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View Full Version : Wal-Mart's Linux PC more successful than expected



FG123
November 13th, 2007, 04:01 AM
http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/12/2235200


"About a week ago Wal-Mart began selling a $200 Linux machine running on a 1.5 ghz VIA C7 processor and 512 MB of RAM. While the specs are useless for Vista, it works blazingly fast on Ubuntu with the Enlightenment Window Manager. The machine is now officially sold out of their online warehouses (it may still be available in some stores). And the product sales page at wal-mart.com is full of glowing reviews from new and old Linux users alike."

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/allReviews.do?product_id=7754614

So, there you go. :)

-grubby
November 13th, 2007, 04:02 AM
how many times has someone made a thread about this?](*,)](*,)

FG123
November 13th, 2007, 04:05 AM
how many times has someone made a thread about this?](*,)](*,)
I didn't realize you weren't interested in the fact it had sold out (online at least). I figured that was worth its own thread. :)

Tiekyl
November 13th, 2007, 04:09 AM
I think its very much worth its own thread. Thats awesome to hear!

HermanAB
November 13th, 2007, 04:20 AM
Well, it is a 1.5GHz processor. That is plenty fast. My GF uses a 1GHz Via MiniITX little PC - 2 x 6 x 9 inches - and she is very happy with it (it runs XP, sorry!). It doesn't clutter up her desk and with the protection I put on it, it just works and keeps working.

amadeus266
November 13th, 2007, 04:25 AM
Go Tux!\\:D/

Whiffle
November 13th, 2007, 04:26 AM
Wow...developer motherboard w/ processor for that thing are $59. Very tempting...

Kingsley
November 13th, 2007, 04:47 AM
So... How many PCs got sold?

misfitpierce
November 13th, 2007, 04:49 AM
very nice

DjBones
November 13th, 2007, 05:26 AM
the 'gOS' uses enlightenment..
classy in my opinion, but i wonder how many walmart shoppers who are looking into the $200 PC market will be able to figure it out haha

thx11381974
November 13th, 2007, 08:07 AM
Good to hear, I just hope they know it has Linux on it. As long as buyers expectations aren't too high they'll be happy with it.

TeaSwigger
November 13th, 2007, 08:33 AM
Great to hear :D

Finally some major retailer undercut Microsoft's grip on preconfigured PCs. It was great to see it when Dell finally offered a viable alternative, but that's in a different context, being as the units are at a higher price point than comparable Windows units. This time it's aimed squarely at a mass market, and at a price point I'd be surprised to see a Microsoft arranged deal beat. That it's the sheer cost-cutting drive of another incredibly greedy mega-corporation that's likely behind it is a marvelous irony. For some reason I'm not surprised to see people are snapping them up ;)

I am however surprised to see they chose e17 for WM. Although I'm plenty impressed by it, I know it can be very involved and moreover I'm under the impression e17 didn't even have a stable release yet. Why not Gnome or KDE, or perchance a nicely configured IceWM? Any of those offer a long established line of very stable offerings and seem to be more appropriate for a wider audience at this stage. It's an interesting package in many ways.

TeaSwigger
November 13th, 2007, 08:45 AM
Good to hear, I just hope they know it has Linux on it. As long as buyers expectations aren't too high they'll be happy with it.

Indeed. Can't you hear it now:

Grossly underpaid and overworked Impoverished Clerk stops near counter on way to do another department's job: "Have you been helped?"

Soccer Mom, placing the unit's box on the counter: "I'm returning this computer thing."

Impoverished Clerk: "Is the machine defective?"

Soccer Mom: "Yes, my daughter Hillary tried to put the AOL on it but it wouldn't work. My son Zach is really good with computers but he couldn't get it to work either. We have the CD and it just wouldn't work. I want a refund. What good is a computer if you can't get on the AOL or get your UberBuddyTracker(tm) address book?"

Impoverished Clerk: "Huh. Yeah okay. Manager on Sixteen!"

Arr. Well hopefully it'll work out for most folks.

