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Author Topic: WalMart sells out Linux PCs  (Read 2872 times)
Dweeberkitty
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« on: November 16, 2007, 03:34:20 pm »

This is cool:
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8642294935.html
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exeterdad
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2007, 03:52:27 pm »

Quote
Wal-Mart offers a similar Everex model with more base memory and Windows Vista Home Basic called the Everex Impact GC3502 Desktop, for $100 more. Wal-Mart still has plenty of those.
This really surprises me as you can't get a copy of Vista and the ram for $100.  Green and Linux must be appealing after all.  This is good news.
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Dweeberkitty
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 04:06:51 pm »

Linux.com has an article:
http://www.linux.com/feature/121151
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2007, 05:04:40 pm »

This is great news. Before we get too excited, though, we need to see if the people who buy these computers keep them and don't just put Windows on them. There is some fear that when the buyers discover they can't run Office and their Windows games on these computers, they may return them.

Also, note that the $200 price does not include a monitor. If this is a buyer's first computer, you need to add at least $100 to the price in order to have a usable system.

I'm looking at Walmart's site right now and they have three low-cost computers: the Everex with gOS for $199, the Everex with Windows Home Basic for $298, and the Everex with Windows Home Basic and a monitor for $299. Sorry to disappoint those who would boost Linux no matter what, but of those three computers I think the Windows computers are better values. The $299 with monitor is about the same price as the $199 Linux computer after you add a monitor. In addition, though, you get a DVD +/- RW drive. The Linux model has just a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive. The $299 also includes a card reader for 8 types of media cards.  AND it includes a PCI Express slot for a video card, which is important for future expansion. I wouldn't care for a slow VIA C7-D 1.5 GHz processor with only 128 megs of L2 cache, but in its favor, one's power costs would be lower. Clearly the extra $100 gets you more for your money, what with the monitor, DVD writer, card reader, and PCIe slot. The $298 Everex with Windows gives you a gig of RAM instead of 512 megs (and a free slot to install more, according to the specs), a SATA hard drive instead of a PATA drive, and a DVD +/- RW drive instead of the combo drive. Vista Home Basic should perform quite well on a gig of RAM.

So unless you have a monitor and that $100 price difference is the deciding factor, I think the two Windows computers are better values. However, I expect I'll see much better PCs for less than $400 after rebate in Sunday's sale papers.

This is one example of what I said on another topic: Linux PCs usually cost more than Windows PCs with similar specs.

"Wal-Mart offers a similar Everex model with more base memory and Windows Vista Home Basic called the Everex Impact GC3502 Desktop, for $100 more. Wal-Mart still has plenty of those"

Sorry, this statement is just Linux fanboyism coming from Steven Vaughan Nichols. The article states that just 10,000 PCs were part of the initial run offered by Walmart. How many Everex Windows PCs were available? We don't know. So maybe the Everex Linux PCs outsold the Windows PCs, or maybe the number of Windows PCs offered was much larger. After all, Walmart *knows* they'll sell, so Walmart isn't running a trial offering here.

The fact that the Linux PCs sold out quickly is very encouraging because this is maybe the first time people could walk into a Walmart and find a PC with Linux already installed. We know desktop Linux for "average users" won't make much of a market dent until it's available already installed at mainstream retailers. So things are looking pretty good if sales continue to be brisk *and* people don't return the computers when they realize they don't have Windows, or they don't just put a copy of Windows on the computer (they could do that, you know).
--GrannyGeek
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nightflier
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2007, 05:54:20 pm »

the Everex with Windows Home Basic for $298, and the Everex with Windows Home Basic and a monitor for $299

I wonder what kind of monitor you get for $1?
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 07:24:19 pm »

I wonder what kind of monitor you get for $1?

The specs aren't the same. The Everex Windows computer with monitor has 512 megs of RAM, a PATA hard drive, a DVD +/- RW drive, a card reader, and a PCIe slot. The monitor is a 17" CRT. The Everex Windows computer without monitor has a gig of RAM, a SATA hard drive, a DVD +/- RW drive, no card reader, no PCIe slot.

Comparing them to the $199 Linux computer, I see no keyboard or mouse with the Linux computer, and of course no monitor. Both of the Windows computers mention a ball mouse in the specs and their pictures include keyboards, mice, and speakers. The Linux computer's picture includes none of those and no mouse is mentioned in the specs. The $199 computer does not even include even such basics as a keyboard, mouse, and speakers. So the supposed target market--the new computer user without much money who wants just a basic machine--can't use the computer until he or she spends over $100 for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers--and that's if he or she gets the cheapest of the cheap for all of them. So compared to the $299 Windows computer with monitor, the Linux computer actually costs *more* by the time you get what you need to use it--and you don't have a DVD burner, card reader, or PCIe slot.

I glanced through user comments and sorry to say, the comments on the Linux computer overwhelmingly were obviously from people pushing Linux, not from typical users getting a cheap computer, maybe their first. I wonder if these posters bought the computer at all, or were just taking an opportunity to evangelize. Heck, I could write a terrific review if I wanted to push something, and how would a reader know I had used it at all?

