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Wal-Mart's $200 Linux PC Sells Out

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the ok-there's-a-market-for-it dept.

Linux Business 619

hankmt writes "About a week ago Wal-Mart began selling a $200 Linux machine running on a 1.5 ghz VIA C7 processor and 512 MB of RAM. While the specs are useless for Vista, it works blazingly fast on Ubuntu with the Enlightenment Window Manager. The machine is now officially sold out of their online warehouses (it may still be available in some stores). And the product sales page at wal-mart.com is full of glowing reviews from new and old Linux users alike."

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What's that in bogomips (5, Funny)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331615)

How many bogomips are we talking here...

Re:What's that in bogomips (5, Funny)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331881)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of $200 Wal-Mart PCs...

Oh, I guess someone did.

It's been like this (5, Interesting)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331621)

It sold out much faster then this; It's been out of stock for at least 2 days.

Australia sucks (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331631)

And we still don't even have Ubuntu Dells, let alone retail linux boxes.... :(

Re:Australia sucks (2, Interesting)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332035)

Anything bigscale yes, however there are some smaller shops that will do it.

You'd think Aldi would be doing Ubuntu PC's already ;)

Support??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331637)

This sounds like an interesting machine for newbie linux users. What kind of software support will a user get?

Re:Support??? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331685)

Probably the same as a Windows user... None.

Re:Support??? (5, Informative)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332119)

There's free phone support and a regularly updated app called "Faqly" that contains the latest tech support info for folks stuck offline.

Not to troll, but what do they expect for returns? (3, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331639)

Remember, these are typical Walmart customers here. How many of them are going to return these things when that AOL CD they have doesn't work automagically? How many of these people are expected to have DSL or Cable instead of dial-up? How many are going to be returned because they don't have MS Office pre-installed on them?

Based upon the comments there ... none. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331705)

It seems the people buying it know that it isn't Windows or they're buying it for friends/family and they'll be providing the support.

And for home users it's all about knowing someone who can fix it when it breaks. With Windows there's usually some neighbor's kid who "knows computers".

So don't expect too many returns on this.

Re:Not to troll, but what do they expect for retur (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331767)

Those are the kind of fucktard who need to be removed from the gene pool as they are too fucking stupid to even exist let alone use a computer.

Re:Not to troll, but what do they expect for retur (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331769)

how many AOL users bother to change their OS to linux? how many people use the features in MS office that OpenOffice doesn't support? how many would even notice the difference?

I don't expect many returns. (4, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331845)

Remember, these are typical Walmart customers here.

That is important, they are not like Slasdot readers. Unlike business users or college students, M$ has done no favors for these people and they have zero loyalty.

How many of them are going to return these things when that AOL CD they have doesn't work automagically?

I don't know. The EEE has an AOL button, no CD is required. I know it's hard to believe but AOL would be happy to spam users of other OS.

How many of these people are expected to have DSL or Cable instead of dial-up?

None. Why should they?

How many are going to be returned because they don't have MS Office pre-installed on them?

None. Open Office is more than enough for the average school paper. Very few people actually NEED M$ Office for work and even they hate it. The rest of the world considers M$'s ever changing, secret file formats an expensive ass pain. They are right.

Anyone who actually needs M$ Office will have their boss pay for it or pirate the junk. If M$ makes the second option impossible, the first option will have to happen or the boss will learn to use free software. M$ is not going to be able to get everyone to pony up $400 every couple of years for a text editor and that's where they system breaks down. Sooner or later, all of those smart business users and college graduates will figure out that they don't need M$ either.

Modems vs broadband (1)

cumin (1141433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331937)

Last I read on the things they had a modem but it wasn't compatible or at least wasn't configured for the system. I'd be shocked if somebody can't come up with a way to use it if there is demand but I don't think this is being sold as a dial-up capable machine.

Re:I don't expect many returns. (3, Interesting)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332109)

What I wanna know is 2 things, how effective are the 3D drivers for the onboard Via Video chip. And what repositories is this thing using (How compltete / Up to date are they)? Best thing about Ubuntu are the kickass up to date repositories and snappy package manager (Thanks Debian!). This has Synaptic but not much else is mentioned.

Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] is sparse at the moment. On the Graphics side, the Via Arena site I just saw:

"XVidtune Tool". "2D", "MPEG2/4 Hardware Acceleration", "Hardware Video Overlay", and "TV Out" including HDTV, DuoView
So... can I play Neverball, Warcraft III, etc, on this thing?

Re:Not to troll, but what do they expect for retur (0)

kylehase (982334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332065)

So true. If they have not already done so, it would be wise of Walmart to have a nice big sign next to this product stating that it does NOT use MS Windows.

Re:Not to troll, but what do they expect for retur (4, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332143)

I don't believe a lot of buyers were typical wal-mart customers. These PC's have been blasted all over every tech site for the last several days and each site has been covered in comments about people who want to get one. There are comments on this slashdot article by people who have bought them.

I think a load of these were bought by linux fans wanting to support linux on a retail box. for a low price.

Useful user reviews - oh wait (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331647)

Not quite what you'd think!, 10/31/2007
By NWAshopper, AR Read all reviews by this reviewer

Value for price paid: 1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 1 out of 5

Buyers beware! Don't let the low cost of this computer sway your credit card. This computer doesn't have the power to run Windows XP!!! This is a decent buy for the tech smart who are looking for ITX Hardware on the cheap. DO NOT BUY. You will be very dissapointed!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Great Value for Money, 11/06/2007
By CompuShopr Read all reviews by this reviewer

Value for price paid: 5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 5 out of 5

This is a Linux machine that's capable of XP or Vista. It runs quick, and upgrades easily. Major con is no monitor. Tried XP and Vista and it runs like a champ. Definitely recommend this product.

Walmart + Linux = ... (5, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331667)

... the Slashdot equivalent of strapping buttered toast to the back of a kitten and pushing it off a table. You could power a perpetual motion machine with the flames generated by this combo...

Re:Walmart + Linux = ... (0, Flamebait)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331793)

What about soaking a kitty in gasoline, lighting it on fire, and then letting it free in a field of daisies. Now there are some real flames(literally).

Burning animals (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332127)

What about soaking a kitty in gasoline, lighting it on fire, and then letting it free in a field of daisies. Now there are some real flames(literally).
It's been done. Only with 300 foxes, torches, and fields of grain. Judges 15 [biblegateway.com]

Also available from a small retailer... (4, Informative)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332073)

...called Zareason:

http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=16160&cat=0&page=1 [zareason.com]

So you can buy it there with a clean conscience. heh.

BTW, I have no business relation with the family that runs Zareason, but I did buy about $8,400.00 worth of products from them, and Zareason did a fine job of shipping the products to the public middle school that I ordered on behalf of. More details on that purchase here:

http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/11/1446254 [slashdot.org]

More /. Cognitive Dissonance (5, Funny)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331689)

Wal*Mart = Bad
Linux = Good

*whimper*

Re:More /. Cognitive Dissonance (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331879)

Way to use the newest buzzword in a cliche "counterculture" move. Cognitive dissonance has nothing to do with this. It wasn't the choice of slashdot collectively for Wal-mart to drive human rights abuses in there factories, destroy small-time retailers and subsequently communities, nor sell cheap tech crap to make a buck off of the uninformed consumer. Well I guess there is some amount of cognitive dissonance involved. I mean once you realize a corporation is evil at heart... it's kinda hard to look the other way.

Re:More /. Cognitive Dissonance (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331957)

But is this kind of news good because it's Linux, or bad because it's Wal-Mart?

In this case I suspect the EEEEEVIIIIL that we all know is Wal-Mart overshadows the good exposure Linux gets from this deal.

Re:More /. Cognitive Dissonance (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332039)

I mean spreading linux is great. I just don't think it's such a good idea that people actually make tech purchases at Wal-Mart.

