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My friend and I are going to start building small, efficient Linux boxes.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by B1gg3stN00b, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    Targeted solely at elderly people/people who are computer n00bs, setting the computers up for web browsing, E-mail, and having every app the user could want, providing free e-mail support, and selling them at a logical price point much unlike the equally easy to use Macs.

    Good idea y/n?

    Also - Demo of a build.
    Processor, Board, VGA
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121359

    Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154091

    HDD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822135106

    Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231119

    Charging 300$ including in-home installation and setup, with a platform that is nearly 100% immune to viruses, spyware, and malware, and the inability to screw anything up even with moderate computer knowledge...

    I think this could take off, it'd be like the Eeedesktop but cheaper.
     
  2. infrared New Member

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    You would also need a monitor/keyboard/mouse.

    I really like the idea!

    I don't have the patience for that target group though, very frustrating to work for.
     
  3. Error 404

    Error 404

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    I say go for a cheaper RAM and a slightly larger HDD. They're not going to be overclocking it, so they wont need the high quality RAM and the money can be put elsewhere.
    I assume you're using Ubuntu on this?
    Its a very good idea, as well.
     
  4. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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  5. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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  6. B1gg3stN00b

    B1gg3stN00b New Member

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    If it's running Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS, it won't need a huge HDD, but that would be an option.

    As for keyboard, mouse, etc., they can be had for 5$ a piece on Newegg for reliable standard ones and slightly more for wireless sets, I'd have them as upgrades on the web site.

    I have one of KY's best web designers in my entourage of nerddom, a friend with free webspace and endless Linux knowledge whose idea it was in the first place, as well as a few advertising, writing, and communications classes under my belt, so this would be a good chance to put my skills to the test.
     
  7. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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  8. blueskynis

    blueskynis New Member

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    I like the idea! If you are going to ship with Ubuntu I propose 8.04 because it's LTS and it is more polished than 8.10. Also apply known workarounds found in ubuntu-forums for sound problems that may arise with Skype, flash and other programs. Just test and make sure everything works fine.

    Cheers
     
  9. CyberDruid

    CyberDruid New Member

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    It's a great idea. Hard to beat the price of a Linux based eMachine from WalMart though.
     
  10. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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  11. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    well then. :slap: me
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  12. D007

    D007

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    If you can make money doing it..
    it's a good idea.. :)
     
  13. Steevo

    Steevo

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    Plan on spending 3-4 per customer during install, and the biggest question will be "What windows does it have?"


    I tried $20 tune up, after doing a few, the basic cheapskates that went for it then called me to complain. "My limewire doesn't work right, and I don't have all my icons" when they were infected with more crap than you can shake a stick at. Removing the ancient outdated 90 day trial of Norton or McCrappy pissed a couple off.


    Really, try and make a 30 minute install and a hefty price for every half hour after, billed on with a minimum hour charge. Or make a check sheet for a machine, with step by step instructions on how to setup their password, etc.....
     
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  14. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    www.everex.com does that same thing. They would be your key competitor and they sell those boxes for $200 at Walmart. Unless you can build and sell them for under $200... It might not be enough profit for a small operation. You really make much more building gaming rigs. - Higher end means more margin.

    Also there is no such thing as a 'foolproof system' - no matter how good u make it, people will get confused. - just imagine - "i bought this Kodak photoprinter at walmart and the CD doesnt work! WTF?" (here is where you try to walk them through a CUPS install for a printer which has no driver in Linux)

    So for the money that you would make I would say "bad idea" - especially when you can make $20-$30 and hour telling people how to set print margins in excel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  15. Error 404

    Error 404

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    Buy one set for every two boards. ;)

    As said before, you wont make much of a profit, but charging for extra services for confused people would probably bring in a little more cash.
    You could see if buying in bulk would save some cash, and if your business takes off then you could even consider contacting the suppliers directly instead of going through Newegg.
     
  16. JC316

    JC316 Knows what makes you tick

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    It's a good plan, but I honestly cant stand building for noobs. Any little problem and they will be calling you asking for advice. With linux, I am an experienced computer user and even I had trouble with it. I tried Ubuntu and Linux Mint, both sucked to me.
     
  17. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Yea I couldn't figure out how to use Linux. I gave up after like 10 mins tho. I had Ubunututu or w/e.
     
  18. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Bad idea. They couldn't run any software they read or hear about, nor install anything themselves. They can't get support from family and you can't give them much support for $300 either. So they'll be stuck with a machine they can't use for much because nobody understands it but you, and you don't have time. Talking to the person for two hours and you're already losing money. Unless you charge them for support, in which case Dell is the better choice for them.
     
  19. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    l2r those are 1 GB modules. He was looking at single 2GB DDR2-667 ones, though the idea isn't bad: buying 2x 2GB kits which may end up cheaper than buying individual modules.
     
  20. blueskynis

    blueskynis New Member

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    Tell me, what software you would install on an low power (as in performance) atom based computer besides some messenger programs? This is very underpowered computer it's not like a desktop so you install usual stuff like Photoshop, sound and video editing software, video and audio players, various office tools and other mambo-jambos.

    Look at this as embeded device with audio and video playback capability for internet browsing (downloading) and messaging. You can do light editing of pictures and office files, managing files and burning discs. 945G can also offer some simple 3D effects in addition so you get fancy desktop too (comparing to XP and partially Vista).

    The user has not to worry about anti-virus and other anti-malware software and can safely browse through-out internet without any worry as linux viruses are almost non-existent. Ubuntu does not require periodic user actions like regular disk de-fragmenting, registry and other crap clean-up. Default Ubuntu installation provides about 90% of user needs. This computer is not intended for installation of 3rd party programs because, as OP said, it is intended for computer illiterate people not common users like you and me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  21. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    What I'd install? Completely irrelevant. Though the customers hear things, read things, see things on TV. They'll be wanting to download music for instance, but the program they get from their grandson doesn't work on Linux. The kid doesn't know Linux so they have to ask the place they bought the machine. Since explaining these people things takes time it'll mean you'll be losing money.
    In fact, about every small change/wish comes back to your doorstep as they can't ask the smart grandson. Thinking random people can use Ubuntu is ignorant.
     
    phanbuey says thanks.
  22. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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  23. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Dead in the water without phone support. Seniors grew up with the phone and the idea that you call someone when you need help. I don't think email support is going to fly with them.
     
  24. smalls21 New Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with this poster. A Unix system is not that great of an idea with an older person. I would not let even my parents use a Unix system. My mom gets confused enough in windows and that is with the whole family helping her out. I can't imagine what would happen if she was on a Unix based system.

    Plus they can get low end dell for like $400, cheaper if they wait for a good deal. I just don't think it will work out that well.
     
  25. Flyordie

    Flyordie New Member

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    I could build a small linux box for a bit cheaper...
    CPU- $19.99 (AMD Sempron AM2)
    RAM-$9 (1GB)
    Mainboard- $49.99 (AM2+ Board, you never kno..)
    CRT 17" Monitor $10.00 (a local school has 30-40 sitting in a spare room) and has them for sale..
    Power supply- $27 (Antec Basiq 350W, a Fortron built PSU)
    Case- $35
    ----
    $152
    $100 for Support, Warranty Service, E-Mail Support
    ----
    (Optional)
    Telephone Support- $50
    On-Site Support- $40 based on times needed (excludes Warranty Service).
     

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