj writes "Internet.com reports 'Looking to attract households that still aren't online, AOL is offering new customers a $299 PC system if they sign a one-year $23.90 dial-up Internet service contract.' A click through AOL's ecommerce site reveals the the specs as 1.7 GHz Celeron with 256 MB RAM, 40 GB hard drive, 56K modem, 10/100ethernet card, 17" monitor and Lexmark printer. The PC is running Windows XP, and includes 'AOL Office Powered by Sun'. Also of note is the fact that the $299 appears to be financed at around 22%. The math ( (12*23.90)+299 ) seems to suggest that you can get a $699 computer for $585.80 plus any finance charges. Setting aside the question of whether this is a good deal or not, one has to wonder whether AOL is desperate for new customers and resorting to bribery, or just progressing to the next step of branding. With this action AOL controls everything from the OS to the Word Processor to the web sites their customers browse."

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367 comments

Deja vu, MSN (4, Informative)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634866)

I distinctly remember Microsoft doing something similar [com.com] with their $400 rebate for signing up for three years of MSN. They dropped it after a year or two. AOL's deal seems more financially risky to me, I wonder how they can pull it off.

Re:Deja vu, MSN (1, Funny)

king wilson (252680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634968)

I may be wrong about this, but didn't they stop that MSN promotion before they had initially planned, and ended up just letting people out of their contracts?

So that $585 computer could concievable cost even less....

Re:Deja vu, MSN (4, Informative)

dswensen (252552) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635014)

I can personally attest to the fact that MSN most assuredly did not just start letting people out of their contracts. (Don't ask... I regret it to this day...)

Re:Deja vu, MSN (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635161)

LMAO Sucker!

Bill G

AOL? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635073)

More like GayOL if you ask me.

Re:Deja vu, MSN Tsarkon Reports YODA DOLL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635083)

9 steps to greasing your anus for Yoda Doll Insertion! [sidetalkin.com]
v 4.00.0
$YodaBSD: src/release/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/yodanotes/9steppro cess.sgml,v 4.00.0 2003/12/04 15:25:45 tsarkon Exp $
New! Version! 4.0! with a USER CONTRIBUTED IMAGE. THANK YOU EVERONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! CLICK HERE TO SEE.
  1. Defecate. Preferably after eating senna, ex lax, prunes, cabbage, pickled eggs, and Vietnamese chili garlic sauce. Defecation could be performed in the Return of the Jedi wastebasket for added pleasure. [homestead.com]
  2. Wipe ass with witch hazel, soothes horrific burns. (Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda can use witch-hazel on mouth to soothe the horrific burns from performing so much analingus.)
  3. Prime anus with anal ease. [dimout.com] (Now Cherry Flavored for those butthole lick-o-phillic amongst you - very popular with 99% of the Slashdotting public!)
  4. Slather richly a considerable amount of Vaseline and/or other anal lubricants into your rectum at least until the bend and also take your Yoda Doll [starwars-rpg.net] , Yoda Shampoo bottle [homestead.com] or Yoda soap-on-a-rope [homestead.com] and liberally apply the lubricants to the Doll/Shampoo/Soap-on-a-rope.
  5. Pucker your balloon knot several times actuating the sphincter muscle in order to work it in.
  6. Put a nigger do-rag [firstlinemfg.com] on Yoda's head so the ears don't stick out like daggers!
  7. Make sure to have a mechanism by which to fish Yoda out of your rectum, the soap on the rope is especially useful because the retrieval mechanism is built in. [homestead.com]
  8. Slowly rest yourself onto your Yoda figurine. Be careful, he's big! [starwars-rpg.net]
  9. Gyrate gleefully in your computer chair while your fat sexless geek nerd loser fat shit self enjoys the prostate massage you'll be getting. Think about snoodling [urbandictionary.com] with the Sarlaac pit. Read Slashdot. Masturbate to anime. Email one of the editors hoping they will honor you with a reply. Join several more dating services - this time, you don't check the (desired - speaks English) and (desired - literate). You figure you might get a chance then. Order some fucking crap from Think Geek. Get Linux to boot on a Black and Decker Appliance. Wish you could afford a new computer. Argue that IDE is better than SCSI because you can't afford SCSI. Make claims about how Linux rules. Compile a kernel on your 486SX. Claim to hate Windows but use it for Everquest. Admire Ghyslain's courage in making that wonderful star wars movie. Officially convert to the Jedi religion. Talk about how cool Mega Tokyo is. Try and make sure you do your regular 50 story submissions to Slashdot, all of which get rejected because people who aren't fatter than CowboyNeal can't submit. Fondle shrimpy penis while making a Yoda voice and saying, use the force [toysrgus.com] , padawan, feeel the foooorce [toysrgus.com] , hurgm. Yes. Yes. When 900 years you reach [lemonparty.org] , a dick half as big you will not have. [toysrgus.com]
All in a days work with a Yoda figurine rammed up your ass.

I HAVE A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS!

GO LINUX!!