Re:More /. Cognitive Dissonance (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331927)

Wal*Mart's badness (and their success) comes from doing everything possible to drive the price down. With a Linux system, they can't pay the developers less than nothing and even they can't affect the price of low-end mass market PC components much. So I'd say you can buy these with a relatively clear conscience.

Re:More /. Cognitive Dissonance (2, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332015)

It's like your mother-in-law driving your new Porsche off a cliff, you mean?

Seriously, though, you don't have to buy a sub-$200 PC from Wal-Mart if you don't want to.
At Pricewatch, there's quite a few bring-your-own-OS deals, including Core 2 Duo or athlon 64 x2 systems for ~$200 including shipping.

Just buy it from a mom n pop shop (1, Redundant)

christian.einfeldt (874074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332167)

There is a little mom n pop shop in Berkeley called Zareason that is selling these things, too.. So you can get the gPC there guilt free. Heh.

http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=16160&cat=0&page=1 [zareason.com]

So you can buy it there with a clean conscience. heh.

BTW, I have no business relation with the family that runs Zareason, but I did buy about $8,400.00 worth of products from them, and Zareason did a fine job of shipping the products to the public middle school that I ordered on behalf of. More details on that purchase here:

http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/11/1446254 [slashdot.org]

Do they sell em with monitors? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331693)

An 15" LCD monitor will cost you about $200.. so, what, $30 for a keyboard and mouse.. $430 for a computer, not bad.

Re:Do they sell em with monitors? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331749)

$200 for a 15"? Where are you buying your monitors? I just bought a nice 19" flat panel (1280x1024) from NewEgg for $168.

Re:Do they sell em with monitors? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331835)

Silly me, assumed smaller LCD would be cheaper.. 15" is hard to get these days.

Re:Do they sell em with monitors? (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331751)

Actually, The computer comes with a keyboard, a mouse, and speakers, and you can get a decent LCD monitor for around $125-150, so more like $325-350 for the bundle. A great deal, IMO.

lcd monitors are cheaper than you may recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331761)

These days $200 would get you a decent 19-20" (probably widescreen) monitor. just a quick example from newegg [newegg.com]

I ordered one. (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331731)

I ordered one online for my kid. It's supposed to arrive at the local walmart by about Nov. 26. My wife was convinced my brain had been taken over by aliens, since I normally don't like walmart. I was like, "Honey, this is Linux! It's not evil, it's good!"

Walmart has had other linux PCs for sale online. What was supposed to be different about this one was that it was supposed to be on the shelves in the stores. AFAICT that never actually happened. The local walmart was one of the ones on the list that was supposed to have it for sale, but actually it never showed up in stock. Just out of curiousity, I checked their web site for other stores that might have it: San Francisco, NY, Chicago, etc. None of them had it in stock.

I hope these machines are good. I used to buy the $200 Fry's Great Quality machines, but Fry's is no longer selling those.

Re:I ordered one. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331829)

I hope these machines are good. I used to buy the $200 Fry's Great Quality machines, but Fry's is no longer selling those.

That's probably because they weren't making any money on them, as I imagine Wal-Mart isn't making on these $200 Linux things.

Re:I ordered one. (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331853)

*Walmart* is probably making money on them. I'd imagine it would be *Everex* taking the fall on this one.

Desktop Linux growth in 2007 (4, Insightful)

compumike (454538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331745)

In the community around me, I've seen a lot of growth in the use of Linux on the desktop just in the last year. But probably the most interesting trend is that I've seen a bunch of new Ubuntu users among the mechanical engineering students, who in general aren't particularly computer-nerdy, and even more amazingly, are actually dependent on Windows-only software for some of their CAD tools (i.e. Solidworks).

I think the Walmart results might be indicative of a growing trend where people are just about ready to make the leap themselves... particularly when it comes preinstalled like it does here. Another step in the right direction.

What I'd love to see, though, is how much previous computer experience all of those Walmart reviewers had -- for some, it seems like quite a bit.

--
Electronics kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

But, (5, Funny)

bedwards09 (1024881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331747)

Does it run Windows?

