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simPC - Your Grandparents' New Computer?

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the still-not-easy-enough dept.

Hardware 428

trs9000 writes "The Register has a blurb about simPC, an "idiot-proof" PC set to debut in May of this year. It seems like a step towards a thin-client world, though it is aimed primarily at the elderly. For about $400 for the box and a $13-per-month subscription, users get a box with a propietary OS and software preinstalled for online banking, spam filtering, virus detection and online storage. What users don't get is the ability to install software, burn CDs or download large files. Initial release is only for the Netherlands and Belgium."

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428 comments

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My grandparents are dead (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345219)

You insenstive clod!

And isn't this the name of that Indian computer?

Re:My grandparents are dead (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345280)

I think you mean the simputer [simputer.org] .

I am the God of Hell fire and I bring you (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345220)

first post

idiot-proof (5)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345221)

Nothing is idiot-proof to a sufficiently talented idiot... :)

Re:idiot-proof (3, Funny)

Manchot (847225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345325)

Teenagers, twenty-somethings, and Slashdotters everywhere are rejoicing at the thought of not having to fix their parents' and grandparents' computers.

Re:idiot-proof (5, Informative)

emjoi_gently (812227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345489)

What about us 40 years olds who have to fix the damn teenagers PCs filled with spyware.

I don't know what my neices are doing, but their PCs seem to soak up spyware like a sponge.

Stop clicking on "YES" when those popups appear on websites, kids!

Re:idiot-proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345370)

And I am here to say that, yes, I am indeed that

*page_fault_in_non_paged_area*

Re:idiot-proof (1)

2advanced.net (849238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345398)

Indeed. However, when you have a proprietary OS that doesn't let you install a lot of broken software, it's harder to break it. When you have a cheap box that's easy to ship and essentially free to re-image, it becomes almost irrelevant.

lol, simpc sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345222)

and is expensive

Obligatory Old Person Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345223)

How do they go again?

Re:Obligatory Old Person Joke (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345323)

In Soviet Korea old people run you.

But I think the real question here is can this thing run Linux?

How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345225)

How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc.

It's not easy selling computers to people who don't buy computers. WebTV was a lot cheaper than this, and sold very poorly, not because it wasn't a good value but because it was targeted
at people who don't buy this stuff! At $400 + $13/mo, you not only have the "I'm just not interested" factor, but also the "are you kidding, I can't afford that!" factor.

I just don't understand why people keep trying these "basically it's a crippled PC" business models. It's been proven so many times that even with a decent product and huge marketing budget, they just don't sell.

On related note, I'd like to share a little secret about the Philips Sonicare [sonicare.com] toothbrush. Now, anyone who's used the Sonicare knows that this thing really does a fantastic job on teeth and gums. It's got some seriously powerful, high frequency action. Well, it turns out that the slender angled neck is perfect not only for reaching those tricky back molars, but is also perfectly suited for navigating the details of the inner labia. WARNING: do not stampede for the clitoris! The Sonicare is just too powerful to go there without careful warming up. You should probably also steer clear of the bristly side at first. I strongly recommend enabling the 14-day EasyStart feature, which gradually ramps up
the power as she becomes comfortable with it. Good luck!

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345269)

And exactly how are toothbrush induced orgasms related to crippled overpriced computers.

And on a related note, do you wash the toothbrush between using it for sex and using it to brush your teeth?

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (2, Interesting)

Heftklammerdosierer! (846009) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345441)

I can't decide whether to make a "minty fresh" joke or an oral sex joke, so I'll just suggest both and let you pick whichever combination you think is funniest.

By the way, maybe it was offered as a counterexample to the "crippled PC" marketing concept. Not only is it a toothbrush, it's also a sex toy! And it does both well, instead of one thing half as well like the computer.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345274)

Well, hopefully that this, like many of its predicesors, will be fun to hack and crack, and will hopefully end up being cheap so we can buy a bunch of them and do CRAZY anti-DMCA things to it.

not really hackable (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345304)

Well, hopefully that this, like many of its predicesors, will be fun to hack and crack, and will hopefully end up being cheap so we can buy a bunch of them and do CRAZY anti-DMCA things to it.