Tux is the result after trimming Yoda's ears off so that Lunix people don't rip themselves a new Asshole

What you can do with you ass after sitting on a GREASED UP YODA DOLL. [theadultpress.com]

y______________________________YODA_ANUS [goatse.cx]
o_________________.'_:__`.________________y
d____________.-.'`.__;___.'`.-.___________o
a___________/_:____\_;__/____;_\__________d
s_,'__""--.:__;".-.";:_:".-.":__;.--""__`,a
e_:'_`.t""--.._'/@.`;___',@\`_..--""j.'_`;s
x______`:-.._J_'-.-'L___`--_'_L_..-;'_____e
________"-.___;__.-"__"-.__:___.-"________x
y____________L_'_/.------.\_'_J___________y
o_____________"-.___"--"___.-"____________o
d______________.l"-:_TR_;-";._____________d
a_________.-j/'.;__;""""__/_.'\"-.________a
s_______v.'_/:`._"-.:_____.-"_.';__`.v____s
e____.-"__/_;__"-._"-..-"_.-"__:____"-.___e
x_.+"-.__:_:______"-.__.-"______;-.____\__x
_v;_\__`.;_; I Yoda Have A _____:_:_"+._;_
y_:__;___;_;_Greased Up ME In __:_;__:_\:_y
o_;__:___;_:_MY ASS! This Goes__;:___;__:_o
d:_\__;__:__; On FOREVER!______:_;__/__::_d

Synopsis:--Major Tom goes to the bathroom and shoves a Yoda doll up his ass, and then gimps back to his desk to post AC Trolls on Slashdot.--Soddity--Yoda Doll to Major Tom. - Yoda Doll to Major Tom. - Take your ex-lax bars and put my do-rag on. - Yoda Doll to Major Tom. - Commencing countdown, rope is on. - Begin insertion and may Goatse's love be with you. -- This is Yoda Doll to Major Tom, - You've rectally been flayed! - And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear. - Now it's time to leave the crapper if you dare. -- This is Major Tom to Yoda Doll, - I'm stepping through the door. - And I'm farting in a most peculiar way! - And my ass looks very different today. - For here... - Am I shitting in the tincan? - Far...too busy posting trolls. -- Slashdot censors youand there's nothing I can do. -- Uploading one hundred thousand files, - I'm feeling very ill. - I don't think my feces know which way to go. - I can't tell my intestines from spaghetti- - code. Yoda Doll to Major Tom, your prostate's dead, there's something wrong, - Can you hear me, Major Tom? - Can you hear me, Major Tom? - Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear...Am I shitting in the tincan? - My ass like a baboon's - Slashdot censors you - and there's nothing I can do.

I pledge Allegiance to the Doll
of the Greased Up States of Yodarica
and to the Republic for which it shoves,
one nation under Yoda, rectal intrusion,
with anal lube and ass grease for all.


hello.mpeg lyrics.
I'm doin' this tonight ,
You're probably gonna start a fight .
I know this can't be right .
Hey baby come on,
I loved you endlessly ,
When you weren't there for me.
So now it's time to leave and make it alone .
I know that I can't take no more
It ain't no lie
I wanna see you out that door
Baby , bye, bye, bye...

A picture of your ass after YODA. [bmezine.com]

George Carlin Dead? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634867)

George Carlin dead at 66 [cnn.com]

Holy shit. George Carlin is dead. He had a heart attack onstage while performing live at Caesars in Atlantic City. Sadly he was already dead when the paramedics arrived despite the fervent attempts at resuscitation by a nurse who happened to be in the audience.

Re:George Carlin Dead? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634882)

Truly an American icon. He gonna be buried next to Stephen King?

Re:George Carlin Dead? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635105)

In Soviet Russia, Carlin Georges YOU!

You fucking asshole, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634898)

you had me worried there for a minute. If you are going to troll, pick some geek icon (like Steve Jobs or better yet, Eric S Raymod) instead of someone important.

Re:You fucking asshole, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634917)

LMFAO You checked too, huh?

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634868)

$299 with a $20+ a month lock-in contract, so what they really mean is something closer to about $450.

Oh sorry. $450 with MANDATORY AOL.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

laird (2705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635070)

"$299 with a $20+ a month lock-in contract, so what they really mean is something closer to about $450."

You're exaggerating by leaving out the fact that they're getting AOL access, which millions of people are paying $20+ a month for without getting a cheap PC. If you think that AOL service is worth nothing, then your math works, I suppose, but...

Re:So... (1)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635152)

If you think that AOL service is worth nothing, then your math works, I suppose, but...

IMO, it is worth nothing. In fact, they would have to pay me to use AOL. But yes, I suppose that the dozen or so people in the USA that don't have internet access now have an opportunity to find out how shitty AOL's service is.

sorry in advance... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634872)

and i, for one, welcome our new AOL overlords...

son of tsarkon reports yoda doll to major tom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634873)

Son of Tsarkon Reports on a Space Oddity

Synopsis:
Major Tom goes to the bathroom and shoves a Yoda doll up his ass, and then gimps back to his desk to post AC Trolls on Slashdot.

Soddity [bowiewonderworld.com]

Yoda Doll to Major Tom.
Yoda Doll to Major Tom.
Take your ex-lax bars [redcoat.net] and put my do-rag [firstlinemfg.com] on.
Yoda Doll to Major Tom.
Commencing countdown, rope is on.
Begin insertion and may Goatse's [goatse.cx] love be with you.

This is Yoda Doll to Major Tom,
You've rectally been flayed!
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear. [thinkgeek.com]
Now it's time to leave the crapper if you dare.

This is Major Tom to Yoda Doll,
I'm stepping through the door.
And I'm farting in a most peculiar way!
And my ass looks very different today [bmezine.com] .
For here...
Am I shitting in the tincan [homestead.com] ?
Far...too busy posting trolls.

Slashdot censors you [slashdot.org] and there's nothing I can do.

Uploading one hundred thousand files,
I'm feeling very ill.
I don't think my feces know which way to go.
I can't tell my intestines from spaghetti- [slashcode.com]
code.

Yoda Doll to Major Tom, your prostate's dead, there's something wrong,
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear...

