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$199 PC sells briskly

Runs Lycoris' Desktop LX

     
12:19 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I thought this would have hit this forum already ....

[cnn.com...]

I assume this LINUX under a different name?

12:25 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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yep, lycoris is a linux variant :)

Nice find.

12:26 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks :)
12:28 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm really thinking about picking one up and throw the "nix" of my choice on there and getting down and dirty figuring out how to admin a server. Can't hardly build them much cheaper.
12:43 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Wallmart was the firsrt to see the opportunity of powering cheap PCs with Linux, I have to believe that HP and Dell are slpping their heads right about now.
1:02 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>HP and Dell

They'd love to join in... Unfortunately they've already sold their souls to the DevilSoft. (They don't have any choice in the matter now.)

1:06 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yes, and Walmart has the distribution channel tied up. HP and Del don't have that advantage. Now Radio Shack, what will they do?

Even more interesting, what will mICROsOFT respond with? Any guesses?

1:30 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This has loss leader written all over it. I love it for the consumers but this wouldn't work for R-shack and the rest. It takes a company the size of wal-mart to be able to distribute this is my guess. If it's not a loss leader, profit margins must be next to nill.
3:04 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>what will mICROsOFT respond with? Any guesses?

The wrong way, again. :)

Indian Linux enthusiasts in upbeat mood [biz.yahoo.com]

"No one could have possibly arranged for more publicity for the open source movement and its importance than Bill Gates coming and giving $400 million to fight Linux," said Atul Chitnis, an adviser to the Bangalore Linux Users Group
3:08 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I bought two without an OS a couple months ago. Quite slow.

The only problem I had is that they'd advertised them as having 6 drive bays. They got here and only had 4. You have to buy a special bracket to get six.

5:25 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Brett, and the cost of the bracket was?
5:43 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Oh, I didn't buy it. I have a rack mount case and moved everything into it. I was hoping that the drive cage could be used when I moved it to the rack though. Many tower/mid tower cases have removable drive cages.
1:51 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have to believe that HP and Dell are slpping their heads right about now.

No way. You're forgetting about one crucial element -- profit! Even with the cheapest parts, a $199 computer leaves very little room for profit. A $599 PC, even with the Micro$oft license (which Dell and HP pay very low rates for), they are still making a decent margin.

At $199, they may sell a lot of them, but without a healthy profit margin, they won't be in business very long. Then who do you call when the "no name" parts start to fail?

2:24 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Just had a good laugh. My neighbor bought 6 of them. Formatted them, and installed XP on all of them. How much profit margin on a CD with an OS on it?

Seems that he got the idea from a co-worker, that bought four of them, along with, you guessed it, Windows XP to install on all of them.

I thought about getting one. Decided against it. They are slow, buggy and the OS is a pathetic version on Linux. I expect many more people will buy the 200 box and install an OS they are familiar with.

4:41 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I was thinking the $300 to $400 ones seem like a better value.

DG, for the $200 box they switched from Lindows to Lycoris.

Lycoris a is relatively well respected though newbee oriented distribution.

4:53 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It just seems to me that by the time you purchase a monitor and enough RAM to make the box usable that they fall into the same price range as all the other low end boxes.

I realize that my demands are a bit higher than the average user. I still prefer to build my own.

I am interested in seeing the return rate and some feedback by consumers.

5:14 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Going somewhat off topic:
For the longest time I was writing scripts using a P133. If you just work with code 99% of the time you really don't need heavy processing. Right now I got a P3 500 with 128 RAM running Debian as my main computer. It does everything I need and seems very fast to me. If a Linux user chooses the right apps a sub par computer will run quite nicely. Of course, working with video would be a different matter. Yet, if a Linux user makes an effort to avoid bloat s/he could have a productive workstation with very little.

Windows XP to install on all of them.

Quite slow.

I'm sure they are running like garbage.
9:23 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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They may very well be running like garbage, but at least now they can run any software or game that you can pick up at CompUsa whereas before, they ran like garbage and had very limited options.

Littleman, I know you love Linux, I like it too, but yer bias shows through just a tad. :)

I haven't run a system with 128 megs of RAM since 1997. Why would anyone?

10:02 am on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Me bias?

>Why would anyone?
Because with 500/128 my email client, editor and browser all load up in less than half a second.

My angle:
On the leaner side of computing [webmasterworld.com]

BTW, Debian has over nine thousand free applications available to anyone with a net connection.