It's not all that hackable. The whole thing is practically hermetically sealed. Both the charging base and the movement are driven by magnetic coupling (in order to waterproof it).

I dunno - maybe there's some anti-dmca thing you could do but I can't think of what.

Re:not really hackable (2, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345334)

Not sure if your trying to be funny or not, but i think he was talking about the simPC, not the toothbrush...

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345415)

yeah, it'd be a lot of fun to hack the frequency up or down on the toothbrush, to preference. No two people would like the same frequency, I'll bet. And oh, the anti-DMCA things we could DO with a beowulf cluster of sonic toothbrush dildoes... (or is that dildoe?)

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345349)

is the clitoris that thing that hangs down in the back of my throat??

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345444)

is the clitoris that thing that hangs down in the back of my throat??

Duh. That's the vulva.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345477)

No, that would be a penis.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345373)

I actually bought that sonicare and it threw it away the next day. The toothpaste simply doesnt stay on the damn head. I turn on the toothbrush and the paste goes all over my face. Now if you own/have a clitoris (i dont), it's another story. Anyways, your mouth will be much better off with the old school toothbrush [google.com]

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345427)

I turn on the toothbrush and the paste goes all over my face.

Ok, first off, we're talking about a clitoris.

Second off, men don't have clitorises, and I don't think you were applying that thing to a clitoris, were you.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (1)

desplesda (742182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345437)

So, basically it's a toothbrush-cum-vibrator.

Haha. Ha.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (2, Insightful)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345449)

Now, anyone who's used the Sonicare knows that this thing really does a fantastic job on teeth and gums.

The Soniccare starts at $50. You can get a high quality, variable-speed vibrator for far less, and still have money for cheap dinner or a few drinks.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345467)

How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc.

The main thing about these is that they were absolute crap. Now with broadband, it is possible for companies to deliver real apps over the network. We really have to wait and see for the next round of "granny-approved" computing before completely troll-bashing it into smithereens.

Re:How soon we forget: webtv, iopener, audrey etc. (2, Interesting)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345468)

You make a good point. The Sonicare's multifunctionality is what makes it useful!

Is a crippled PC even worth it?

Actually...for $400 and a subscription it better be a pretty decent PC, and the subscription better cover basic internet access.

E-machines used to be free with a two year MSN subscription. That seems like a better deal for idiots.

This is a smart idea (1)

odano (735445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345228)

One problem with computers has been they have the initial price and support, but they aren't getting that lucrative monthly subscription fee. I think this is a great business plan if they actually can get this to work.

Re:This is a smart idea (1)

uberfruk (745030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345263)

based on what's happened in the past with internet appliances, i highly doubt it will. and, how do they expect the customers to install and hook it up to the a dsl line?

Re:This is a smart idea (4, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345276)

I think this is a great business plan if they actually can get this to work.

Most business plans are great if they can be made to work.

I believe it's called the iMac Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345229)

Why bother with anything else? Really.

And it's not just the Mac Mini! (1)

testing124 (772675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345303)

Well doh, everyone knows iMacs are designed to be iDiot proof!

Re:And it's not just the Mac Mini! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345338)

Is that why only idiots use them?

My grandparents wouldn't use a computer.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345232)

..for the same reason I don't listen to today's music. It's a generation thing.

hmm, don't know about this one... (2)

TheWart (700842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345236)

To me, this is hardly what my Grandparents need. What happens if the company goes under? Stuck with a useless pc? For roughly the same price, I would much rather them get a mac mini...would mean a whole lot less "Why can't I do this...?" type phone calls headed in my direction.