Re:But, (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331773)

Yes. If you check the comments, people have installed both XP and Vista (Home Basic, I assume), and they worked great.

It was a joke and that is a whooshing sound (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331993)

It was a joke. Let me explain:

See there is a sort of running joke, referred to as a meme, that is to ask "Yeah, but can it run Linux?" to pretty much any new hardware of system discussion. I could ignore this but I figure there will be others who see it and think that the gp was serious. Still, it I'm embarrassed for you so I'm posting anonymously, so maybe nobody sees this either.

Posting anonymously is sort of like super stealth technology, I can say anything I want and nobody will ever read it.

Re:It was a joke and that is a whooshing sound (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332041)

I know it was a joke. However, in this case it actually *is* capable of running XP (and even Vista, which i thought was a little surprising).

Re:But, (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332061)

Throw an extra stick of ram in it (what, $50) and run your windows apps under wine.

Re:But, (1)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332211)

Actually for an extra $98 you can get vista home basic instead... I've seen Vista Home Basic run poorly on much higher spec'd machines than this, hate to think what it would run like *shudders*

Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle America (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331759)

Walmart is not the sort of place where you find geeks, techies, and various assorted dweebs. This store is where America shops and is patronized by people who know little about calculus or physics.

That a Linux machine is sold out at Walmart suggests that plain folks -- not like you and me -- know and respect Linux. The lesson is that there is a ready market, in middle America, for Linux-based applications. Will software developers heed this lesson?

For most people, the monster computer (with globs of memory and a gazillion hertz of processor speed) running Windows XP is already more machine than most Americans need. Now, Microsoft will kill off Windows XP in order to sell Vista to us. We will need a super-monster computer to run Vista. This whole process of bloated operating systems (OSes) driving purchases of even more excessive amounts of hardware is a damned waste of money.

The simple machine that runs Linux is good enough for most people. The number one application in America, after all, is e-mail.

Software developers should tune into middle America and sell Linux-based applications so that we can put an end to this never-ending cycle of bigger, badder OS needing bigger, badder computer.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (2, Interesting)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331825)

From what I, and others (Like this guy [slashdot.org] ) can tell, a vast majority of the machines were sold online.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (2, Interesting)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331913)

So who said geeks didn't buy them out? I almost bought one myself since before this you could even hardly get a C7 motherboard for $200. Average price on newegg is like ~180 now.

Not so fast, slugger. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331935)

I'm a Linux lover, but that conclusion you came to was a hell of a leap of faith. Just because Walmart.com is out of stock does not mean that these things are selling like hotcakes in the stores. And how much of "Middle America" shops at Wal-Mart via the internet? Probably not much.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332025)

The biggest vote of confidence in Linux is that Walmart even sells it. Walmart doesn't put stuff on the shelves if it isn't going to sell. That it sold out just shows that Walmart was right.

Dare I say it.. or will it jinx it? (1)

cumin (1141433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332027)

This is the year of the Linux desktop. I don't give a crap what metric you were expecting to use, when Walmart planned to stock and then sold out of them, the Linux desktop arrived.

Not yet (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332273)

Sorry, I wish you were right. It is only the year of the Linux desktop when they decide to keep them in stock permanently. Which means they would have to have some other ongoing source. This was just smart Walmart management making a few quick bucks when the opportunity arose.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (1, Interesting)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332043)

That a Linux machine is sold out at Walmart suggests that plain folks -- not like you and me -- know and respect Linux. The lesson is that there is a ready market, in middle America, for Linux-based applications.

Of course with this being Wal-Mart, the more likely scenario is Joe Sixpack reads "Ayy Beth-Ann-Bobbi-Jo-Ruthie-May! They got dem compyooturz at thu walmart for $200!"

With the absence of "them thar geek peopullz" that talk about "virusin' and spahhhwurin' the box", they can pick one up on their next trip out for junk food, beer, and a few copies of both Guns N' Ammo and American Hunter Motherfucker*. They will get it home, only to find out that it doesn't have Winduh Veesta or run their ancient copy of Deer Hunter.