Frankly, I don't think any of these computers, whether with Linux or Windows, are worth buying. They are seriously slow, have little room for upgrading, have tiny, old-style hard drives, the monitor is big, heavy, and power hungry, the mouse is worth about 50 cents (a ball mouse??? give me a break!), and you can get better specs for not much more. It amuses me to read things where people complain about "crap" computers with Windows installed, but any old piece of junk with Linux on it is praised to the skies. Hey--sometimes cheap is just, well, cheap!

What I'd like to see is a *good* computer with Linux preinstalled sold at a store like Walmart. Surely Linux has more to recommend it than that it's cheap and will run on a cheap computer.
--GrannyGeek
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saulgoode
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2007, 10:32:42 pm »

Comparing them to the $199 Linux computer, I see no keyboard or mouse with the Linux computer, and of course no monitor. Both of the Windows computers mention a ball mouse in the specs and their pictures include keyboards, mice, and speakers. The Linux computer's picture includes none of those and no mouse is mentioned in the specs. The $199 computer does not even include even such basics as a keyboard, mouse, and speakers. So the supposed target market--the new computer user without much money who wants just a basic machine--can't use the computer until he or she spends over $100 for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers--and that's if he or she gets the cheapest of the cheap for all of them.

I doubt very much that WalMart removed the mouse, keyboard, and speakers which are standard components included with the Everex TC2502.

As to the Windows machines being better values because of inclusion of either additional RAM or a monitor, along with upgrading to DVD-write capability, I disagree. ZaReason offers the 512mB RAM upgrade for $49 and low-end 17" CRTs are available in the $60-80 price range (I doubt that WalMart packages $150 CRT monitors with their offering). DVD-RW versus DVD-R is about a $15-20 difference in low-end units. The PCIexpress slot suggests that a different motherboard is being used and without knowing the specifics, it is impossible to say if other tradeoffs weren't made to provide this expansion capability.

So, ignoring the PCIe issue, purchasing either of the Windows versions incurs an additional cost of roughly $0 to $30 -- but they would only be "better values" to the extent you consider Vista Home Basic as having value. The Linux computer does not cost more.


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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2007, 11:42:08 pm »

I doubt very much that WalMart removed the mouse, keyboard, and speakers which are standard components included with the Everex TC2502.

I assumed they were included, too, but a user comment mentioned that you had to get a keyboard and mouse. That comment, along with the lack of keyboard and mouse in the photo and no mention of a mouse in the specs, let me to conclude that you'd have to provide your own. Since you could get a junkie keyboard and mouse for $15 US, it wouldn't break the bank, but at this price point every additional expense counts.

As I said, I suspected some of the people posting comments hadn't actually used the computer and were just using the comment board as a platform for evangelism. So I wouldn't be surprised if the person who said you had to get a keyboard and mouse just made that up.

Quote
As to the Windows machines being better values because of inclusion of either additional RAM or a monitor, along with upgrading to DVD-write capability, I disagree. ZaReason offers the 512mB RAM upgrade for $49 and low-end 17" CRTs are available in the $60-80 price range (I doubt that WalMart packages $150 CRT monitors with their offering). DVD-RW versus DVD-R is about a $15-20 difference in low-end units.

I think you mean DVD-RW versus DVD-ROM. The Linux computer comes with a combo drive, not a burner. Sure, a DVD burner can be bought for under $50, but again, these little expenses add up. The $199 computer really is not.
--GrannyGeek
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saulgoode
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2007, 12:51:08 am »

I think you mean DVD-RW versus DVD-ROM. The Linux computer comes with a combo drive, not a burner. Sure, a DVD burner can be bought for under $50, but again, these little expenses add up. The $199 computer really is not.

Correct. The Linux machine comes with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW (which are available for about $35) while the Vista machine comes with a DVD-RW (which are available for about $50). One Gig of RAM is actually only $28 from ClubIT.com ($13 after rebate!) -- so the Vista machine with extra RAM would appear to be no bargain at all.

The "value" of the Vista machine with the CRT monitor is completely dependent upon the value of the monitor. If that monitor is worth more than $85 then it might be claimed that the Vista machine is a better value but otherwise this is not a case of a Linux machine costing more than a comparable Windows machine. People (including yourself) have often made this claim and, as I stated in another thread, I have never seen a case where it held true.
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Will
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2007, 01:17:25 pm »

Its still not a one to one comparison because the computer AS IS fails to reach its target market with satisfaction(those just wanting a cheap beater of a pc and are just starting out). Give me a situation where the same machine, spec-wise, is being sold at wal-mart with windows on one and linux on the other then we'll see where the dollars fall.
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nightflier
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 07:01:12 am »

You can now buy this from other vendors:
http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=16160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883118003

ZaReason will let you customize it at time of purchase.

And yes, it does come with keyboard, mouse and speakers.
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Will
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 10:26:49 am »

Neweggs is a big name. However linux sales online isn't anything new. Its the brick and morter shops like walmart selling non-windows computers would be the goal here.

question: How well does vector run on these things?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 10:31:24 am by Will » Logged
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