Re:hmm, don't know about this one... (2, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345359)

If you're going to waste their money on a mac mini, why not just go for the el cheapo special from dell or someone and then install Linux on it? That'd cost them 400$ too (cheaper than lamer mini mac) and the monitor (and usually printer) come with it.

Re:hmm, don't know about this one... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345410)

Yes, that's a perfectly viable solution! Instead of giving them a computer with an operating system designed from the ground up to be used by people that haven't used a computer before, let's stick them with the Social Retards Choice on a shitty-ass Dell! That's an AWESOME idea.

Please, go kill yourself. For the common good. It's the only decent thing to do.

Re:hmm, don't know about this one... (1)

icedevil (450212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345430)

On the heels of the Mac Mini announcement I'm surprised more people haven't said this. I've never been a personal fan of the Macintosh, or Apple in general. Especially after their RIAA/MPAA like tactics of suing their customers but I'd sooner recommend one for my grandparents than the SimPC.

On a related note: out of all of my relatives my Grandmother is one of the more computer savvy ones, and happily burns Cds, uses her cable modem, emails everyone and creates greeting cards. Not too shabby for someone who is 80 and never touched a computer until she was 75 or so!

Or (3)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345238)

For $500 and $8.33 a month, you could get a Mac mini and do the same thing, with less viruses and spyware.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345282)

You sir are an idiot. How is a Mac going to have less viruses and spyware than a computer with a proprietary OS that wont allow you to install software?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345302)

Let's count the number of Viruses and Spyware for Mac OS X shall we?

Zero OS X Viruses in the wild. Zero OS X Spyware in the wild.

That was pretty easy.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345321)

So let me say it again, how is the Mac going to have LESS viruses and spyware?

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345361)

Okay, as long as both the SimPC and OS X never have a Virus or Spyware incident then it will be impossible for OS X to have less viruses or spyware than the SimPC. Hooray! You've beaten me at semantics.

Re:Or (1)

01dbs (696498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345296)

For $500 and $8.33 a month, you could get a Mac mini and do the same thing, with less viruses and spyware.

And you can burn CDs and install whatever software you want. I can't imagine how this could possibly become a profitable endeavor.

Re:Or (-1, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345372)

Assuming that the software you want is on mac, which is pretty doubtful.

Re:Or (2, Informative)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345401)

Assuming that the software you want is on mac, which is pretty doubtful.

The Mac has plenty of decent software, especially software that the elderly would be using (online banking, email, web browsing, watching movies).

Maybe it doesn't have a terrific array of games and specialty softare, but somehow I don't expect Granddad to be hosing down aliens with a flamethrower in Halo2.

Re:Or (-1, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345483)

The Mac has plenty of decent software, especially software that the elderly would be using (online banking, email, web browsing, watching movies).

All but one of those is a function of a webbrowser. And none of them are tasks that are not accomplished equally well on any platform (except windows since you WILL get owned). Try again.

Maybe it doesn't have a terrific array of games and specialty softare, but somehow I don't expect Granddad to be hosing down aliens with a flamethrower in Halo2.

I would certainly hope he wouldn't be playing Halo 2 since it sucks. But it's nice to see that you put your toy mac in the same category as the kiddie console xbox, since that is the only place you can play Halo 2.

You mac lunatics always go "that lame thing does exactly what we condescend old people to want/need/be-capable-of-using so they shouldn't get it they should pay more to get a mac with its crappy interface and awesome selection of software if it starts with a lower-case 'i' or is a game written 5 years ago!"

Thanks for playing, but do try again. Now on with the hit parade of trolling flamebait from your AC mac brethren!

Re:Or (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345425)

you are an ignorant Boob.

Re:Or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345428)

Which software would that be? The latest games, which grandparent types tend to not give a shit about? Please. You're the same fuckwad that told someone else to go with a fucking Linux-based computer, and you're questioning the software availability of the MAC? Shut the fuck up.