The fact that it is Linux-based has absolutely nothing to do with the sales figures. You forget that the system is being sold in a place where the absolute lowest price is the ruling factor in ANYTHING found inside. I can also assure you that the "associates" in Wal-Mart aren't going to know a damned thing about Linux vs Windows, and will answer any question with a blank stare. I forsee MANY returns on these items after Christmas. Maybe by then, stock levels will be back up and I can actually find one to use as a box to tinker around with.

*Bonus points to those who get the reference.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (2, Insightful)

cain (14472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332083)

That a Linux machine is sold out at Walmart suggests that plain folks -- not like you and me -- know and respect Linux. The lesson is that there is a ready market, in middle America, for Linux-based applications. Will software developers heed this lesson?

WalMart consumers don't care what the machine runs. They just see a machine than can do email, word processing, and can browse the web. The most important thing about the machine is price. If it ran Windows and cost $200, it would still sell out.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (0, Troll)

bstadil (7110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332111)

Quote "people who know little about calculus or physics" Yes and anything else for that matter.

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332259)

Slashdot needs to grow up quick. Just because it's Wal Mart doesn't mean everyone who shops there is unworthy of living. It's a very convenient place for buying engine coolant, sweat pants, basic office supplies, and other every day things. As a matter of fact, it's one of the few places you could buy all of that under one roof. There is K-mart, but their inventory is lacking. - ynososiduts

Re:Walmart Lesson:Linux is Popular in Middle Ameri (5, Insightful)

xebra (140155) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332275)

Wow, are you ever an elitist prick. I guarantee you almost everyone on Slashdot shops at Wal-Mart, because almost everyone on Slashdot is "plain" and normal in almost every respect. If the PC is sold out, 85% of it is because of dorks like you and me. The other 15% is people that didn't know what they were buying.

Must resist.... (4, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331785)

...urge to support the Wal Mart beast. But Linux is good right? But wait...Wal Mart is not good. Unless, they throw me a open-source bone. Then they're good right? Damn, I hate moral dilemmas. Why can't everything Wal Mart sells, just be something I either do not want or do not need? It's almost as if they are pandering to....hey look! They have for $1.99/dozen!

Re:Must resist.... (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332157)

But wait...Wal Mart is not good. Unless, they throw me a open-source bone. ... [snip] ... Why can't everything Wal Mart sells, just be something I either do not want or do not need?
What I find, unequivocally, is that anything WalMart sells is something that I neither want nor need to buy from them.

Hey, I'm not knocking WalMart for selling an open-source product. But they're not doing it for altruism, "free-as-in" freedom or geek points. They are doing it for money. Spend yours elsewhere and make the world a better place.

Re:Must resist.... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332195)

But they're not doing it for altruism, "free-as-in" freedom or geek points. They are doing it for money. Spend yours elsewhere and make the world a better place.

Er, exactly which store *is* selling them for alturism, "free-as-in freedom" or geek points, and is *not* doing it for money?

I don't trust the reviews (5, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331787)

There is something very wrong with the reviewers, I keep clicking "Read all reviews by this reviewer", and the reviewer only did this single review on a product. Which is unusual for people who write their reviews on products (usually they'll have a few others they've written reviews for). They all write excellent English, no grammar mistakes, punctuation mistakes or anything.

I suspect manipulation of reviews.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331863)

I suspect manipulation of reviews.

Yes. It's called "lying", and it's a popular pastime in the marketing world.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

rlk (1089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331873)

And they're all going out of their way to point out that it's running Linux, not Windows, that you shouldn't expect your Windows programs to run on it, and that you should understand what it is and what it isn't. Is this really an astroturf campaign to get people to think for themselves?