Tux Aubrey
November 13th, 2007, 08:49 AM
IMO the e17 desktop that shipped with the Walmart machines ("gOS") was brilliant for new users. It basically put a heap of web apps on a launcher bar at the bottom of the screen and a few icons on the desktop to launch local file locations.

It is a very clean and simple default desktop without any of enlightenment's animations or bling. The only trouble I found with it is that the enlightenment file manager is pretty buggy (especially if you do change to a bling-ier theme). ( I prefer Thunar for e17 desktops at this stage.)

Its not surprising that the machines sold out in the States. The gOS community forum got hit very hard as soon as they went on sale (and RAV TUX, who runs the site hosting it, has been battling to get his server upgraded and back online ever since!)

I reckon these machines would be great for schools. Think of all the things they could spend their IT savings on!

Way to go.

popch
November 13th, 2007, 09:11 AM
I seem to remember reading that the first lot consisted of 10'000 machines. Can anyone confirm (find a source)?

One of the reviewers (dated 11/4) claimed that he had been using the machine for 2-3 months.

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 05:39 PM
the 'gOS' uses enlightenment..
classy in my opinion, but i wonder how many walmart shoppers who are looking into the $200 PC market will be able to figure it out haha
How hard is it to figure out how to click some icons on the desktop?

gOS is about as simple as you can get.

The only thing is that people should know they are not getting Windows so they don't try to install Windows software on it.

maybeway36
November 13th, 2007, 06:37 PM
The only thing gOS needs to change is making the left-click menu and Synaptic more obvious (but not in the way, of course.)

n3tfury
November 13th, 2007, 11:00 PM
it's "sold out" but i don't see what the numbers were that they had orginally? might not have been much which means little, but then again perhaps the other way around.

Phil Airtime
November 13th, 2007, 11:05 PM
How many were bought by "real" users and how many were bought by RAV TUX, erm, I mean curious Linux enthusiasts?

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 11:05 PM
In one sense, you could say it doesn't mean much.

But regardless of the numbers, the demand for those computers was more than Wal-Mart initially thought... even if that means they ordered twenty units and could have sold forty.

boast
November 13th, 2007, 11:23 PM
How many were bought by "real" users and how many were bought by RAV TUX, erm, I mean curious Linux enthusiasts?

yeah, as far as I know (places like UF and slashdot) a lot of linux users were buying the computer for relatives or for own personal use.

TeaSwigger
November 14th, 2007, 09:43 AM
How many were bought by "real" users and how many were bought by RAV TUX, erm, I mean curious Linux enthusiasts?

If Linux users are so numerous as to have purchases made by even a good percent of them make any impact whatsoever noted by the likes of WalMart, that would seem to me to be awesome news in itself.

SomeGuyDude
November 14th, 2007, 09:55 AM
Frankly, I truly HOPE the majority of buyers weren't aware of what they were getting.

Why? Because it's a safe bet that if they're getting a $200 PC, they're not going to be springing for a $400 because the cheapie didn't come with windows. So they stick with it despite not really knowing the interface, and now they're NEW Linux users instead of old ones who just wanted a cheap new PC.

Even better would be a family that has never owned a computer buying this one thanks to the price, and Linux is their first OS.

daynah
November 14th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Indeed. Can't you hear it now:

Grossly underpaid and overworked Impoverished Clerk stops near counter on way to do another department's job: "Have you been helped?"

Soccer Mom, placing the unit's box on the counter: "I'm returning this computer thing."

Impoverished Clerk: "Is the machine defective?"

Soccer Mom: "Yes, my daughter Hillary tried to put the AOL on it but it wouldn't work. My son Zach is really good with computers but he couldn't get it to work either. We have the CD and it just wouldn't work. I want a refund. What good is a computer if you can't get on the AOL or get your UberBuddyTracker(tm) address book?"

Impoverished Clerk: "Huh. Yeah okay. Manager on Sixteen!"

Arr. Well hopefully it'll work out for most folks.

Luckily, this is at Wal Mart so they expect bad service and that's no tassociated with the computer at all (sorry any Wal Mart employees reading this... you know it's true).

BTW, though it cans run Vista, couldnt they put an older (better) Windows on it if they REALLY wanted to?

