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Hardware

Dell Offering "Open" PC 426

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the copying-a-disk-image-is-to-hard dept.
Sans writes "Dell began offering a new desktop Dimension E510n PC this week with no operating system installed. The machine is designed for people who want to run open-source software such as Linux instead of Windows. The PC comes with a blank hard drive and a copy of the FreeDOS operating system, which can be installed by customers."
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Dell Offering "Open" PC

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  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:30AM (#13721508) Journal
    This is the kind of thing that leads to misleading statistics...News headline: "Dell offers PCs without Windows but demand remains close to zero." Microsoft spokesman "It's obvious to us that most PC buyers want Windows running on their machines yadda yadda yadda..."

    Who would buy this machine? A inexperienced home user? They wouldn't be interested in a computer that wouldn't even start up out of the box. Business? Business would buy the equivalent Windows machine for $70 less and replace Windows with Linux (assuming that was the intended use for the FreeDOS machine). Geeks? They'd recycle an old machine or build their own.

    If Dell was serious about providing another OS on their hardware, they'd partner with a Linux company (Red Hat, Novell, Mandriva, Linspire, etc.) and let the Linux company provide the software support.
    • by Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) * on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:32AM (#13721528) Homepage
      They do... From TFA:

      Despite its affinity for selling Windows-based computers, Dell is also a staunch supporter of Linux. The company has invested almost US$100 million in open-source developer Red Hat and sells PCs and servers based on its operating system, such as its Dell PowerEdge SC430 with a dual-core Pentium.

      On the desktop, Dell has been installing Linux on its Precision workstations for a couple years. Dell spokesman Liem Nguyen said the company will continue to do so.
      • Yes, they offer exactly one workstaion with Redhat Linux (monitor not included). It is "classified" as a business machine, which in itself isn't too big a deal except that you can't buy some stuff from Dell you might want for a home machine (for example, a better graphics card). Still, that makes this new offer (the FreeDOS machine) even more bizarre.
    • by Evil W1zard (832703) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:40AM (#13721596) Journal
      While I agree for the most part this isn't much of a savings and the average home user probably won't bit on this, but there was one point in the article that is a truth and that is companies who use Dell will often have their own software licensing and baseline which means they wind up removing the OS that comes with the box. But a couple posts down someone mentions the cost savings between a naked OS and one with Windows and the savings are really not much. Additionally I wouldn't be surprised if Dell already caters to companies who make large purchases from that to give them "open" boxes... All-in-all this doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me.
    • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:56AM (#13721741) Journal
      Microsoft spokesman "It's obvious to us that most PC buyers want Windows running on their machines yadda yadda yadda..."

      Well - Let's be honest. Most buyers do want Windows on a PC they buy.
    • Businesses usually have contracts with Microsoft regarding the OS and will want a standardized image on all systems. So, although many larger businesses will also negotiate contracts with machine vendors, there could certainly be a market for this for businesses.

      Home users who already have a licenses Windows version but need new hardware might just wanna buy this box and get their nephew to install the Windows they already have (or just add the old HDD to the new box) instead of just throwing away their exp
    • This isn't news (Dell has always had OS options). The real news will be when Apple offers machines with a choice of operating systems. Then we will be able to see how much the cost of the OS tax is on the Mac.

      Remember... in slashdot land:

      Lack of Microsoft choice = bad
      Lack of Apple choice = brilliant
       
      • by rworne (538610) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:25AM (#13721967) Homepage
        They do - in a way.

        Yellow Dog Linux [yellowdoglinux.com] is an Apple "Value Added Reseller". From their website:

        A Unique Apple Reseller

        Terra Soft, an Apple Authorized OEM VAR (Value Added Reseller) is granted a unique license to install Yellow Dog Linux on Apple computers and maintain full Apple hardware warranty for home, commercial, education, and government customers.

        If that isn't approval by Apple, I don't know what is.
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:46AM (#13722161) Journal
          Not to mention that way back in the 68k era it was possible to get a choice of MacOS or AU/X (Apple UNIX) on Apple hardware, and that Apple financed mkLinux - the port of Linux to run on top of Mach for running on Apple PowerPC hardware.

          Seems like the grandparent is suffering from Mac-envy.

        • Except you still have to pay for the "included with purchase" copy of teh OS. The equivalent would be your local reseller offering to install Linux a box, but by the way you are required to buy a Windows operating system. With Microsoft you have the choice to buy an operating system from them or not--it's not a condition of buying the hardware.