Am I shitting in the tincan [homestead.com] ?

My ass like a baboon's [nature.com]

Slashdot censors you [slashdot.org] and there's nothing I can do.

Suspendisse viverra, metus eget dapibus vestibulum, mauris ipsum porta diam, sit amet congue sem augue et pede. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nullam eu massa sed leo malesuada pellentesque. Nunc luctus hendrerit sem. Suspendisse tincidunt convallis nunc. In id justo et tortor malesuada hendrerit. Proin ac augue vitae lectus sagittis vulputate. Integer a magna. Aliquam erat volutpat. Suspendisse in velit. Duis eleifend congue odio. Maecenas at est. Suspendisse porta, mauris sit amet blandit suscipit, sem leo faucibus mi, sit amet molestie sem velit vel nulla. Aenean neque velit, faucibus vel, luctus sed, vulputate sit amet, eros. Integer tincidunt interdum mauris. Phasellus augue. Nam luctus, massa ac hendrerit gravida, nibh ante vestibulum leo, sit amet dapibus pede purus at nisl. Sed est libero, gravida sed, vulputate sed, semper quis, lorem. Ut tincidunt. Vestibulum mauris turpis, consectetuer non, scelerisque et, vestibulum eget, felis.

Re:son of tsarkon reports yoda doll to major tom (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634943)

9 steps to greasing your anus for Yoda Doll Insertion! [sidetalkin.com]
v 4.00.0
$YodaBSD: src/release/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/yodanotes/9steppro cess.sgml,v 4.00.0 2003/12/04 15:25:45 tsarkon Exp $
New! Version! 4.0! with a USER CONTRIBUTED IMAGE. THANK YOU EVERONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! CLICK HERE TO SEE.
  1. Defecate. Preferably after eating senna, ex lax, prunes, cabbage, pickled eggs, and Vietnamese chili garlic sauce. Defecation could be performed in the Return of the Jedi wastebasket for added pleasure. [homestead.com]
  2. Wipe ass with witch hazel, soothes horrific burns. (Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda can use witch-hazel on mouth to soothe the horrific burns from performing so much analingus.)
  3. Prime anus with anal ease. [dimout.com] (Now Cherry Flavored for those butthole lick-o-phillic amongst you - very popular with 99% of the Slashdotting public!)
  4. Slather richly a considerable amount of Vaseline and/or other anal lubricants into your rectum at least until the bend and also take your Yoda Doll [starwars-rpg.net] , Yoda Shampoo bottle [homestead.com] or Yoda soap-on-a-rope [homestead.com] and liberally apply the lubricants to the Doll/Shampoo/Soap-on-a-rope.
  5. Pucker your balloon knot several times actuating the sphincter muscle in order to work it in.
  6. Put a nigger do-rag [firstlinemfg.com] on Yoda's head so the ears don't stick out like daggers!
  7. Make sure to have a mechanism by which to fish Yoda out of your rectum, the soap on the rope is especially useful because the retrieval mechanism is built in. [homestead.com]
  8. Slowly rest yourself onto your Yoda figurine. Be careful, he's big! [starwars-rpg.net]
  9. Gyrate gleefully in your computer chair while your fat sexless geek nerd loser fat shit self enjoys the prostate massage you'll be getting. Think about snoodling [urbandictionary.com] with the Sarlaac pit. Read Slashdot. Masturbate to anime. Email one of the editors hoping they will honor you with a reply. Join several more dating services - this time, you don't check the (desired - speaks English) and (desired - literate). You figure you might get a chance then. Order some fucking crap from Think Geek. Get Linux to boot on a Black and Decker Appliance. Wish you could afford a new computer. Argue that IDE is better than SCSI because you can't afford SCSI. Make claims about how Linux rules. Compile a kernel on your 486SX. Claim to hate Windows but use it for Everquest. Admire Ghyslain's courage in making that wonderful star wars movie. Officially convert to the Jedi religion. Talk about how cool Mega Tokyo is. Try and make sure you do your regular 50 story submissions to Slashdot, all of which get rejected because people who aren't fatter than CowboyNeal can't submit. Fondle shrimpy penis while making a Yoda voice and saying, use the force [toysrgus.com] , padawan, feeel the foooorce [toysrgus.com] , hurgm. Yes. Yes. When 900 years you reach [lemonparty.org] , a dick half as big you will not have. [toysrgus.com]
All in a days work with a Yoda figurine rammed up your ass.

I HAVE A GREASED UP YODA DOLL SHOVED UP MY ASS!

GO LINUX!!

Tux is the result after trimming Yoda's ears off so that Lunix people don't rip themselves a new Asshole

What you can do with you ass after sitting on a GREASED UP YODA DOLL. [theadultpress.com]

y______________________________YODA_ANUS [goatse.cx]
o_________________.'_:__`.________________y
d____________.-.'`.__;___.'`.-.___________o
a___________/_:____\_;__/____;_\__________d
s_,'__""--.:__;".-.";:_:".-.":__;.--""__`,a
e_:'_`.t""--.._'/@.`;___',@\`_..--""j.'_`;s
x______`:-.._J_'-.-'L___`--_'_L_..-;'_____e
________"-.___;__.-"__"-.__:___.-"________x
y____________L_'_/.------.\_'_J___________y
o_____________"-.___"--"___.-"____________o
d______________.l"-:_TR_;-";._____________d
a_________.-j/'.;__;""""__/_.'\"-.________a
s_______v.'_/:`._"-.:_____.-"_.';__`.v____s
e____.-"__/_;__"-._"-..-"_.-"__:____"-.___e
x_.+"-.__:_:______"-.__.-"______;-.____\__x
_v;_\__`.;_; I Yoda Have A _____:_:_"+._;_
y_:__;___;_;_Greased Up ME In __:_;__:_\:_y
o_;__:___;_:_MY ASS! This Goes__;:___;__:_o
d:_\__;__:__; On FOREVER!______:_;__/__::_d