Re:Or (1)

dweezil-n0xad (743070) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345342)

In the Netherlands and Belgium, the Mac mini costs 520 euro actually (that's ~683 dollar). So the simPC is much cheaper. Not that I would buy it though :p

Re:Or (1)

TheOriginalRevdoc (765542) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345455)

It runs a 'proprietary' OS, so I don't think there'll be many viruses or spyware programs out there.

Idiot proof? (1)

tuxter (809927) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345241)

Hahahahahaha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ad infinitum ad naseum.

Netherlands? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345244)

is this because The Netherlands is the country whose prime minister, when told to click on the icon, physically picked up the mouse... and proceded to click on the icon? ;)

Already tried (1)

jkmartin (816458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345247)

So it's basically a rebranded WebTV, right? Microsoft must still have 3 warehouses full of those things just waiting to be shipped.

Re:Already tried (1)

2advanced.net (849238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345383)

Microsoft recently restarted their MSN TV service ... I've seen ads running in Prime Time on major TV stations here in Los Angeles. They may feel that the cheap price of internet access and rapidly dropping hardware costs may mean it's time to go for that market again. On the other hand, they may also be trying to get rid of some old inventory between Windows releases.

Re:Already tried (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345478)

I think the Internet has been perverted quite enough by WebTVers. I don't know whether it was the MLM scheme that they tried to sell the things with, but WebTV attracted some of the looniest people around, some of which still post.

wasn't this called... (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345250)

...WebTV?

iOpener? (2, Insightful)

clmensch (92222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345251)

Haven't we seen these before? iOpener anyone?

LOL! (4, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345254)

So you pay for something which can't do most the things we find useful in a PC? Then we have to pay by the month? Hey lets just install Windows starter edition too, that way we'll have a PC which can't do anything.

I bet this is dead within 6 months because it's so stupid.

Re:LOL! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345443)

And at least with Windows Starter Edition you get a video showing you how to use the mouse. I don't see how they expect grandma to use this thing without that!

Why? (1)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345258)

What's the point if you can't do anything useful? It's like XP Starter Edition.....

Old or not, once people realize it's useless, they won't like it.

-thewldisntenuff

Like my Granny used to say... (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345260)

"...boy, you can buy yourself one of them newfangledy calculatin' machines or you can sell a pig in a poke to a one-eyed man with a two-eyed mule. And if that don't set your pears to picklin' then I'm not worth a squirt of spit into an Alabama wind. Yep, that's what I'm sayin'."

Okay, so Granny drank a hell of a lot...

Re:Like my Granny used to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345484)

I bet Thanksgiving at your house was fun.

What about Korea? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345268)

I thought in Korea only old people used simPC.

A computer for the Alzheimer's demographic (1)

shawkin (165588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345270)

For $400 this computer goes directly to a level of worthlessness equal to the BSOD without any annoying intermediate steps.
This is genius.

Hasn't this been done before? (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345271)

I thought it was called WebTV? *shrug*

All my grandparents need.. (1)

Mechcommander (784124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345278)

Is either having VNC installed or Remote Desktop Connection enabled so I can help them when and wherever I am. Why in the world would I want them to spend a monthly subscription on a PC that they really can't do much with? I can build them a decent computer for around $300, and if they ever have a problem or a question, they always can come to me.
Besides, my grandparents utilise their CD-Burner, and they like to install new software, like Microsoft Word, Quicken, or some other such office program from time-to-time.

The name you're looking for is... (1)

Wiwi Jumbo (105640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345283)

iMac Mini.

That's the computer for parents and grandparents. I'm a windows weenie and I can see that. :)

Re:The name you're looking for is... (1)

emrysk (787256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345445)

I agree. But, it's called a "Mac mini" according to apple.com. Common mistake, it seems.

Some bastard will find a way (0, Flamebait)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345284)

to run linux or whatever on it. It shouldn't be too long.