Re:I don't trust the reviews (5, Insightful)

brue68 (1159419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331907)

Or they could have gone to Wal*Mart exclusively for this item. The Ubuntu forums have exploded over this, and there are several people who have bought the product for friends or family. The torrent for gOS had quite a few seeders when I downloaded it (didn't like it). Took less than 45 minutes, more like 30.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

Squarewav (241189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331971)

I agree, the most notable thing is very few talk about the hardware and instead go on and on about how great Linux is. The reviews that do talk about the hardware give it lower scores. While the C7s are fast enough to get things done unless you are going from a sub 1ghz to it, it will seem slow even under Linux.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

mr_josh (1001605) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332017)

While it's entirely possible (likely?) that the reviews are a sham, the third one on the page right now is bemoaning that the shortcut on the desktop for Google opens in WebRunner rather than Firefox. Kinda sounds like a Wal Mart customer complaint.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

Derek Loev (1050412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332055)

Damn! StupidFilter [fastsilicon.com] 's at it again.

Re:I don't trust the reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332085)

I checked some of the other computer reviews, and found that most reviewer only reviewed one item. This probably means either somebody is stuffing most reviews, or that most people who review only review one product, for whatever reason. It makes a bit of sense though, most people don't buy tons of crap from wal*mart and post reviews on it, but if someone did buy some different sort of PC (ie a linux one), it might make sense to post a review. Furthermore, it really isn't the sort of forum that professional hardware/software reviewers are going to post their opinions, so most of the posts are probably just average people who bought the product.

That said, the reviews do seem a little funny (like very similar in style). It is also a little odd how that model has way more reviews than any of the other computers that I saw on the site. Again this could plausibly be just because it is different.

-James

Re:I don't trust the reviews (1)

UltraMathMan (1139987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332093)

This is a Linux machine that's capable of XP or Vista.
It runs quick, and upgrades easily. Major con is no monitor.
Tried XP and Vista and it runs like a champ. Definitely recommend this product.
Yeah, that definitely sounds a bit off. I mean who would put Vista on that?! A 25-34 year old masochist, maybe?

Dubious (2, Insightful)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331841)

This sounds good and all, getting Linux to the teeming masses...but at the same time the people that might buy a computer at Wal-Mart are probably people that don't even know what Linux is or even what Windows is and that there is even any difference. Some people may have just bought these because, Hey!, $200 for A WHOLE COMPUTER is a steal, right?!

Re:Dubious (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331877)

I'm not actually sure what your point is. If they buy it, have no idea (or even care) what it is, and it does all the things they want to do, who cares?

Re:Dubious (1)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331965)

My point being that they may just buy the computer and not even know that they are using Linux or that it even matters. This doesn't really show that Linux is ready for all the masses, just the ones that buy it in $200 bargain computers for word processing and internet, which is a small representation of Linux on the desktop.

Re:Dubious (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332077)

My point being that they may just buy the computer and not even know that they are using Linux or that it even matters. This doesn't really show that Linux is ready for all the masses, just the ones that buy it in $200 bargain computers for word processing and internet, which is a small representation of Linux on the desktop.

Really? I would guess that over 50% of the average computer-using population (Wal-Mart customers or not) use their computers exclusively for web browsing, email, and word processing.

Re:Dubious (1)

brue68 (1159419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332089)

but that is a large representation of the people that use computers period. Like it or not, that's all most people want out of a computer.

Re:Dubious (2, Interesting)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332091)

And MY point is that it doesn't matter if the user doesn't know what OS they are using...

Analogy: a person driving a car shouldn't be able to tell what brand and model it is when he is behind the wheel, right? And guess what? 99.9% of people can't tell you what it is from just the feel of it, only freaks and psycho enthusiasts can tell you the make and model from the stock gear timings.

The same should apply to computers. A computer is a tool, and it'd be better for linux if it was just usable, instead of distinctive purely for the sake of being distinctive.

A user not knowing if they are linux when in fact they are has absolutely no reflection on whether it is ready for the masses or not.

Re:Dubious (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332227)

Analogy: a person driving a car shouldn't be able to tell what brand and model it is when he is behind the wheel, right? And guess what? 99.9% of people can't tell you what it is from just the feel of it, only freaks and psycho enthusiasts can tell you the make and model from the stock gear timings.