- Ground Control to Yoda Doll - Ground Control to Yoda Doll - Take your ass grease pills and put your helmet on - Ground Control to Yoda Doll - Commencing countdown, engines on - Check ignition and may God's love shove up you - Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Shove Up - This is Ground Control to Yoda Doll - You've really made the grade - And the papers want to know whose butts you tear - Now it's time to leave the suppository if you dare - This is Yoda Doll to Ground Control - I'm stepping through the door - And I'm stinking in a most peculiar way - And the ass look very different today - For here am I sitting in an ass can - Far inside the butt - My face is turning blue - And there's nothing I can do - Though I'm past one hundred thousand bowels - I'm feeling very still - And I think my buttship knows which way to go - Tell my wife I ream her very much, she knows" - Ground Control to Yoda Doll - Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong - Can you hear me, Yoda Doll? - Can you hear me, Yoda Doll? - Can you hear me, Yoda Doll? - Can you....- Here am I floating in my ass can - Far inside his Moon - My face is turning blue - And there's nothing I can do.

I pledge Allegiance to the Doll
of the Greased Up States of Yodarica
and to the Republic for which it shoves,
one nation under Yoda, rectal intrusion,
with anal lube and ass grease for all.


hello.mpeg lyrics.
I'm doin' this tonight ,
You're probably gonna start a fight .
I know this can't be right .
Hey baby come on,
I loved you endlessly ,
When you weren't there for me.
So now it's time to leave and make it alone .
I know that I can't take no more
It ain't no lie
I wanna see you out that door
Baby , bye, bye, bye...

A picture of your ass after YODA. [bmezine.com]

been there and done that (5, Insightful)

Frisky070802 (591229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634877)

This doesn't seem new or noteworthy. Such deals have been around for years. for intstance, googling appropriate terms took me to an article [isp-planet.com] from 1999 about this sort of thing.

Also, the numbers for how much this computer is worth don't factor the right things in. Anyone who'd go for this deal needs some sort of ISP to begin with, and the $23.90/month may be higher than other ISPs, but does give the customer something of value beyond the PC. On the other hand, is that really a $699 computer?

wha? (5, Interesting)

wankledot (712148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634880)

"controling"?

How are they controling you? Do they prohibit you from visiting other sites or installing another OS/Apps? Just because they install some default image, that doesn't mean they're controling what you do with the system.

Re:wha? (0, Troll)

Micro$will (592938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635005)

Have you ever used AOL? Would you like to be stuck paying for AOL for a year even if you don't like it just to get a "new" PC? Sure, you can install Linux, but try to get support from AOL if something needs to be replaced under warrantee, and forget about even getting on to AOL with Linux.

Linux w/ AOL (4, Interesting)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635163)

I have before, it's not too hard at all.

In fact there is a small tutorial [yolinux.com] on how to connect to AOL with Linux.

I wonder if this offer is valid with AOL Broadband, that way you could be on Broadband, and still have a cheap PC.

If this shipped with Lindows instead... (5, Informative)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634883)

...maybe they could get the price down to $199, hmmm?

Don't flip out on me, it was just a thought... ;)

Re:If this shipped with Lindows instead... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634919)

AOL is a big company, why don't they just make thier own distro of Linux and slap in this computer???

Re:If this shipped with Lindows instead... (4, Interesting)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634946)

I think with them shipping this with StarOffice that ARE that much closer. Word is that they already have an Linux-based distro but have been sitting on it. You would think that with their fortunes failing, this might be a good time to try a new approach. With this $299 deal, I think only MS will make any real profit.

Re:If this shipped with Lindows instead... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635038)

maybe they don't want to be hreatened by those tea smoking bangers SCO... so are wating for the storm to blow over, or for MS to give them a preferential discount... AOL threatening MS to get better discounts... (AOL only have to threaten to have a Linux distro... like, er compiling the kernel and making it write ASCII art SCO pics...?) never? Well, maybe?

Hey, that reminds me! Aren't we all due.. (0, Offtopic)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635076)

...for some news from SCOX anyway?

As quoted elsewhere:
"Gotta get me somma that SCOX!"

So wait (4, Funny)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634986)

You are telling me that you want people who are, almost by definition, too stupid to get a real Internet connection to have a LINUX PC? Damn, just invite the crackers to go nuts directly why don't ya? :)

Seriously though, these are the kind fo people who would whine about Lindows since it's different. Doesn't matter how much the same it is, they'd whine and not use it.

I mean an AOL user here at work got her computer upgraded from 98 to 2k (new computer). From a user standpoint there is almost no difference. She was even used to loggin in since network shares required it. None the less she found about a million things to whine abou. One was that when you open explorer in 98 it goes to the C drive, in 2k it goes to your home directory. She bitched and moaned that this was confusing/difficult/took time/etc till we found a fix.

No man, you do NOT want these people on Linux, espically not one that is logged in as root by default.

Re:So wait (4, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635022)

I guess what I'm talking about are OPTIONS. No, Lindows won't be for everyone either. OTOH, maybe someone would like to have a computer cost $199 instead of $299 and be willing to learn.

And what's the big dealio about Lindows defaulting root for the primary user? So what? So does XP! This can now be changed in Lindows 4.0 just as easily as creating a user in XP. Problem solved.

