Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Dec 5, 2002.
Ripoff? Or great value?
Two things immediately came to mind: WebTV and Yugos.
My conclusion: Ripoff!
Those come loaded with Lindows, a Debian Linux system that, for the novice, eliminates the pesky RPM management issue. A $199 internet appliance plus the cost of your choice of monitor seems like a reasonable offering for a first computer that is used primarily for the web.
Only a ripoff if you do not know what you are buying. I see it a a good entry point to the web for many people. But many will buy that have no idea what they are getting.
For me, I need all the other "stuff" like a floppy drive, a modem, you know all the stuff?? I'd say no.
Yep, that's why I think it's a ripoff.
Walmart doesn't market to tech-savvy people. I think people are going to see this thing, think it's like WebTV, buy it, and then be stuck with $200 wasted.
For the stated target customers, I think it's a good deal. If someone wants to get Dad, Mom or aunt Jane a connection to the internet to surf and send emails, this is a good buy. Although, I think they should include a modem in the basic box.
This target user market is not going to be writing a novel, doing advanced spreadsheets or playing exotic computer games. A 2 Ghz processor, 1 gig of memory and a $300 video card will be 'wasted' for these users.
The problem is Lindows. To be able to get the actual programs to run on this OS you need a membership i nthe Click-N-Run Program. Now, if you pay $129 for the membeship edition of the OS you get the membership. iF you buy the Wal-Mart Machine you will need to pay an additional $99 for the membership.
It is a rip off. It is a crap OS. You are much better with an eMachine.
<i>Possibly</i> a good buy if you are some one like Ken who is very knowledgeable about computers, can do a lot of upgrade and repair work for yourself and who knows how to easily get stuff like CD ROMs and other new parts at a good price and can install it and finally seldom if ever needs technical support.
For some it might be a good buy.
I would pass on it even if it were $99.00.
It sounds like an awesome deal to me! Even if it is a paultry 1 GHz Duron CPU with 128 MB RAM, $199 is a good value. Go spec out a very low end Motherboard, CPU, RAM, CD-ROM drive, 10GB hard drive and a PC case+power supply combo and see what you come up with.
Would I want this system? Ummm...no thanks.
I'm sure many people will buy this computer along with a copy of Unreal Tournament 2003 for their kids, and they will be calling Wal*Mart to ask why it won't work.
You could always burn Mandrake ISOs or get SuSE. Both are excellent Linux distros that do not have any of the money issues that Lindows has. If you want a nice package management system, Debian and Gentoo Linux both have excellent automated package management systems that involve little work on the part of the user.
VIA Technologies microchip not a Duron.
Actually, as I said, Lindows is a Debian distro. The click and run warehouse option is nice for newbies as they don't have to manage their own RPM's...nothing stops one from learning a wee bit and managing software installs for oneself.
Well, you could always reformat the harddrive and load Windows 98SE.
One could also drive a Yugo with the same degree of safety....
But sadly nobody will recall 98SE - or force the publisher to fix for free.