11:10 pm on Dec 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I think these systems would be great for development/qa/other purposes not necessarily for a main desktop.

I ordered a Lindows one from Walmart last week.

2:41 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Even with the cheapest parts, a $199 computer leaves very little room for profit.

..WalMart always makes a profit. Quantity pricing for companies like WalMart would blow your mind. Trust me on this one.

Cheers

- Chad

3:00 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>> at least now they can run any software or *game*...

Come again. Someone is buying a $199 computer and expects to be able to play UT2003? I know I'm stretching the point, but these machines are not aimed to run 'any software or game'; the extra burden of XP and its alpha blended tooltips is just a killer for these poor machines. They'd be lucky to run anything with that overhead.

Inhibit

4:23 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'd think that an optimized KDE desktop running on top of a clean Linux kernel should work well. DesktopLX ran OK on rather limited (350mhz C3, don't ask) hardware last time I tested it out, and had all the basic Office and Internet functionality an end user could want, as well as media applications. It takes a hack to play CSS DVDs, but that's the only real caveat. Not really a "gameing" machine, but there are plenty of entertainment apps on Lycoris.
5:09 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Come again. Someone is buying a $199 computer and expects to be able to play UT2003?

You laugh, but I guaruntee that there are thousands of children who wake up to $199 PC's and a copy of UT2003 (Q3, No One Lives Forever, WarCraft III, etc.) on Christmas morning because their Mom/Dad don't know a diddle about computers, and just saw the price tag. That's the type of consumer Walmart targets - price over quality.

Hopefully at least some of those parents are pushed past the $199 PC isle to the PS2 / GameCube / XBox isle. Poor kids....

6:24 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Personally I hope that they sell a ton of these computers. Once they dig into the uneducated market Dell and Gateway will have to find a way to compete but still maintain their standards, it could also be the first steps to breaking Micro$oft's back. Competition is a good thing especially in a depressed market.
6:56 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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will these $199 computers be able to handle chat and the type of online games offered at yahoo?
7:02 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It's hard to whack away at the quality of the machine without looking at the bigger picture; the wintel duo has had over 20 years to get it right and I'm sure you can find garbage at twice the price.

A $199.00 PC is a landmark, and it wasn't brought to you by the folks from mono-duo-poly land.

Thanks Walmart.

7:12 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

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will these $199 computers be able to handle chat and the type of online games offered at yahoo?

Yes, I would imagine so. Basic web surfing (minus things like Java or Flash) requires a pretty low end PC. I've got a Pentium 90 that can still surf most of the web. It's slow, but it works.

Personally I hope that they sell a ton of these computers. Once they dig into the uneducated market Dell and Gateway will have to find a way to compete but still maintain their standards, it could also be the first steps to breaking Micro$oft's back. Competition is a good thing especially in a depressed market.

I agree, competition is a good thing, and I would love to see cheaper PC's and a way cheaper price from Microsoft (Windows 98 still retails for over $150, and it's nearly 5 years old!).

My fear is that we're not seeing even competition. We're seeing a cut-rate PC at a cut-rate price. If Dell and Gateway can still deliver great quality and match these types of prices, fantastic! What I don't want to see is low quality at a great price from them. You have to cut corners somewhere, right?

No matter what happens, Walmart has stuck a steak in the ground. Now it will be interesting to see how the rest of the industry responds.

I'd especially like to hear from all the Mac fanatics. Your machines are ridiculously over-priced already. Essentially, you're just using a boutique unix system. When will Apple start dropping its ridiculous prices?

6:25 am on Dec 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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According to this weeks broadcast at thelinuxshow.com, Wallmart is selling 7,000 PCs a month just from their online sales and they are about to start selling the Linux PCs in their stores nation wide.
9:40 pm on Dec 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Alright, I just wanted to throw in my two cents since the shopper on my site is a BIG walmart type shopper. For everyone here's talk of "yeah, but what can it do?" what you have to realize is that they aren't selling to you. They are selling to an audience who has ZERO knowledge about computers, the internet and probably anything that has come out in the past 3 years. Think your grandparents. They are for people who want to try out this whole new fangled web/computer thing. They don't want fast, they don't want 3 million KB cause they haven't gotten their shots yet :) They want something that they can try out for not too much. Get use to the idea.

And here is where WalMart will make their money. In a few months/years, when they get the hang of it, who will they go to when they want more... their friendly neighborhood WalMart, where they bought the first one. They will upgrade. They will buy bigger, faster, stronger. And WalMart has just (once again) bullwacked its way into another market.