Re:So wait (1)

rolocroz (625853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635142)

And what's the big dealio about Lindows defaulting root for the primary user? So what? So does XP! This can now be changed in Lindows 4.0 just as easily as creating a user in XP. Problem solved.

Remember who we're talking about here. These people aren't going to change a thing from the default settings. They don't care about security, and just want everything to work right. No, defaulting to root is a very bad idea.

Re:So wait (2, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635158)

So how will getting Windows XP improve this situation? I'm not being an ass, I'm serious. What's the alternative? Keep in mind, just because Lindows defaults to open root access doesn't mean AOL couldn't lock it all down as part of THEIR default image, right?

Re:If this shipped with Lindows instead... (1)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635010)

AOL doesn't work on Linux (not officially; there are a few projects I've seen to try to circumvent this--no idea if they work well or not). And as others pointed out, they are trying to appeal to the non-savvy. Just because the default user is root doesn't make Lindows easy to use.

AOL Office Powered by Sun (1, Insightful)

WuWarrior (628294) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634888)

Sounds like it will probably come with StarOffice (or something like it).

Re:AOL Office Powered by Sun (4, Informative)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634926)

It IS StarOffice (with obligatory AOL logos). One step closer to an AOL-Linux release I think.

Excellent (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634889)

I think this is a fabulous idea and hope many people take advantage of their generous offer.



Did I mention that I own AOL stock? Yeah, I really should've cashed out years ago.

Considering... (5, Informative)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634892)

Considering you can get a much better machine for much cheaper. Check out:

http://gotapex.com

You'll find BETTER Dell machines for ~$400 with 6 months of AOL included!

Re:Considering... (2, Informative)

sterno (16320) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634987)

Yes, but for ~$400 you are only getting the computer itself. Here you are paying $299 for a computer and monitor.

It's not an amazing deal, and not really that different from some other things, but it'll be interesting to see what an AOL controlled PC does. I also wonder if the support costs associated with the computers will drive the ultimate cost of this beyond what AOL can handle.

Re:Considering... (5, Funny)

flynt (248848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635043)

http://gotapex.com

Uhm, I don't think so. Wait, "got apex", whew.

Yay (0, Flamebait)

ActionPlant (721843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634897)

For a lot of users out there, the only thing that will change is that they'll have the logo on the physical box. It's not like they don't already control systems their software is already installed on...

Damon,

Re:Yay (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635092)

not the people who would buy this. They will use the computer as it comes, and will not even consider changing the OS in fear of "breaking" it. And, they would never notice if slashdot.org was mapped to 127.0.0.1

Jelousy (2, Funny)

bpb213 (561569) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634907)

"With this action AOL controls everything from the OS to the Word Processor to the web sites their customers browse."

Uh Oh, is that Steve Jobs I'm seeing in the distance? Looks like he's fuming...
Next Month: the iNet internet service, so Steve too can also claim to control everything from the hardware to the software to the internet.

(and yes, I own an apple, and hell no, I would never buy iNet ;) )

Re:Jelousy (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634940)

Apple already failed once with an ISP (eWorld, I think).

Re:Jelousy (1, Informative)

NickV (30252) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634974)

eWorld became a little service called America Online when it merged with the c64 service, Q-Link... See this link for some more info [slashdot.org] (I can't find any sites online with info.)

So yea, I wouldn't call eWorld a failure...

Re:Jelousy (3, Informative)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635036)

eWorld became a little service called America Online when it merged with the c64 service, Q-Link...

AOHell goes back much further than eWorld. I think you meant to refer to something called "AppleLink Personal Edition," which was available for both Apple IIs and Macs (if that gives you more of an idea how far back it goes).

Re:Jelousy (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635090)

No, that's not quite what happened. AppleLink was the service that eventually became AOL. E-World was a separate, later attempt at an Apple-branded online service; not least because AOL was already well-established by the time e-World was created, it sank like a rock. This was in the mid-Nineties. Not sure of the exact timeframe, but I know that when I bought my first Mac ca. 1995, it came with e-World preinstalled. I never used it, but it had a neat icon. ;)

Note that I said "online service," not ISP. E-World's mistake, IMO, and the mistake made by the other big players in the online service world at the time (Prodigy, Compuserve, GEnie) was in not taking the Internet seriously enough. They were all advertising themselves on the basis of proprietary content and services at a time when most people wanted to get on this thing they'd heard about called "the Web." AOL pushed (and still pushes) its proprietary content too, of course; but they positioned themselves as a value-added ISP, rather than a proprietary service with true Internet access as an afterthought, much faster than the others, and reaped the benefits.

Re:Jelousy (5, Funny)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634975)

Obviously Apple hadn't mastered the naming schemes back in 1993. Had it been named iWorld, it would most likely have been a bashingly successful venture.

More info: eWorld [vanvr.com]

Re:Jelousy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635125)

(and yes, I own an apple, and hell no, I would never buy iNet ;) )

what if it had a shiny apple logo and brushed metal skin?

Windows XP eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634912)

The price of this computer barely covers the Windows licensing fee. Unless Slashdot has been lying to me and Windows really is cheaper than Linux. Even a lindows box costs more than this.

Re:Windows XP eh? (5, Informative)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635091)

To everyone that believes that large manufacturers pay $199 for a copy of Windows XP that they ship...

Uh no - it is actually somewhere in the $25 dollar range (plus the cost of any media that they ship along with it, and also first line tech support)

wow (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634916)

i'd actually recommend this to my friends.
with the printer and monitor, it's a good deal.
just... have to reinstall windows for the dummies, or install linux for the extremely computer literate.

