[Lvlug] Business Selling Computers
Wed, 5 Jun 2002 09:13:44 -0700 (PDT)
It sounds like a good idea but -on paper it didn't
make sense to me because I've tried it. You can't
build a machine and be competitive w/Windows machines
for the price. IMO.
I just built a ECS K7S5A, DURON 1.2G, 80GHDD, 17"
Monitor, 128MRAMk/b,mse,etc.,altec spkrs,100M NIC
built in, built in sound, ... easily loaded linux on
it and was up and running for about $400 in matter of
a about 4 or 5 hours effort. A very nice home use
Trouble is that it is easy to find brand new machines
w/Windows XP that sell for same price. Basically
they bundle in the OS and give it away. I'm kicking
myself for putting in the effort to do all the
when I could have just bought one of those off the
shelf systems (with all the warranty I might add) and
then dropped my Linux on it.
IMO it is difficult to see how one can be able to
compete w/o top notch warranty and technical support
to go along with it. I don't believe you can make
money selling h/w... also I don't think you can
actually sell Linux (or can you?), just have license
to use it, right?
If you do it, K7S5A works very nice and it is nice low
price abt. $50 to $60. I recommend it.
> My target market (I guess I should talk that way)
> would start with the
> home, trying to provide very inexpensive Linux boxes
> preloaded with a
> specific selection of Linux programs to appeal to
> home users. If we
> found any bigger customers (schools, businesses,
> that would be all to
> the good). We may need to think about ancillary
> services, like
> training, support, "repairs", etc., but my first aim
> is a box that uses
> something like KDE and the user rarely if ever needs
> to think about the
> command line.
> Perhaps (probably) Linux isn't quite there yet -- I
> doubt if I could
> even sell one to my dad unless I find a good
> genealogy program that is
> almost a workalike of whatever he uses now (can't
> remember the name
> offhand) and can import the data he's already
> accumulated simply,
> accurately, and completely.
> I might aim at two or three standardized
> configurations, el cheapo, el
> medium pricioso, and el mucho dinero. At the low
> end, I'd consider an
> all in one motherboard (i.e., video, sound, NIC,
> modem -- hopefully
> finding one with devices that work with Linux -- the
> last motherboard I
> bought is all in one, but also has a slot for an AGP
> card -- I've only
> made a half-hearted attempt to make sound work (it
> might even work -- I
> don't have speakers plugged in), I never tried the
> NIC (it's TP, I use
> Coax), and the modem, which I did not buy, plugs in
> to an LMR slot).
> I'm running a 700 MHZ processor, 256 MB RAM (with
> space for at least
> double that, and I think up to 2 GB). The
> motherboard, processor, and
> case cost me around $140 at "computer show retail"
> at least six months
> I'm wondering if anybody else has an interest in
> trying to make
> something like this work? If I (we?) do it, I'd
> expect to do things
> like incorporate and it would require an investment
> of time and money.
> Potentially we could start small, making boxes and
> selling them at
> computer shows, and we may never grow much beyond
> If you're interested, write -- I may set up a
> WikiLearn page or Dann may
> be willing to put up a separate mail list to support
> the effort.
> We won't be ready to sell computers tomorrow --
> there would be a lot of
> decisions to make and things to do before we're
> And, as I said, it's something of a "vague notion"
> at this point in
> time, and I could easily decide not to go any
> further than to talk about
> Randy Kramer
> Lvlug mailing list
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