50words
November 14th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Take the reviews with a grain of salt. Reading them, it sounds like very few of the reviewers have actually bought the computer.

thx11381974
November 14th, 2007, 08:15 PM
10 years ago you couldn't even explain to people what Linux was. Now Walmart is selling out of Linux based PC. No matter what the number it's really good news. I have to say I barely ever go to Walmart, but I was planing to go there to see if my local store was one's that carried them.

aysiu
November 14th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Apparently, it was 10,000 units, according to an article I read yesterday (http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=926).

thx11381974
November 14th, 2007, 08:30 PM
I just checked Walmart's site the only store in my area that carried them is sold out. If they get more in stock online or locally I'm gonna buy one. The specs are to week for my liking but I'll use it for a file server, maybe give one as Christmas gift. My current server has a c3 processor it would be a nice upgrade.

LowSky
November 14th, 2007, 08:43 PM
I though of getting one for my dad, and replacing gOS with Ubuntu. But then I remembered I can build a better machine for the same cost.

Mike Easter
November 14th, 2007, 08:44 PM
according to an article I read yesterday (http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=926).

That article and the wired article http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/10/200-everex-gree.html $200 Ubuntu Linux PC Now Available at Wal-Mart

... 'keep' saying that its Via 2500E mobo is a mini-ITX and emphasizing that fact.

It is my understanding that the 2500E is a micro-ATX board. There is a *LOT* of difference between micro-ATX boards which are typically priced reasonably and mini-ITX ones which aren't. If the board were really mini-ITX for $60 I would buy one being promoted w/ the gOS disk.

You would think the information would be readily accessible on the Via site, but it is eluding me.

spamzilla
November 14th, 2007, 09:26 PM
Lets hope Wal Mart stocks 20,000 this time and they all sell out doubly quick :D

Mike Easter
November 14th, 2007, 09:31 PM
It is my understanding that the 2500E is a micro-ATX board.

You would think the information would be readily accessible on the Via site.

There is plenty about 2500 at Via; and the 'dissection' part of the wired blog is now straightened out on the mini-ITX vs micro-ATX confusion. micro-ATX it is

Via site http://snipr.com/1tncs VIA pc2500 Mainboard

wired blog updated http://snipr.com/1tnd3 Hands-On With Everex's $200 gPC

thx11381974
November 15th, 2007, 05:38 AM
Looks like their gonna have laptops too.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,139196-c,fullfeaturednotebooks/article.html

drawkcab
November 18th, 2007, 10:39 AM
Walmart tried this four or years ago with a few boxes priced from $199-$299.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,502196,00.asp
http://www.linux.com/articles/23807

gn2
November 18th, 2007, 10:54 AM
Tesco is a major retailer in the UK, they too recently started selling Linux PC's and have no stock left: http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.200-3224.aspx

drawkcab
November 18th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Indeed. Can't you hear it now:

Grossly underpaid and overworked Impoverished Clerk stops near counter on way to do another department's job: "Have you been helped?"

Soccer Mom, placing the unit's box on the counter: "I'm returning this computer thing."

Impoverished Clerk: "Is the machine defective?"

Soccer Mom: "Yes, my daughter Hillary tried to put the AOL on it but it wouldn't work. My son Zach is really good with computers but he couldn't get it to work either. We have the CD and it just wouldn't work. I want a refund. What good is a computer if you can't get on the AOL or get your UberBuddyTracker(tm) address book?"

Impoverished Clerk: "Huh. Yeah okay. Manager on Sixteen!"

Arr. Well hopefully it'll work out for most folks.