How long before they are free... (2, Insightful)

jarich (733129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345286)

How long before they are free with a $20 or $30 a month charge?

With a $200 to $300 wholesale cost, they can make their money back in a year on a unit, not counting what they make with targetted advertising on their captive audience.

Lock in grandma to a 2 year contract and you're set!

Bundle in a few Tivo-esque features... they are already set for VOIP... might be the killer app(s) for the grandparents!

Nope. (1)

PeterPumpkin (777678) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345290)

Businesses in the market to sell PC's to the elderly better be prepared to fail. :D

Not to mention, most older folks probably won't think about buying a computer without talking to somebody who has one. And, of course, this bunny box will be universally unrecommended.

in korea- (-1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345292)

In Korea, only old people use new PC.

Requires a DSL line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345293)

Any telco that offers DSL service would be unlikely to want to compete with themselves by offering a device with VOIP when they already provide POTS service. Many require a POTS line to even subscribe to DSL service. I'm also assuming the $12/month is on top of whatever you would be paying for the DSL service.

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345295)

That was a waste of a mouse click.

I think the slashdot description is longer than the linked article :)

Misses the point (5, Insightful)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345298)

The unit can't burn CD's or do video editing.

In my experience this is precisely what elderly people want to do with their PC's.

I think a configured Mac mini with it's stable, easy to use operating system hooked up to a DSL router (ie it holds the connection for you - not the computer) is probably just as easy to use and has more of the stuff that grandparents actually want to do.

As a side note, the proprietry OS scares me. What happens when the company goes under and there's something wrong that prevents the OS from loading (like hardware failure). Say bye-bye to the last 5 years of photos and letters from the grandkids.

Re:Misses the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345328)

Or just an Ethernet ADSL modem, our local DSL provider (Telus) just requires your MAC Address and you're on. No PPPoE or any other kludge.

Um.. Obvious question... (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345301)

So you can't install software - but you get virus protection? From what?

stupid business model (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345307)

If the appliance (I have a hard time calling a specially-built and locked down machine by the term "computer") were very, very cheap or free, or if it came with a year's free service, or if the service were very inexpensive I could see how this could work.

$400? And I don't get to do with it what I want? And everything is proprietary?

Dumb dumb dumb (1)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345309)

My (aged) mother has an iMac which she loves and which she bought herself after she got fed up with the mac I gave her. Then she decided she needed another 'puter so she bought a low-end Dell because it was cheap. Result, misery. The reason is not because she's stupid, not because she can't transfer from OS X to XP (she had no problem) but because she really can't work out where all this spyware and virus shit is coming from or what to do about it. Try fixing that over the Atlantic. She would never buy something like this.

She will, however, buy a mini mac in a heartbeat. Or I will buy it for her.

That's an easy call (2, Interesting)

mnoel2 (711420) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345320)

Mac mini + simple Finder.

I dunno about updates, though. I know you could use Apple Remote Desktop/VNC, but it'd be nice if I could patch Granny's Mac over SSH.

Re:That's an easy call (3, Informative)

mister_tim (653773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345388)

but it'd be nice if I could patch Granny's Mac over SSH.

You can.
ssh in, then:
softwareupdate -l to list available updates.
softwareupdate -i [name of package] to install the one you want.
reboot (or shutdown -r) to reboot.

Re:That's an easy call (2, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345474)

Even easier,

softwareupdate -ia; shutdown -r +30

to install all available updates and reboot the machine in 30 minutes (adjust time according to how fast your connection is or to reboot when convenient for the end-users)

IMHO they need to add an option to softwareupdate to have it automatically reboot upon completion of all the installations, if a reboot is required by any updates.

~Philly

Re:That's an easy call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345439)

man softwareupdate

They thought of everything! (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345329)

...users get a box with a propietary OS and software preinstalled for online banking, spam filtering, virus detection...

Damn! Until I read that, I was thinking about writing a virus for the proprietary OS that will be used by a handful of old people in Belgium. Seriously, what viruses could they be guarding against? Maybe I'm missing something; I usually am.

