[Lvlug] Business Selling Computers
Wed, 05 Jun 2002 22:19:07 -0400
> If you get a novice user who does not already own a computer or does not
> have an internet service; then maybe the linux box would do them well.
> Most people in this category will go for the cheap, low end computer and
> take advantage of either the MSN rebates from Staples (etc.) or grab the
> AOL disc that came in the mail. If a user has an older computer and is
> looking to upgrade; and they already have MSN or AOL, are they going to
> like the answer: Switch to a different ISP? I don't know. In the end,
> they would save money over all, but we are talking change here.
I guess we need somebody who is quite familiar with AOL and who can
describe what someone would miss by not belonging to AOL. If I'm not
mistaken, can't anybody on the Internet use some AOL service (like
browse some web pages)? I'm sure we can send email to and from AOL
How about instant messaging or whatever they call it?
> If a user is just looking for word processing and internet, why are they
> getting a computer in the first place? Wouldn't their needs be better
> suited by an appliance? But, this industry has not had much success. I
> guess no one wants a device they cannot add too even though they may never
> do this.
My mother-in-law has a word processing appliance and a mailstation.
We'd like to send her some electronic pictures but we can't (well, we
could, but she wouldn't be able to view them ;-). Those are a dead end,
and we should not encourage them. We could encourage Linux computers
about the same size that might (for the paranoid types) initially appear
to do nothing more than word processing, but then provide more
capability as appropriate. (I didn't quite say what I wanted to -- my
step father-in-law (if that's what he is) refuses to allow a computer in
the house. As stated above, he now has a word processing appliance and
a mailstation. If I could have given or sold him a Linux computer (or a
dos/Windows) computer that initially appeared to be only a word
processor, that would have been cool. Then, when he was willing to
accept email, we turn on email. Then, when he wants to see some
electronic pictures sent via email (or the web) we turn on something to
view those pictures. We just never tell him it's a computer. We might
even have to charge him to enable some of those features just to
preserve the illusion. Oh, you want email. Hmm, you could buy a mail
station, or we could buy a frammus for the flux capacitor at half the
price and make the word processor handle email.
Does this have any relevance to the business we're discussing?
Probably, but it's really just a digression.
> I take my father, for example. This guy is always looking to get
> something for nothing and to get one over on the "man." He is a big fan
> of rebates and buys the cheapest cigarettes he can find. Why do I have a
> hard time switching him over to Linux? He the Linux Router project to
> facilitate internet access throughout the house. It works a hell of a lot
> better than the windows software that came with the linksys switch.
It's too bad he got started on Windows. Maybe he'll never switch. Or
maybe not until he's faced with paying Microsoft $200 a year or
something like that.
> He's paranoid about spy ware and viruses.
Sounds like an opening!
> He dislikes W98 and feels it is
> far buggier than W95. Ever three months his browsers puke and eventually
> bring down his OS entirely. His scanner has stopped working completely
> (it's a parallel port).
> So why can I not get him to switch, dammit? That is a good question, and
> I will have to ask him further.
> First hurdle: Juno. He's gotta have the free email. Even though I have
> given him an email account, he still has to have his damn juno. I don't
> know why. It's free, I guess. Somehow he is getting one over on the man.
> But he has to sit through those damn adds.
> 2nd hurdle: Scanner. Even though he rarely uses it, it is a parallel
> port scanner that will not work with windows.
> 3rd hurdle: Call wave. Doesn't work with linux.
What is call wave?
> 4th hurdle: He does not know linux.
> But does he have too?
No! Just KDE point and click.
> If he has a system that runs, allows him to browse the internet. Play
> around with photos and has basic word processing, why would he not be
> I'll have to speak with him further.
> Maybe your idea is a great on Randy. Ultimately, I think it is.
Maybe, I don't know for sure. From my first post, my goal is more to
"evangelize" Linux than to make money. (But I wouldn't mind making
money, and I would, at least someday, get a reasonable return on my
investment of time and money. But it wouldn't be the end of the world
if I didn't.)
> Still, you have the problem with the proliferation of Windows products in
> stores and MS only apps running on the web.
> Perhaps working together we can overcome 95% of these issues. Perhaps
> this is a viable project for the interested LUG members.
It would be nice -- who's interested? I cannot configure the machines
myself, or not for another 2 to 3 years, at the rate I seem to be going.
> I know one person who would be very interested in this topic: Randy
Does he subscribe to this list? What makes you say that -- does he run
some kind of business selling Microsoft based computers? (Nothing wrong
with that -- just trying to understand where you think he might be
coming from. I guess he has attended a few of our meetings and SIG