Re:wow (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634960)

is it? i doubt the lexmark refills being free.

though with the aol subscription commitment for a year it's more of a partial payment deal, or hand fee+rent.

i should be sleeping.. maybe somebody will see if they can find the same specced computer for cheaper than what this deal is..

...Or leave it the hell alone as it is (4, Funny)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635128)

You know, as much as it pains me to say this... Uh...

I've actually started to recommend AOL to people! :O OMFG - I SAID IT!

There it is. I'm sorry. But there is some reasoning here, if you all won't mod me down as a troll first.

The main reason has to do with AOL 9's control of spyware, parental rules for Internet usage, and yes, ease of use. For some users out there this is exactly what they need. AOL's numbers aren't near as high as they used to be due to user savvy, but they do still serve a purpose. Think of all your friends/relative's computers you've had to run AdAware or Spybot on recently and you have to agree...

Even on broadband! :O Oh Shit! I just said that too!!!

Bad Dobby! Bad BAD BAD!!! :)

AOL OS??? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634918)

Oh enlightened one, please tell us more about the AOL OS! You fucking moron.

Cannot connect to word processor, please try later (2, Interesting)

Denyer (717613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634939)

Well, this might be exploitable by the tech-savvy... especially since I believe AOL has negotiated a branded version of StarOffice to round it out. Keep what you want, put up with the ISP solution for a while. Worth it for a year for many families, I suppose. Whether the retention rate will be sufficient, given AOL's service record (presumably software [i]isn't[/i] going to time out or require frequent net connectivity, though I wouldn't put it past them)... only time will tell.

$699 for that clunker? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634941)

The math ( (12*23.90)+299 ) seems to suggest that you can get a $699 computer for $585.80 plus any finance charges.

More like More like $399 [pcclub.com]

$699 will buy a P4 3.0GHz that's better in most other respects too [pcclub.com]

What year is whoever submitted that in?

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:$699 for that clunker? (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634977)

printer?

Re:$699 for that clunker? (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635033)

I thought everyone here knew those freebie printers were worthless and just scams to get people to waste lots of money on ink that has the highest per page cost in the industry.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:$699 for that clunker? (2, Insightful)

darthxmark (148185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635042)

uhh.. what about the monitor and printer in ur price quote? ohhh and of course what about AOL Sun Office... can't forget about that bad boy..

What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7634948)

What's next? "The McPC" with an "I'm Lovin' It" login sound? Hahah

Interesting (5, Informative)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634969)

They give you the fine print [aolcheckout.com] in gif form just to make sure it's difficult for you to read the text. The resolution isn't really fine enough for the text to be legible at any magnification, but it appears that the finance rate is 23.9% or 25.9%

$299 is financed at 21.7% APR (5, Informative)

Numeric (22250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634980)

You really need to review this. I saw the story this AM (EST) and throughly reviewed the deal because I'd like to upgrade my mother's computer which is a currently a pc200mhz with 64mb of memory as a Xmas present.

Here's the fine print (beware the fine print is a image file):
http://www.aolcheckout.com/aol-pc/aol01b-l egal1.as p?vcid=a2&srccode=subp2b447688

"$299 Financed plus a one-year committment to AOL for 23.90"...did you read financed?

my take on the deal...

according to the fine print, you are issued a Tiger Gold Card with approve credit from Wells Fargo, furthermore, the regular APR is 21.9% (i think, the fine print is very small).

so now you have a credit card from a company with a really high interest rate! "Boom!" as Madden 2004 would say. That is the hook for AOL, they can make some money by establishing new customers for a credit card company.

Its seems like a nice deal on the front end.

Re:$299 is financed at 21.7% APR (4, Insightful)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635046)

So pay it off the first month. BOOM! You get the PC for $299. You only get charged interest if you float the balance.

Re:$299 is financed at 21.7% APR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635126)

What if you float a big turd??? That should be a fine too.

Re:$299 is financed at 21.7% APR (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635118)

make up your mind moron is it 21.7% or 21.9% i think the fact that you cant get your story strate shows that you are lying

But what does that MEAN?!?! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635140)

Okay, so I sign up, I get a credit card with a balance of $299? No, wait, they want a 12 month paid commitment (p.s.- HERE is a link to the fine details... [aolcheckout.com] )
so thats a credit card with $585.80 balance on it?

So what happens if I pay it off in one shot? (I understand that I am in the minority. I have a card that gives me air miles- I put EVERYTHING on that card, and always pay off my monthly balance. Yes, I went to Hawai'i two years in a row.)

Oh yeah! TAxes, surcharges, and Fees! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635156)

Oh yeah- Shipping, Handling, and Taxes...

this is starting to look like you get to pay approx $699 for a $699 computer, but get 12 months of AOL for free!

Strategy (2, Interesting)

pi eater (714532) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634983)

Seems to me like AOL is trying to pursue a strategy (at least in regards to this latest offering) similar to Nintendo's...

Charge cheap for something the user needs to use the company's products, then hope that the customer stays on board and buys more products from the company.

Will this work? I doubt it.. IMO they will lose tons of cash.. But hey, the real beneficiaries of this are the customers, so I'm all for it.

webmaster shirts and more [wabshirts.com]

Re:Strategy (2, Insightful)

Naffer (720686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635153)

I'm not so sure though... At $99, Nintendo is still making a profit (small... probably) off their cube and you are in no way obligated to purchase any additional games. AOL's deal requires that the computer be financed over a 1 year period. $24 a month for dialup internet can be a pretty big turnoff.

locked in... (1)

sysopd (617656) | more than 10 years ago | (#7634990)

I'm surprised this doesn't come with Phoenix's DRM'd BIOS (aka 'trusted computing') to prevent booting or installing other OS's. This way AOL could really lock you in, possibly even limiting what other dialup networking and broadband connections you can install. Maybe the next logical step?