The feedback on walmart's website is overwhelmingly positive, but here's a one-star customer review that confirms your suspicion:


I purchased mine a week ago somewhat on a lark. I have an older PC running Windows XP but at this price I figured I'd give the Everex a try. Overall I have to say that I'm not happy with it...it will quickly become a door stop that I eventually have to pay good money to have recycled. The problems? First, it doesn't run any of my existing software. That's a big one. I'm used to using Word/Excel and I like to use a lot of freeware/shareware for Windows. Second, the overall usability is not great. I had some problems with my sound card that took me about three hours to fix. That's not good. I also was surprised at the measly performance. My XP machine is three years old and runs fine. This is a brand new machine and is...fairly slow. This is clearly a product for people who want to do nothing but surf the Web and have no interest in actually doing something with their PC...edit photos, home movies, play games, run Quicken, run iTunes etc.

gn2
November 18th, 2007, 12:05 PM
s a one-star customer review that confirms your suspicion:


Yes indeed that review seems to have been written by a one star customer :D

The type who buys a diesel car then complains that it will not run on petrol. (gasoline)

aysiu
November 18th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Walmart tried this four or years ago with a few boxes priced from $199-$299.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,502196,00.asp
http://www.linux.com/articles/23807
Yeah, but four years ago, desktop Linux wasn't as polished as it is now, web-based computing wasn't as sophisticated as it is now, and (most importantly) the Lindows computers didn't sell out in two weeks.

thx11381974
November 18th, 2007, 10:25 PM
Some customers are going to return machines because of Linux, from the reviews it looks like most know the machine has Linux. Those who don't it has Linux, most will be happy at least until they try and hookup a printer.

popch
November 18th, 2007, 10:37 PM
Those who don't it has Linux, most will be happy at least until they try and hookup a printer.

What do you think will happen when they attach a printer? And what do you think would happen if they had a computer which was not running Linux and they tried and attached a printer?

thx11381974
November 18th, 2007, 10:55 PM
What do you think will happen when they attach a printer? And what do you think would happen if they had a computer which was not running Linux and they tried and attached a printer?

Well if their running Linux I expect it most likely won't work. If their running xp I imagen they'll use the cd included with the printer, so it will work.

popch
November 18th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Well if their running Linux I expect it most likely won't work. If their running xp I imagen they'll use the cd included with the printer, so it will work.

I have yet to find a printer which does not work reasonably well with Linux. I am sure that they exist, but the situation is nowhere as horrid as you make them seem.

Would you please mention a few printers which the customers are likely to buy which also bought the PC the topic is about, and which do not work properly with Linux? Preferrably printers which can be bought at the same place, of course.

thx11381974
November 18th, 2007, 11:30 PM
I have yet to find a printer which does not work reasonably well with Linux. I am sure that they exist, but the situation is nowhere as horrid as you make them seem.

Would you please mention a few printers which the customers are likely to buy which also bought the PC the topic is about, and which do not work properly with Linux? Preferrably printers which can be bought at the same place, of course.

I'm not at home to give ya the models I've struck out with, but I think the epson rx5?? is one. the only printer I've gotten to work out the box(even though it's 4 years old) is the epson 300r and the prints look like *****. Though I don't have a tendency to goto the store and buy printers just see if they work with Ubuntu, I'm guessing any model that recently came out probably won't work.

Yes I know their are drivers, that you can convert or compile for the rx5** But thats not anything the average person is going to attempt. If they do their not going to be happy about it are they?

Sef
November 18th, 2007, 11:37 PM
The feedback on walmart's website is overwhelmingly positive, but here's a one-star customer review that confirms your suspicion:


I purchased mine a week ago somewhat on a lark. I have an older PC running Windows XP but at this price I figured I'd give the Everex a try. Overall I have to say that I'm not happy with it...it will quickly become a door stop that I eventually have to pay good money to have recycled. The problems? First, it doesn't run any of my existing software. That's a big one. I'm used to using Word/Excel and I like to use a lot of freeware/shareware for Windows. Second, the overall usability is not great. I had some problems with my sound card that took me about three hours to fix. That's not good. I also was surprised at the measly performance. My XP machine is three years old and runs fine. This is a brand new machine and is...fairly slow. This is clearly a product for people who want to do nothing but surf the Web and have no interest in actually doing something with their PC...edit photos, home movies, play games, run Quicken, run iTunes etc.

This is obviously someone who failed to check out whether GNU/Linux would be right for them.


What do you think will happen when they attach a printer? And what do you think would happen if they had a computer which was not running Linux and they tried and attached a printer?

When my printer was attached, it was automatically detected, and the drivers installed without any help from me. Since I have an HP PSC 1610, which scans as well as prints, the scanner was also automatically detected.