No, but just about everybody will be able to tell you the difference between a Hyundai and a Ferrari even if you blindfolded them, put them in the passenger seat, and drove them around. Similarly, even "average" people will be able to tell that a Ford Taurus feels nothing like a Honda Accord, or that a Mercedes if different from a Lexus, etc.

People buy cars for image purposes all the time. If you do the math on many of the hybrids, it doesn't make any economical sense to buy a Prius over a normal petrol-powered Civic yet people buy the Prius because of the image. They buy Hummers and Bimmers and Porsches and more just because of the image. They buy Japanese/German rather than American because Japanese/German cars are more "reliable" even though JD Powers and others have documented that modern American cars actually have fewer problems per mile.

The same should apply to computers. A computer is a tool, and it'd be better for linux if it was just usable, instead of distinctive purely for the sake of being distinctive.

But a car is not just a tool. For many it's a status symbol. For others it's a source of enjoyment. For most, it's the second largest purchase they'll ever make (first largest, if you never expect to buy a home). When you boil it down, you could drive a Kia just as well as a Porsche, but I prefer my Porsche :)

Re:Dubious (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332169)

My point being that they may just buy the computer and not even know that they are using Linux or that it even matters.

For the vast majority of the people, as long as the computer does what they want, the OS doesn't matter. Nothing wrong with that.

I have a friend I installed Kubuntu for, because Windows crashed and his Windows reinstallation CD was broken. He used it happily until he got a Mac. Didn't care about the OS as long as he could do his thing (minor wordprocessing, surfing the internet, online banking etc).

good news, but.. (1, Redundant)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331885)

this is great news indeed....lets just hope we don't see an equal number of returns/exchanges in a month or two..

Re:good news, but.. (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332087)

"this is great news indeed....lets just hope we don't see an equal number of returns/exchanges in a month or two.."

I'm sure if someone actually returns one, there'll be someone else happy to take it off their hands, esp. with a $20 "open box" discount.

Re:good news, but.. (2, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332149)

yeah..judging from the customer comments, it sounds like they're quite happy with them. if the walmart crowd is happy with them, then I think Linux is definately ready for the masses.

Cool, but how many did the really sell? (5, Insightful)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331903)

I am very happy to hear this news and pointed a number of people at this machine. But it would be a lot more meaningful if we knew how many they sold out of. 10? Big whoop. 10,000? More impressive.

Re:Cool, but how many did the really sell? (5, Informative)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332139)

According to the article [wired.com] the original /. story linked to, the number to be sold was around 10,000.

Re:Cool, but how many did the really sell? (0, Troll)

sdhoigt (1095451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332163)

> But it would be a lot more meaningful if we knew how many they sold out of. 10? Big whoop.

Close. 11.

How many will be returned? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331925)

How many will be returned when people find out their software doesn't run on their new bargain pc?

look out! (2, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331951)

if this isn't chair-throwing worthy, I don't know what is.

laughable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21331961)

my mac mini is way better and cheaper than this, it also come with support from apple himself, runs photoshop CS3 with quicksilver, and all my friends say wow when they see it. don't waste your money, and get a sexy trendy and stylish computer instead.

mac mini costs less than $200 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332123)

I think you pay a lot for that "all my friends say wow when they see it" effect.

Re:laughable (2, Informative)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332263)

Wow I am intrigued. You must tell me where you got a Mac Mini for under 200 bucks. I'll run out and buy one to install Linux on.

They forgot an important disclaimer! (2, Funny)

distantbody (852269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21331999)

Unfortunately Wal-Mart have made a huge oversight, and they're gonna have quite a few disgruntled customers because of it. I mean, they forgot the "not good for pr0n" disclaimer!!!

Re:They forgot an important disclaimer! (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332185)

Unfortunately Wal-Mart have made a huge oversight, and they're gonna have quite a few disgruntled customers because of it. I mean, they forgot the "not good for pr0n" disclaimer!!!

