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April 28, 2008

Introducing Linux to new users: The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment

Linux is never going to make it as a consumer PC operating system until the average user can comfortably use it. The Content Consumer checks it out in the The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment:

I’ve toyed with Linux since 2002, when I first installed Mandrake. With the latest release of Ubuntu, I was interested to see how far Linux had come since then in terms of being used easily by the mainstream. So, I tricked my grudging girlfriend Erin into sitting down at a brand new Ubuntu 8.04 installation and performing some basic tasks. It’s surprising how many seemingly simple things become complicated and even out of reach for someone without a knowledge of Linux. There are a lot of little things that could be done to make the experience a lot more friendly for non-computer-literate people – some of them easy to implement, others not at all.

Click through to read the full test (it’s not tedious at all) and I think you will agree that 1) Erin is unusually savvy for a philosophy major, 2) things aren’t as bad as the introduction would lead you to believe.  Still, after reading it, I’m not sure Linux would do very well in a Great Ubuntu-Grandma Experiment.

Posted at 3:04 pm. Filed under Linux, Operating Systems

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January 18, 2008

The $185 PC has arrived

Tim Conneally at BetaNews alerts us to the latest entry in the lowest priced PC competition – offers the cheapest desktop PC at $185:

Another low-end PC hit the market today, this time it is a machine by Mirus equipped with Freespire 2.0, available at Sears’ online shop for $185.

The Mirus desktop system is equipped with an Intel Celeron D 420-1.6Ghz, 1GB of RAM, 80GB HDD, CDRW optical drive, and Freespire 2.0.

This system retails for $284.99, but comes with a promotional Mail-in $100 rebate, making it less expensive than the cheapest Wal-Mart PC, the $199, gOS-equipped Everex TC2502.

No monitor included, but the Mirus system comes with speakers, keyboard, mouse, 56K modem, ethernet, and a 15-in-1 memory card reader. It also comes with a beta of the Client, a free Linux software delivery service for one click software updates.

The Mirus system has 512MB more RAM than the Everex so it is likely a better deal until the rebate program ends.  For the technically inclined they are both bargains, but I doubt that either will be big hits with the average consumer because of the Linux fear factor.

Posted at 12:42 am. Filed under Bargains, Companies, Desktop PC, Everex, Linux, Mirus, Operating Systems, Sears, Wal-Mart

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August 6, 2007

Lenovo to offer Linux Laptops

Lenovo which bought IBM’s personal computer business, announced today that they would be offering Novell’s SUSE Linux distribution on selected models including the T Series (directed at business users) of the famous ThinkPad laptop product line starting in 4Q2007. Does this finally herald the arrival of the Linux PC for everyday users?


Posted at 7:55 pm. Filed under Brands, Companies, Laptop, Lenovo, Linux, Notebook, Operating Systems, ThinkPad

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