          Apple will not sell a Mac without the OS (you or your vendor can remove it, but there isn't any discount. Several posters have pointed out that the price from Dell
    • It saves a step as a lot of people buy the Linux machine only to reformat the hard drive and than install a friend's copy of windows OS. Most people have a friend that knows a little about computers or they would not even consider purchasing one.
  • news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:30AM (#13721510) Homepage Journal

    Dell has been selling machines with FreeDOS for some time. We've bought several (including the machine I'm typing this on) for work. Let me know when they start to ship with AMD chips. That will be news.
    • Re:news? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:34AM (#13721541) Journal
      The news is that the machines are now available "at the consumer level". However, it will flop. The typical home user is not going to buy a computer that they can't take home, set up, turn on, and have it work.
    • Re:news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheViffer (128272) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:39AM (#13721587)
      Apparently the original poster failed to mention that 99% of the time the machines that do not come with Windows are generally priced equal to or more then the comparable system with Windows. In addition to that, they generally never come with all the "free" offers Dell gives out with there PC's.

      Right now Dell will see there 380n Precision workstation (no windows) for $1058. But I can go buy the 380 Precision workstation (with windows) for $1058 .. so where is the deal?
      • Re:news? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Surt (22457) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:48AM (#13721660) Homepage Journal
        What I think you're seeing is the definitive proof that windows is worthless.
        • Re:news? (Score:5, Funny)

          by LaughingCoder (914424) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @12:12PM (#13723398)
          Of course another interpretation is that the costs of the hardware and support dwarf the Windows license fee about which everyone loves to complain ... and I strongly suspect that support for an OS-less PC could be pretty expensive.

          Customer: "Um hello, yes I bought your Open PC and installed my favorite Linux distro and it doesn't work."

          Dell: "Let me forward you to our Linux expert."

          Linux Expert: "Hello, which distribution did you load?"

          Customer: "Well, it was Redhat."

          Dell: "Let me forward you to our Redhat Linux expert."

          Redhat Linux Expert: "Hello, which version of Redhat did you install?"

          Customer: "It was version 8.0"

          Redhat Linux Expert: "Let me forward you to our Redhat version 8.0 expert"

          Redhat 8.0 Linux Expert: "Hello, which configuration did you install?"

          Customer: "It was the Professional edition."

          Redhat 8.0 Linux Expert: "Let me forward you to our Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition expert."

          Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition Linux Expert: "Hello, can I help you"

          Customer: "My Open PC doesn't work"

          Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition Linux Expert: "And you installed Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition?"

          Customer: "Yes, but of course I rebuilt the kernel to improve disk performance by 0.05%"

          Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition Linux Expert: "I'm sorry, we can only help you if you installed a Linux distribution from our list of supported distros."

          Customer: "So how do you handle defective hardware?"

          Redhat 8.0 Professional Edition Linux Expert: "Perhaps you should install Windows to verify that the machine works before putting in your distro. Or you could use one of our supported distros."

          Customer: "You call that Open? I need an RMA so I can send this piece of crap back."

          • Re:news? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Surt (22457)
            Heh heh. That was pretty funny. And your imagination that dell has (multiple!) actual experts working for them, you should go into writing sci-fi!

            On the other hand, I don't believe that dell's windows cost per pc is $0 or even $30, which is the lowest discount anyone has been able to find so far, and since dell sells support as a separate line item, it should be possible to drop the windows cost without adding in a corresponding support cost (ignoring the crappiness of dell hardware for a second, it would
      • Re:news? (Score:3, Interesting)

        > so where is the deal?

        The 380n comes with a one-year RedHat Enterprise WS subscription.

        Maybe there's no deal because shipping a supported version of Linux isn't free, and in fact could be more expensive due to economies of scale. (XP Pro includes patch support for 5 more years at the same price).
    • Dell has been selling machines with FreeDOS for some time.

      Yep [dell.com]
    • Re:news? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by illcare (635543)
      I agree. One problem I have with Dell is, they usually do not apply their promotions (double memory, free LCD monitor) to their "n" series (systems with alternative OS). So during promotions, a Linux or a FreeDOS system ends up more expensive than a Windows system.

      We are an all Linux shop here. But when we buy a system from Dell, we get a Windows system, wipe the harddrive and install Linux.

      Cheers!
  • FreeDOS... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ... is much more popular than Linux, of course. Seriously, does this mean Microsoft is still pulling strings somewhere at Dell, or what?
    • Re:FreeDOS... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gmack (197796)

      It's because it's really a barebones machine. There is no way Dell wants to offer tech support for Liunux, *bsd, etc because that training would cost them a fortune and the margins just aren't there. Unfortunatly they aren't allowed to sell "naked systems" because Microsoft says that encourages piracy(not true.. they just don't want you to install a competing OS). They don't really expect you to install it since it's only there so they can tell MS they aren't violating their OEM agreements.