I beg to differ. Pan + unrar + mplayer = god's gift to nerds

Oh get real (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332129)

North Korea probably bought them all to make a beowolf super cluster and ...take over the world.

People just don't have a real use for a very crappy PC. It's ONLY 200 bucks, but it's still a waste of 200 bucks when careful spending could get you so much more versatility. Why not just buy an Xbox and mod it. For that price and that hardware it's still junk. Good kids computer maybe since they might tear it up. Bad choice though since Linux will pretty much only be useful for surfing the net to most people.

So you're really buying a 200 dollar Linux WebTV system with no remote since it has little use other than it can surf. Then if you buy hardware with it, you get the fun of trying to hook it up. I hope they get some kick ass tech support with that 200 dollar crap PC.

Selling this product will be the easy part. Supporting it is whats going to cost money and without support its not really viable to the target market.

Re:Oh get real (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332223)

"People just don't have a real use for a very crappy PC."

Most people I know use their PC for web browsing and word processing; this system would be plenty good enough for that, so long as they had a monitor to go with it.

Heck, if I can install more hard disks in there I'm tempted to buy one myself and stick it in the basement to replace my desktop system as our file-server... it's got to burn less power than a 3GHz Pentium.

man, the asshattery never stops (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332213)

whoever the fucktardfag is who says this machine couldn't run vista obviously doesn't know shit about vista.
 
what else should we expect out of a 12 year old fucking lemming douchebag?
 
i shit on you bitchdot fags.

blazingly fast ... Enlightenment WM (5, Funny)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332217)

Amazing what a decade of hardware progress can do :)

Its no good for Vista, but... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332229)

How many are running pirated XP now?

and, what kind of tech-support options are offered? might be hard to go online for free Linux support from the web if you can't get online. Hopefully the users will have someone in their community to turn to for help. Someone who won't insult them for not already knowing what to do.

Chinese computers for sale. (-1, Troll)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21332247)

What Walmart is trying to promote here is not just a totally free operating system, that's been usurped by someone who wants to make a quick buck off of Linux, thrown into what amounts to a pile of rubbish from a Chinese sweatshop. They are trying to promote removing the "PC" from making any money what-so-ever in the U.S., ironically the country that invented the PC. These PC's are putting people out of business. Not just MIK$OSF!T1!@. But a lot of hard working hardware engineers and a lot of other people who use MS's API's and operating system to pay the rent. So before you go and cheer on our new communist rulers take into account that sometimes it's not such a bad idea to drop a few bucks on an Intel chip. You know the chip is better, and your money will go back into the wallet of your fellow countrymen (my apologies to the Chinese national readers). The same goes for MS. It's not just a OS you're trying to kill, but a whole house of cards that a LOT of the software industry has built itself upon. Let's never be technological slaves to another country whom is bashing us over the head with our own inventions! What can a decent manufacture do against a POS $200 computer when they have to sell their POS computer for $400+ computer who's only fault is having a great deal of the hardware and software made in the U.S.A.? You can't be FOR labor unions and AGAINST labour unions at the same time. You can't be for shafting MS then complain when they try and recoup the losses by pricing their OS higher than it would have been sans litigation. You can't be FOR extra government regulations and AGAINST the result, higher prices. You can't be for technological innovation and then pay off the guys who ripped it off from the inventors, like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureal_Semiconductor [wikipedia.org] Creative Labs vs. Aureal. What it comes down to is us vs. them. If we choose to place our money in VIA don't be surprised in another 5 years when VIA acquires Intel. But, hey, yay Linux, and Ubuntu I'm running a few FREE copies myself. Just won't do it on a commie VIA chip.

Detailed specs anywhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21332291)

I want to know some things about the computer itself - how many SATA slots open on the board? how many expansion slots? Is there any RAID on the board? Better yet - who makes the mobo?

For all the hubub about this thing I have seen little in the way of legitimate hands on reviews. I want to get one to use as a NAS/web/ftp server, but can't get the info I need anywhere....
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