SimPC? Dont you mean MiniMac? (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345348)

I'd buy my parents a MiniMac before this... at least the Mac has decent amount of software, at least Mac Office, a few games and such (not as wide as the PC, but thats vulnerable enough as-is).

I have one. (5, Funny)

HackingYodel (847061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345375)

It runs on a proprietary OS; and to prevent problems, users won't be able to install software, download big files, burn CDs or DVDs or edit videos.

I just purchased an old Pentium Pro, MS-DOS box for $10 and it has all these features. Looks like my system was just ahead of its time.

SimPC --> Sun Ray? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345385)

If SimPC is somewhat successful, it may validate that there is a market for managed PCs. Sun Ray now supports regular DSL/cable modem bandwith, so there is basically readily-available technology for companies to set up a completely hosted smart-card based service. I'll be really interested to see how SimPC does over the next couple of years.

A Mac Mini Meta-Comment (4, Insightful)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345395)

It's kind of amusing, given the plethora of "well, duh, I'd get a Mac Mini" comments, to speculate what the response would have been like two days ago or, more importantly, what the people involved with this product were saying yesterday when Jobs unveiled it. Poor schmucks.

iMac Mini is much more expensive (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345493)

Monitor extra. Keyboard extra. Mouse extra. That's another $200 or so. Much more if you buy an Apple display. The Apple Mini comes in somewhere around $700.

Trusted Computing? (1)

yomommaDOTorg (821912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345409)

Is anyone thinking this is a window onto the future? Proprietary os, monthly charge and the inability to change what's installed on your computer. Welcome to trusted computing. Where do you want [us to force you] to go today? For less money, we could set up Linux boxes with restricted accounts for basic actions. No monthly fees, no problems.

Great for idiots and "old people" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345416)

Which are apparently the same demographic.

Solves problems by removing all of that annoying functionality.

Buy this for grandma and teach her how to open e-mails. You'll never have to visit her again.

8bit revolution (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345450)

It runs on a proprietary OS; and to prevent problems, users won't be able to install software, download big files, burn CDs or DVDs or edit videos.

Heck, they may as well be selling Commodore 64s.

Why do Computer makers think old people are daft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345452)

Just look at this "device" (no, I won't call it a computer) and ask yourself how the makers think about old people. I am close to forty, and the idea of being stuck with one of these boxes thirty years from now sickens me. Give me a Mac any day, but not THAT!

Douglas Adams said it... (2, Funny)

caveat (26803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345457)

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof was to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." - Mostly Harmless

Maybe It's Time To Give Up! (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345475)

When will they learn? The people they're trying to sell this thing to have no use for computers. Not that they aren't smart enough to use them, they simply do not. Even today, life can be lived pretty well without ever touching a computer or sending a single email. My grandparent's generation is never going to use computers, so if I want to send them mail, it's time to get out the stamps! For electronic communications I just (gasp) pick up the phone and call them.

Most people tend to stick with whatever technologies were prevalent when they reached adulthood. God! I hope that doesn't happen to me!

Easy as pie. (1)

Zane Edwards (562074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345490)

Easy to use if you speak dutch.

can't resist... (1)

rhennigan (833589) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345492)

In Netherlands and Belgium, only old people buy stupid computers.

Proprietary OS? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11345494)

Why on earth would somebody building something like this use a proprietary OS? Linux is free, it'll almost certainly work on the hardware already, it already supports all the different types of software you want...

Definately not my grandparents (1)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11345501)

They even recieved a VCR and answering machine as gifts... still in the boxes.

It's histerical when they call and we aren't home. They don't understand the concept of talking to a robot who takes your message... it's silly to them. Making for some comical messages.

So I don't think my grandparents will be hopping on this product.

would rather they get a cell phone. But no... invisible wires are scairy... might trip on them.
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