      It's all ju

  • How is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gagravarr (148765) * on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:32AM (#13721525) Homepage
    I've bought 3 desktop PCs from dell in the last year that came without an OS, and with a FreeDOS cd in the box. So, how does this announcement qualify as news?
    • Re:How is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

      by PhilHibbs (4537)
      Because the zdnet article is badly worded, and neither the submitter nor Taco knew that this is old news. If they'd read the article as far as the second paragraph , they'd have seen that "The computer is part of Dell's n-Series of PCs, which first started shipping without an operating system back in September 2002."
    • I suppose (though I could be wrong) that this is the first time Dell is actually marketing a OS-less system instead of leaving it as some obscurely shaped button near the copyright notice (slight exageration).

      To me, this just sounds like Dell is getting desperate. I remember all those 'easy as Dell' sort of ads, which makes this idea seem like Apple marketing systems with a GUI-less UNIX preinstalled on it. If they really wanted to get a lot of geeks, they'd probably offer more in the way of AMD X2 chips an
  • Dell calls them "Open." Microsoft calls them "Naked."

    [Quagmeyer]Aall Riiiight[/Quagmeyer}

  • Can I get one with an Opteron?
    • Re:If it's so open (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:47AM (#13721655) Homepage
      Clearly AMD can't support the load of having customers therefore we regret to inform you that we will not offer AMD products ... um...

      Self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me.

      If you want real choice just find your local vendors and get them to order what you want. You support local business, you get what you want and often you don't pay more [or much more] than the monopoly controlled "wonder box" you get from Dell [et al.]

      Tom
      • Re:If it's so open (Score:3, Insightful)

        by oliphaunt (124016)
        In sales meetings with Dell enterprise reps, when they present product roadmaps, there is always some young turk who wants to impress the boss with how cutting edge he is. He's the one who asks "Well, are you going to offer these with the new AMD chip? It has SEVENTEEN superpoop pipelines and HyperMondo logic AND it measures your pupil dialation and then makes coffee if it senses that you're too tired to read one more page of slashdot. Well, are you going to offer it?"

        For as long as I've been going to th
    • Re:If it's so open (Score:2, Informative)

      by grub (11606)
      Nope, and Dell lost out on a new cluster here because of it. There are 14 nice IBM 1u dual Opterons racked up and running thanks to Dell's stubborn line in the sand on CPUs.
  • good start (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rayde (738949) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:40AM (#13721593) Homepage
    this is a good start, too bad they're including FreeDOS disks and not free Ubuntu disks [ubuntu.com] though. But I'd guess that the people who would buy this sort of machine already have access to some distributions.
  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:40AM (#13721594)
    he envisioned back in '80s that PC with DOS will be good enough even in 2005.
  • by MaestroSartori (146297) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:42AM (#13721612) Homepage
    ...quite apart from being "old news", that is.

    The number of times I've seen people post on here adamant that they don't want to pay the Microsoft Tax on a new PC, only to see the response so far to this, makes me smile. Complaining that the difference in cost is too small, or that Dell hasn't chosen their favourite Linux distro to put on there, doesn't have an AMD processor, blah blah blah.

    It's a PC without a preinstalled forcibly-paid-for copy of Windows. So Dell gets Windows for cheap, you don't see a huge price difference, but all those people who wanted an MS-free PC can now buy one. You can't possibly be upset by that, can you???
    • So true. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kadin2048 (468275)
      I've noticed the same thing.

      While personally I probably won't buy a PC from Dell one way or the other, at least not a desktop, I'm happy to see that they've taken this small step.

      I could see this model appealing to people (admittedly, a small market) who are interested in playing with Linux but don't want to assemble their own system, for either technical or personal reasons, e.g. it's not worth their time for the money saved.

      Rather than viewing it as a half-step less than Dell should have taken, I'd prefer
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:34AM (#13722071)

      It's a PC without a preinstalled forcibly-paid-for copy of Windows. So Dell gets Windows for cheap, you don't see a huge price difference, but all those people who wanted an MS-free PC can now buy one. You can't possibly be upset by that, can you???

      First, you can buy this same machine, from the same vendor, with a better hard drive, and with Windows for significantly less money. That does not sound like they have removed the cost of Windows. More likely they are still paying a flat fee to MS and have added an additional fee to cover whatever "penalty" MS is charging them. Second, this comes included with FreeDOS. Why do you suppose that is? No one really uses it. It is not popular, well supported, or in demand. Why would Dell ship any OS with this, and when shipping with an OS, why such an obscure one?

