Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Jan 2011 21:48 UTC, submitted by andrzej
Linux "Martha Lane Fox is promising GBP 98 computers to tempt the last remaining digital refuseniks in UK to get online. The machines, refurbed by Remploy, will come complete with telephone support, monitor, mouse and Linux software."
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 17th Jan 2011 23:00 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

And like every cheap Linux laptop before, they will have spent five seconds installing and preparing it. It will be fundamentally broken, out of date, it will _never_ be updated (still rocking Firefox 2.0 beta ASUS?) and will uterly, uterly suck usability wise. This will do more damage than good to Linux.

I don’t trust the UK to do a single thing good with computers anymore. Not after we sold out entirely to America and killed our own OS and platforms off.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by DJMatus23 on Tue 18th Jan 2011 00:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
DJMatus23 Member since:
2011-01-12

Completely agree with ya on this - it can't be that hard building a basic browser into a DVB/freeview box; one that gets updated by people selling the box. Also, the big TV folk should be building these into the TVs - add a usb port and you'll be able to add a wireless keyb & mouse.

Obviously these guys don't want to put in the effort, but if people like Google can "encourage" them by saying "you make us your default search engine, we'll give you some cash", then set up as many "channels" to pump content and advertising at the user. Job done!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by avgalen on Tue 18th Jan 2011 00:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Doesn't that just mean that default Linux installations suck?

I guess it is still better than having "Windows OEMs" spend weeks adding crapware to their default installations though

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by darknexus on Tue 18th Jan 2011 02:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Doesn't that just mean that default Linux installations suck?

I guess it is still better than having "Windows OEMs" spend weeks adding crapware to their default installations though


No worse than default Windows installations. Ever tried to use Windows fresh out of the box on hardware that wasn't around when that version of Windows was released? It's no fun. Default installs of a general-purpose PC os are crap, because with so many hardware combinations you end up having to tweak them anyway. That's usually the OEM's job, it's just too bad they all suck at it. That's why, whether I build a system for myself or purchase one for somebody else, the very first thing I do is wipe the os and do the os installation myself.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by avgalen on Tue 18th Jan 2011 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

This used to be true, but since Vista (and especially now that there are more drivers available for Vista/7) that isn't the case anymore. You just run the install, run Windows Update and everything works. In the very rare case that a driver doesn't get automatically installed, the manufacturer will have a cd with a driver.

I completely agree that OEMS do a horrible job by providing dozens of unneeded and unwanted programs and tools, BUT if they include useful programs (like Word/Works) then it is best to write down the product key for it before performing a clean install

Edited 2011-01-18 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Bobthearch on Tue 18th Jan 2011 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Well, I think if you try to install Windows 7 on older hardware you'll probably run into difficulties, not only with drivers but with system specs.

But for a do-it-yourself build with currently-available hardware... I've only done one so far with Windows 7 and I was impressed with the flawless and completely automated hardware detection. I was worried about one older printer, but Windows 7 correctly identified it, located and downloaded the proper drivers, and installed them. All in a matter of seconds. Impressive, I say.

I do agree about most OEMs though, and off-the-shelf computers (regardless the OS) in general; they suck. Non-standard components that can't be repaired or replaced, no-name components, hard drives crammed with crapware and trial software, system restore methods that are difficult or impossible, extended warranty scams, lousy after sale support, useless sales staff... I'm never going back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by Neolander on Tue 18th Jan 2011 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm never going back.

How do you make a laptop yourself ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Kroc
by Bobthearch on Wed 19th Jan 2011 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Kroc"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

I pretty much despise laptops for the reasons mentioned above:

they suck. Non-standard components that can't be repaired or replaced, no-name components, hard drives crammed with crapware and trial software, system restore methods that are difficult or impossible, extended warranty scams, lousy after sale support, useless sales staff...

I do have one though, an Asus Eeepc. It's been a nice little machine so far, running Windows XP. Mostly use it for internet, Skype, and some data entry (made possible with the addition of a USB keypad). It's so inexpensive that I consider it disposable; if it breaks, throw it away and buy a new one.

------------

Have you had laptop problems caused by Windows 7, or just problems caused by the OEMs? Just curious...

Edited 2011-01-19 00:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by fretinator on Tue 18th Jan 2011 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

So far, it's not the default Linux installation that blows - an Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora, etc. install would be fine.

Instead, they have shipped oddball OS's like Xandros with outdated browsers, few updates, etc. That's was the problem with the Linux netbooks.

A default Ubuntu install would do just fine. It's just that OEM's can't resist fiddling around. Look at how many of the OEM's have screwed up Android's with slow, buggy, wierd UI's, when a default Android install would have been fine. This is especially true with some of the tablets.

Why do they do it? It's probably a disconnect between management (ooh, look at the shiny widget), semi-technical staff, and the rest of the world.

Reply Score: 3

Hmmm...
by Bobthearch on Tue 18th Jan 2011 00:45 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

A hundred GBP (~$150 American dollars) for a used computer loaded with free software? And with the purpose of encouraging British to use the internet?

If someone in 2011 isn't on the internet, it's because they don't want to be. I mean, aren't used and low-end computers already available in the UK to those that want them?

Regarding Linux, that's a nice way to keep the price down. But a small company configuring and supporting thousands of used computers? Unless they have access to 8,000 identical computers...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmmm...
by sagum on Tue 18th Jan 2011 02:13 UTC in reply to "Hmmm..."
sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

Regarding Linux, that's a nice way to keep the price down. But a small company configuring and supporting thousands of used computers? Unless they have access to 8,000 identical computers...


My guess is that they'll be using nettop/thin client boxes with liunx firmware on them. They can get 1000s of them that have been retired from businesses pretty easy.

the machines are designed for people who don't want to spend £350 on a retail machine when they don't really know how to use a computer or even how/why they want the internet.

a basic 300mhz 256mb thin client running linux with firefox might be slow to our fast desktop machines, but they are useable, they can't be broken by accidently deleting stuff and are easy to use. turn on, click internet, load facebook-chat.

users that get the hand of it can go and buy a real pc for an upgrade.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hmmm...
by Bobthearch on Tue 18th Jan 2011 05:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm..."
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

My guess is that they'll be using nettop/thin client boxes with liunx firmware on them. They can get 1000s of them that have been retired from businesses pretty easy.


That makes sense, if those are available.

a basic 300mhz 256mb thin client running linux with firefox...


Still, people who want a computer like that can get them for free or practically-free. The surplus / thrift shops are piled to the ceilings with Pentium II and III machines. Heck, I've seen dumpster piles full of P4 and newer desktops (no quad-cores yet though).

Maybe some people would find a hundred dollars' value in the phone support? What they probably need are actual hands-on classes though.

You'd think these would be good computers for kids to use. Sadly, interest in computers seems to be in decline among mid-school and high school kids, unless the 'computers' are smartphones or Playstations. ;)

--------
Anyway, the whole thing sounds like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Edited 2011-01-18 05:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2