Ripfox
November 18th, 2007, 11:38 PM
Hmm, weird. Every printer I have ever tried to install via U/K/Xubuntu was simply a matter of going to "printers" and adding it. Guess you just have bad luck or don't know what your doing?

:)

popch
November 18th, 2007, 11:38 PM
I'm guessing any model that recently came out probably won't work.

Guessing is all right. However, I suggest that you make it a bit easier for us to tell when you are guessing and when you post something which you actually know.

Anyway, neither my guesses nor my observation match your guess.

akiratheoni
November 18th, 2007, 11:41 PM
This is obviously someone who failed to check out whether GNU/Linux would be right for them.

I noticed that too! That person probably didn't even realize that the computer was running a different OS... he probably just thought that hey, this PC's crap!

screaminj3sus
November 18th, 2007, 11:45 PM
I have yet to find a printer which does not work reasonably well with Linux. I am sure that they exist, but the situation is nowhere as horrid as you make them seem.

Would you please mention a few printers which the customers are likely to buy which also bought the PC the topic is about, and which do not work properly with Linux? Preferrably printers which can be bought at the same place, of course.

My canon mp160 seems to have no driver, and neither does my dell a920, or my Canon ip1600, The only printer I have that works is a 5 year old hp...

thx11381974
November 19th, 2007, 12:02 AM
Guess you just have bad luck or don't know what your doing?

Both I'm sure


Guessing is all right. However, I suggest that you make it a bit easier for us to tell when you are guessing and when you post something which you actually know.

Anyway, neither my guesses nor my observation match your guess.

My general point was people Expect any printer to work and work well with their computer. Their not going to find this with Linux. In any case I know 2 of my three printers don't work with Ubuntu(out of the box anyhow) and third doesn't print as well as it dose under XP.

perce
November 19th, 2007, 01:34 AM
the only printer I've gotten to work out the box(even though it's 4 years old) is the epson 300r and the prints look like *****.


What about HP? It's true that some don't have the same resolution they have under XP, but they should work out of the box in an acceptable way.

kopinux
November 19th, 2007, 02:29 AM
just now i had to scan and print a copy of important documents. i had this old computer running dual boot, xp and gos.

ok i plugged in my HP 4*** something scan/fax/print.

windows xp experience:
plug in, uknown usb device, i remember, install software before inserting usb. dowloading driver at hp 40mb drivers only. this will take a while, my slow internet 40mb will take an hour or so. rebooted to gos.

gos experience:
plug in printer
add printer in printer icon
select HP4*** something (i forgot the model) its autoselected/autodetected anyway
happy printing.

about scanning, i need add/remove the x-sane program because it was not pre-installed in gos, after that i am able to scan using gimp to resize images, and openoffice, also used openoffice to save it into flash format...

amazing. jobs done in 15 minutes

-grubby
November 19th, 2007, 02:38 AM
I noticed that too! That person probably didn't even realize that the computer was running a different OS... he probably just thought that hey, this PC's crap!

they also don't know anything about computer specs (I.E. "it's slower than my XP machines and it's 3 years old! This thing is brand new")

kopinux
November 19th, 2007, 02:55 AM
really? my computer last 3 years was 1.0 celeron 128mb.

Paqman
November 20th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Shares in the company that makes those PCs for Walmart are pretty cheap. If they keep selling out in a big market like the US this could be a nice opportunity to make some money while supporting linux...


This is obviously someone who failed to check out whether GNU/Linux would be right for them.


Dude, it's Walmart.

It's a tricky problem though. Linux is (IMO) ideal for people with no technical knowhow who simply want an internet appliance/word processor. But these same people are highly unlikely to understand the difference between different OSes or how to learn to use Linux. As long as they try to do only the most simple task, Linux is perfect, but what happens when they want to do more?

I quite like the way gOS has skirted many of the potential traincrashes by using web aps.

DoctorMO
November 20th, 2007, 04:27 PM
My canon mp160 seems to have no driver, and neither does my dell a920, or my Canon ip1600, The only printer I have that works is a 5 year old hp...

