Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 17:52 UTC
Editorial Do you depend on your computer for your living? If so, I'm sure you've thought long and hard about which hardware and software to use. I'd like to explain why I use generic "white boxes" running open source software. These give me a platform I rely on for 100% availability. They also provide a low-cost solution with excellent security and privacy.
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Time vs money
by WorknMan on Sat 24th Nov 2012 21:38 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

When it comes to new machines, I buy from these guys:

http://www.pugetsystems.com

They're a 'boutique' shop, and their prices reflect this fact, but when you buy a machine from them, you can give them specific instructions, such as telling them exactly the way you want the hard drive partitioned. Then, they put the machine through a variety of stress tests, send you photos of the machine as they're building it, update the bios and all the drivers, etc. Basically, when you get the PC, it has zero crapware and is ready to use out of the box. The build quality is top-notch, and the PCs are whisper quiet.

IF I ever have a problem with any of my machines, there's a local guy in town who will come and get it, take it to his shop, fix it, and then return it a day or two later.

Of course, I could always build/maintain them myself and save quite a bit of $$, but for me, it's worth paying somebody else so that I don't have to deal with hardware bullshit. (I rarely, if ever, have any major software issues.)

As for the OSS side, you highlighted a lot of the problems yourself. When software you need is only available on Windows (or Mac), well... what choice do you really have? And while you state that it is easier to move a setup from one PC to another, you fail to mention that Linux is more of a pain in the ass in about three dozen other different ways. And what benefit would I have for switching, besides a bunch of stated problems that I've never had?

As you guys get older, you will come to understand that time is the most valuable commodity that you have, and to spend money in order to save time is often times worth it. For example, if I've got two pieces of software that accomplish the same task - one of them costs $400 and the other one is free, if the free solution takes 3x longer to get the same task accomplished, and it is something I have to do often, then I will take the $400 solution every time, all other things being equal, of course.

I guess the takeaway here is that the solutions are not automatically better just because they're cheaper. Some of them are, of course, but you get what I'm saying.

Edited 2012-11-24 21:42 UTC

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