AOL is $$$ hungry (2, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635000)

Not really major super proof of their money hungryness, but Winamp5, which is created by nullsoft, who is owned by AOL time warner is going to have a "pro" version that will cost money.

Being that I sort of know the nullsoft crew, I know they probably didn't like having to do this.

I guess AOL had to make money on those cool CD tins they were shipping out last year.

Re:AOL is $$$ hungry (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635094)

Pro includes 3rd-party intellectual property which they (nullsoft) have to pay for per-copy.

Re:AOL is $$$ hungry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635123)

Being that I sort of know the nullsoft crew, I know they probably didn't like having to do this.

Name dropin', eh? It sounds like you know them real well...

If you want people to think you are cool, you're not. You're just a prideful little geek that wants people to like them. Kinda sad when you look at it like that, isn't it?

Now go home to mommy, and tell her all about those Nullsoft people you know ALL about, well sort of, err probably....

Not bad for WebTV users (3, Insightful)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635020)

Hopefully the low price tag will convince people still using WebTV to actually purchase a personal computer.

I can see this as being killer for grandparents and others living on fixed incomes.

The system specs are decent, considering the target audience is probably not going to be encoding digital video, compiling code, or running photoshop.

The office suite is a nice touch. It sucks to get emailed a MS Office document and not being able to open them in anything but WordPad. I get so many tech support calls related to people not being able to open MS Office attachments. If the AOL office suite includes Excel and PowerPoint clones, all the better.

Re:Not bad for WebTV users (1)

yarbo (626329) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635060)

it sounds to me like their office suite is a rebranded OpenOffice.org, so yes, it includes an Excel and a PowerPoint clone.

AOL a woman? (4, Funny)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635021)

With this action AOL controls everything from the OS to the Word Processor to the web sites their customers browse.

When did my girlfriend start working at AOL?

Re:AOL a woman? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635147)

Girlfriend? Nice try, I think you meant your mom.

Re:AOL a woman? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635164)

Wait, so a guy named WankersRevenge is posting on Slashdot about having a girlfriend? How's that work?

obvious...

locked in... (0, Redundant)

sysopd (617656) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635025)

I'm surprised this doesn't come with Phoenix's DRM'd BIOS (aka 'trusted computing') to prevent booting or installing other OS's. This way AOL could really lock you in, possibly even limiting what other dialup networking and broadband connections you can install.

Maybe the next logical step?

Sounds great! (1)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635035)

I might get one of these for my Mom.

I don't feel like piecing a machine together for her, and she needs internet service anyhow... and she needs something EASY to use, not a crap service provider.

Seems like a good deal. It's either this or a cheap PC and something like MSN or AOL. This seems like the easiest (if not the cheapest) way to go.

Controls everything? (3, Informative)

Octagon Most (522688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635039)

"AOL controls everything from the OS to the Word Processor to the web sites their customers browse."??

Give me a break. AOL doesn't care what you do with the PC. Go ahead, wipe it clean and install your favorite alternative OS. All that matters is that you sign a one-year commitment to AOL's dial-up service at $23.90 per month. That $286.80 commitment subsidizes the cost of the computer. AOL has stated (maybe it's even in a linked article) that a common reason given for cancellations is loss of access to a computer. In a few tests they have offered such users a discounted PC rather than let them become former users. As a result of what they have learned they believe that offering a really cheap computer will attract/retain members. They need to do something as they have lost a couple million recently.

Sounds like a business decision to me. But, hey, maybe it's all just part of a vast conspiracy by a big corporation to control everything we do.

haha (2, Informative)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635045)

anyone remember the iOpener?

totally hacked [geocities.com]

I remember the I-Opener (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635130)

It origially sold without a service agreement and you could pay for it with CASH, then walk out the door with it. The Xbox is like this, and so are those one-time-use digital cameras Ritz sells. If you're willing to pay full price for a Sprint cell phone, you can also walk out the store without any contract and use it as a doorstop or an overpriced electronic phonebook.

This computer, however, is being sold on the condition that you are entering into a contractual agreement to continue service for one year and clearly spells out the penalties ($23.90 billed for each remaning month of service plus a $40 breach-of-contract fee). If you bought the machine for $299 with the intention of not using the service, they have every right to hit you with those fees.

It's not an entirely horrible deal for newbies, if there are any of them left... But for everyone else, it's not the next great hack, it's just your average service agreement subsidized hardware.

Math Error in Article Post (4, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635049)

You cannot consider the entire cost of AOL access to be "interest" in this interesting calculation. You must consider that you are receiving something of value in addition to just the computer. THe way to calculate the effective financing rate is to take the difference between the cost of AOL and the cost of another equivalent access service, say, Earthlink, which I believe is $15/mo or so...

So, (12*(23.90-15))+299 = $405.80...

Ok, so let's see what I can buy that system for.

I just purchased two small machines, Athlon 1900+, 256MB Ram, 40GB Hard disks, with integrated I/O and everything for $280 each delivered. A 17" monitor can be had for about $100 and a cheap-ass Lexmark printer is about $50. What's that come out to? $430? and it's a MUCH MUCH MUCH faster machine...

So the bottom line is that this deal is marginal at best, and with AOL's buying power, it's probably very profitable in the end. They can probably put that machine together for about $200-250.