Funny, I keep tabs on the Canon iP drivers in the gutten print list and I've never seen you posting helpful test reports. I fail to see what you expect for free when you do nothing to remedy it.

PartisanEntity
November 20th, 2007, 04:49 PM
One of the reviewers raved about 'text to speech' use:


This is a great computer. Even without the monitor it works great because of the text to speech program.

Anyone have any idea what he might be talking about?

Griffiss
November 20th, 2007, 05:40 PM
Is he claiming to be using the comp without a monitor by just listening/speaking to it?

...the guy's probably insane :o

popch
November 20th, 2007, 05:48 PM
Is he claiming to be using the comp without a monitor by just listening/speaking to it?

...the guy's probably insane :o

He is specifically mentioning 'text-to-speech'. That's the stock expression for a 'component' (hardware or software) which reads a text file and synthesi.. -dang- converts it into audible speech. The commodore VCnn used to have a chip to do that, there are several programs for Windows which can do that and presumably also for Linux. It's a great aid for the visually impaired. It could also be great to read the news to you while you use your eyes for something else. Provided you can understand the silly thing.

Also presumably, some of the effects of compiz-fusion would not be as impressive when rendered as speech instead of visually. What does a text in a wobbly window sound like?

Calash
November 20th, 2007, 06:21 PM
He is specifically mentioning 'text-to-speech'. That's the stock expression for a 'component' (hardware or software) which reads a text file and synthesi.. -dang- converts it into audible speech. The commodore VCnn used to have a chip to do that, there are several programs for Windows which can do that and presumably also for Linux. It's a great aid for the visually impaired. It could also be great to read the news to you while you use your eyes for something else. Provided you can understand the silly thing.

Also presumably, some of the effects of compiz-fusion would not be as impressive when rendered as speech instead of visually. What does a text in a wobbly window sound like?

Mo--mo---mo---moving Window....... Kind of like C-C-Combo Breaker!!!!!!!

DoctorMO
November 20th, 2007, 07:22 PM
Also presumably, some of the effects of compiz-fusion would not be as impressive when rendered as speech instead of visually. What does a text in a wobbly window sound like?

Oh my god, I can just Imagen loads of new sound FX themes to go with compiz fusion effects. it would be really very cool but immensely unproductive.

regomodo
November 20th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Would you please mention a few printers which the customers are likely to buy which also bought the PC the topic is about, and which do not work properly with Linux? Preferrably printers which can be bought at the same place, of course.

canons made in the last 2+years

MrClarke
November 20th, 2007, 08:15 PM
http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/12/2235200



http://www.walmart.com/catalog/allReviews.do?product_id=7754614

So, there you go. :)

I THINK IT IS WORTH A NEW THREAD TOO.

The one I was trying to find as soon as I saw the advertisement on the TV was the Eee PC from ASUS,
they were only offering it in a few stores.

It would run on UBUNTU.
It has a Linux o/s on it.

This new one looks interesting too.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7801624
..
...

kopinux
November 21st, 2007, 02:01 AM
we cant impress everybody,

there will be people buying linux pc and get disappointed, much like millions of people buying pc with vista pre-installed, gets annoyed and revert back to xp.

MrClarke
November 21st, 2007, 02:22 AM
we cant impress everybody,

there will be people buying linux pc and get disappointed, much like millions of people buying pc with vista pre-installed, gets annoyed and revert back to xp.

Everyone I know who has bought a new laptop with Vista installed, is booting to the c/d/rom of XP PRO and deleting the entire installation and recovery partitions and installing on a 30,720 MB drive C:\ ; Formatted in NTFS 'cause they use FAT32 for the recovery partitions and they only do it to make the PC a kiddie toy and not a real technical machine; and they don't want anything to do with Vista or any of the pre-installed junk either.

Then after the install they make additional partitions as they require them.
..
...
I was just on Wal-Mart's site and looking at the Secret Deals that will be available on Thursday, not Friday.
I'm going to be there early.

I want a new TV !

..
...

n3tfury
November 21st, 2007, 02:25 AM
I THINK IT IS WORTH A NEW THREAD TOO.


i REALLY hope you're being sarcastic.