Taiwanese integrator E-Way Technology Systems is shipping a tiny, 200MHz x86-compatible mini PC for USD 99, in single quantities. The TU-40 is passively cooled, comes with 128MB of RAM, and can run lightweight versions of Linux, such as Puppy, the company says.
Mini Linux PC Breaks USD 100 Barrier
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2006-09-28 8:48 pmjourney
I totally agree. I picked up a P3-500, with hard drive, cdrom, nic, 32MB video, and sound for $NZ65, and it runs great.
The only difference is a less modern and bigger case, and maybe more power hungry.
Not to mention the $99 PC does not come with a keyboard, mouse, or screen (unlike a laptop).
2006-09-29 3:20 amsolidsnake
“When you consider the huge numbers of P2/P3 computers that get thrown in the trash every day, recycling an old PC as a Linux box seems to make more sense both ecologically and financially.”
I use to get junk computers from our landfill facility here in Durham NC. Most of the time they were from companies that wanted to upgrade to newer computers. I would fix them up and give them to people who needed computers. They were not slow underpowered units either. Many of the computers I gave away were fairly good P2/P3 above 600Mhz.
Unfortunately the facility does not allow people to get them anymore.
2006-09-29 1:58 pmSpasmaticSeacow
Actually, the first thing that struck me is that they’d be great thin-clients. The other thing they’d be great for is a home-based file and web-server (for those running a web server on their always-on net connections).
This plus a USB hard disk, sounds great.
Now this is something really useful.. It could rock for providing thin clients.
It’s a cool machine, but pretty limited. It would probably work well with Minix or FreeDOS, but is too slow for desktop Linux. I’d say that a mini-ITX would be a better bet if you were looking for a low-power desktop computer (but then the mini-ITX isn’t all that cheap).
for limited use, this is amazing! Im getting a few of theese baybes for the company.
I prefer this to the one latop a child project.Though the scope of the solution is different.
The article states that it can be used with Puppy Linux. A Distro that HAS a desktop, a fairly nice one. It says that it functions under Puppy. I wonder at what level that is. I look forward to seeing a nice review of some usage on this thing.
But I think the power of a simple computer with a light OS is being underestimated.
2006-09-28 6:46 pmBjorg
I have installed Puppy on a P166MMX, 96MB RAM, NVidia TNT 2 Pro 32MB, 20GB HD. It ran fairly well but not being able to use firefox was a pain for me. I think it was mainly due to the limited RAM of that PC, but this sub-100$ is not much better.
I am not really excited about this new cheap computer, I have tried many of that lightweight distros ….. no OO Calc, no Firefox, no OO Writer, no movies, so they are not of great use for me.
Now I am trying to give a last chance to a Compaq laptop, AMD K6-2+, about 480 MHZ, 192 MB, 5 GB HD, no ethernet port, (using one through PCMCIA, I rather will be using wifi-PCMCIA soon), no USB 2.0.
Installing Fluxbuntu with the LiveCD was a real pain, my advice is to install it via the alternative ISO. Now it runs ok but I am afraid I will not be able to watch movie either.
Additionally, the system is optionally available with pre-installed flash and microdrives, …
It also mentions the CompactFlash Type I/II slot, but either option costs money. Apparently you can’t use this without buying a hard drive or equivalent. That raises the price condiderably.
Where can you buy this?
2006-09-28 7:24 pmcfrankb
See their other $100 PC (larger, but alot faster):
Edited 2006-09-28 19:28
Playing mp3’s are fine, If it was powerful enough to play mpegs or avis files it would be really awesome, I could put on by every TV in the house, and rip my DVD’s and mp3s on a fileserver, then i wouldn’t have to have a dvd player on each.
Perhaps I could have it announce email and voip call and many other tasks.
Now, I’m certainly not one to typically judge a site’s aesthetics, but this site’s got some major viewability issues. It’s absolutely hideous, hard to browse, hard to read, and the flashing colors should come with a warning of some kind.
Not that this should neccessarily say anything about the quality of their products, but most people will make such judgements.
When will they put 2 LAN ports on these small boxes? Driving me nuts finding cheap/small routers to use.
EPIA is still the best bet but double the price.
I would never consider this unit do be a desktop of any sort other than a thin client.
It’s not much for a “normal” computer, but could be great for thin client, though it looks like the same company has thinclients for less.
But that is 100$ without an Harddisk isn’t it? So you have to add the price for a nice 2.5″ HDD.
Sure, that USD $99 computer would be a good thin client, serve as a music player and so on, but I don’t see much point of buying such except for some industrial usage. Every computer I have is built from used components. They’re very cheap, can run games, videos, music and pretty much anything, it’s easy to add more RAM/harddisks/faster CPU/etc…And for example this one I’m currently using cost me 30e (plus 10e for a 15″ monitor) and considering it’s a 750mhz Athlon with GeForce 2 MX-200 (32mb RAM), 384mb RAM and 60Gb hard disk space, I can’t think of any reason to buy one of those 99 buck computers..Besides, recycling used parts is better than always buying new ones..
It’s pretty clear that these <$100 PCs aren’t really aimed at home users, and they’re definitely not trying to compete with small consumer PCs like the Mac Mini, but some people are acting like they’re a breakthrough for affordable computing, and a great option for home users wanting a low cost way to try Linux.
It’s a neat little embedded system for industrial use, but for someone looking for a cheap Linux system a used PC seems like a better choice. When you consider the huge numbers of P2/P3 computers that get thrown in the trash every day, recycling an old PC as a Linux box seems to make more sense both ecologically and financially.