This sounds very familiar (1)

japorms (559865) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635054)

Big Planet (a smaller internet service provider) did this very thing four years ago with the iPhone. The iPhone was selling at $399 at the time, and customers could get it for free if they committed to a three-year contract internet contract regardless if the iPhone stopped working. Most customers signed up for the unlimited access plan at $24.95/month. After three years, they ended paying $900. Bottom line: contracts such as these are great for making money, but they ultimately create a mass of upset customers.

( (12*23.90)+299 ) (1, Funny)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635056)

You didn't need the extra set of parentheses - the math already assumes that.

Boy, I'm a geek...

finance charges??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635059)

Man, if you have to finance $299 maybe you should go to the library and use a computer for free.

More "Doom 3" capable than my current P.O.S. (0)

planetoid (719535) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635075)

I'm a piss-poor college student, I'm a gamer, and my current computer is 1998-era (450mhz yay!). I'm ashamed to say this, but.... no. NO! Must... resist... :(

AOL's next plan... (4, Funny)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635078)

The next thing you know, instead of receiving those annoying coasters in the mail all the time, you'll start receiving free computers in the mail all the time. They'll work for 1045 hours for free, after which you either pay, or they blow up.

AOL's "1. Mail computers 2. ??? 3. Profit!!!" plan is as follows:

Savvy computer users will figure out that erasing the hard drive and installing their own OS removes the 1045 hour time limit, and removing the TNT from inside the computer case completely eliminates the possibility of the computer blowing up.

Then, in an RIAA-like effort, AOL will sue hundreds of thousands of individuals for illegally using their computers, which constitute valuable intellectual property. They will ignore the fact that by law, when they send something in the mail, it becomes the property of the recipient. It will take a long time for this to get to the courts, in order for the courts to throw it out, and in the meantime, many frightened teenagers will settle with AOL for amounts greatly exceeding the market value of the computers.

Clean profits for AOL.

Insurance companies should do this! (4, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635097)

Insurance companies should do this!

You could sign up for a 2 year policy with Geico, and get a '89 Mercury station wagon, with external wood paneling, for only $300 bucks!

funny... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7635102)

Funny, a few years ago I was thinking
"compuserve and the like are offering these great deals because no one will be on dialup anymore"
Now it seems that dialup is going to be aruond for a long time.

my work is cut out for me (2, Informative)

peezer (682955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635107)

Geez, I've been trying to convince my parents to 1) drop AOL dial-up for cheaper cable broadband 2) upgrade their old computer. But since they seem to think that AOL is the ONLY way to surf the web and get email, they're gonna see this and think it's such a friggin' good deal...

This offer is just capitalizing on the prevalence of poor and ill-informed individuals. If AOL is successful, we'll have a rough estimate as to how many of these people there are. Don't get me wrong, more power to AOL--it's their right to market. But it's our right to go around educating people as to why this isn't a good deal.

But I guess posting on /. isn't gonna convince people like my parents...

Misleading math... (5, Informative)

laird (2705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635108)

"The math ( (12*23.90)+299 ) seems to suggest that you can get a $699 computer for $585.80 plus any finance charges"

This math is only correct if you assume that there's no value in having AOL dial access. If you think that AOL access is worth the $23.90 a month that millions of people are already paying for it, you're getting a $699 computer for $585.80 plus any finance charges, plus agreeing to stay on AOL for a year.

This doesn't sound any more sleazy than cell phone companies giving you a heavily discounted cell phone in return for a commitment for longer service. If you don't want to make the commitment, don't sign the contract, and don't take the up front discount.

To me, this looks like a decent way for people who aren't online to get online very cheaply and learn whether they want to spend more for broadband, etc., later.

Business is Business (2, Insightful)

pbug (728232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635111)

AOL needs to keep their name in the game this why they are doing this. Also this is the best time to do this. With the holiday season they will really rack up.

But... (3, Insightful)

Kirk Troll (729217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635114)

You could build your own $500 computer that would be most likely faster, and not contain all that shitty pre-installed AOL crapware that will slow you down further. And, you wouldn't be signed up for AOL service. (And who the hell wants that.)

Or, for the Maccies, you can get an eMac for $750 (Student Discount) which has a CD Burner, 40gb hard drive, and 1ghz processor. (Also doesn't contain gobs of pre-loaded poo.)

Systemax, cheap but good. (3, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635127)

Systemax pc's are pretty good, been around awhile, basic solid machines. If you already use AOL, thats a nice system with monitor for 299. Wonder how much the ink cartridges are... The mobo seems to be very cheap, would be nice for more specs.

Doing a quick pricewatch [pricewatch.com] search shows the pc is an average deal, and system max uses quality oem hardware, your choice.

But I'd rather go over to Outpost.com (frys) and get something like amd200+mb [outpost.com] for 100 bux, get a nice case [outpost.com] for 40 bux, some memory, hd and gfx card for about 350 for that price. Pick up a used 17 inch monitor for 20 bux at RePC [repc.com] .

There are good deals, but you have to look. I found used dual P2's for 250 bux with scsi drives. Awesome linux/bsd servers.

This is crap (0, Flamebait)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7635155)

This is a crappy deal just like everything else AOL has ever been or done.

New Dell PCs of roughly twice the power are less than twice the price, even if you don't take into account the fact of the intolerably fecal dialup service that AOL offers.

This is a loss-leader trying to recoup their market share.

It's a good thing that Time Warner is a media monopoly; otherwise they'd be losing customers to competing broadband companies. As it is, they don't have to worry about that. Yes, I know I exaggerate, but not by much. I'm so sick of media conglomerates that I could scream.
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