      Clues to answering these questions may be hidden in their choices. I surmise that they ship an OS because for some reason paying someone to press copies of FreeDOS and package it is cheaper for them than not including any OS. Is that perhaps because they have a contract with MS that penalizes for or forbids them to ship boxes without OS's? If I were a large PC seller and was going to ship an alternate OS, I'd pick one of the popular Linux distributions. Pretty much any of them, on the surface, seems to be a better choice. What does FreeDOS have? Well it is DOS based, like Windows. Could Dell have a contract that forbids them from shipping Linux specifically, or one that is worded in such a way that only FreeDOS and Windows meet the specifications of OS's they are allowed to include without incurring a penalty. Either of the above contracts would be blatantly illegal and a violation of anti-trust statutes. Of course it would also be a protected trade secret and the only people who could do anything about it would be Dell and MS. I know if I was running Dell I would not bet the future of my successful company on the hope that the American legal system would properly deal with MS. It has already shown that it is willing to ignore MS's tactics.

      Or maybe Dell just does not want to piss off any given faction of Linux users by favoring another. I wouldn't bet on it though. My opinion is MS is behaving in a criminal manner and this is just more indication of it.

      • by Shotgun (30919)
        Why would Dell ship any OS with this, and when shipping with an OS, why such an obscure one?

        So if you were Dell, would you just stick a bunch of parts in a box and ship it, or would you at least want to boot it up first? Maybe run a diagnostic or two?

        Consider that Dell may have a set of diagnostic programs that have been around a while...not real reason to change, just keep adding to the set of tests as new hardware is introduced. This test suite is based on DOS. No problem to run that on Win(whatever),
  • by sarguin (702714) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:43AM (#13721623)
    Open Source PC?? What if I already own a copy of Windows, simply _replace_ my current PC with a new one and use this copy of Windows. I don't want to pay a new copy of Windows each time I _replace_ my PC...

    I can already buy a PC from my local "PC clone" vendor without Windows on it (Windows price removed) , so why is Dell, HP, IBM... can't do it?
    • Part of it would depend on how you acquired your seat of Windows. Remember that most copies are OEM, and would be tied to the hardware they shipped on. In that case, you _would_ have to buy that seat of XP if you wanted to run it on the new box.

      Office etc are all the same when buying OEM. We just had a burglary a few months back, and had to repurchase Office (covered, so not a big thing,) because the CDs I had were OEM tied to the hardware that was no longer in my possession.
    • If you bought a brand name computer, you're out of luck if you want to install the copy of xp on another machine. The OEM licensing says that copy of XP is only valid for that individual pc. I tried using a copy of XP that came with a Dell on an HP computer. I had to call micrsoft for validation. They asked why I needed xp re-activated and I said I was moving it to my new PC. I was told that I could only use that copy on the Dell and that I must purchase a new copy for the new computer. I told the rep I'd i
      • You can install XP onto a new pc if you have the retail version instead of the OEM version. You can only install it 3 times though, unless Microsoft changed their policy since the last time I talked with them. We had a problem with the OEM version of XP we had put onto (and activated) on a new machine. We wanted to put it onto an older machine for testing, but we could not activate it. The Rep told me on the phone that that was because it was OEM that I was limited to one install. If the hard drive die
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:47AM (#13721651)
    In the past, PC makers that offered non-MS variants were allegedly punished by MS with higher prices, delayed access to info on future MS OSes, etc. That both Dell and HP are offering machines with Linux suggests that the power has shifted, that MS needs HP and Dell more than those big PC makers need MS.
  • by wesman83 (700326) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:50AM (#13721684)
    if they put in a Nvidia card for the linux users.
  • Pirates! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kylere (846597) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:54AM (#13721714)
    Now Dell is promoting piracy! Hasn't Microsoft told us that selling machines without Windows just means that people install pirated copies of their OS? :-)
  • by FellowConspirator (882908) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:57AM (#13721754)
    How can you tell? Well, for starters, you can buy the same system with a hard disk twice the size with a 17" LCD monitor and Windows Media Center Edition for the same price.

    More importantly, the 510n comes with an ATI card that will be difficult to get to work properly with X.org (dunno if Xi Graphics is still in business), whereas the 510 uses an Intel chipset that, while not great, will probably work better.

    And why not simply install a popular Linux distribution on it from the get go? They could "brand" it simply by adding a package with Dell-logo wallpapers, themes, and icon sets.

    Dell's just grubbing for some positive press.
    • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:06AM (#13721834)
      I agree with your first point but not your second.

      I recently built a brand new system for less than the price of this new Dell ($775). It has a new nForce4 Ultra motherboard, an Athlon 64 3200+ Venice, 1GB CAS2 RAM, 250GB SATA2 hard drive, and an ATI Radeon x800 Pro VIVO 256MB. Yeah, what I put together isn't the cutting edge, but it sure makes this Dell system look like a sad sack. Sure, I already had a monitor, case, keyboard, and mouse. Who doesn't?

      As far as ATI support in Linux, I find that ATI's drivers have been pretty solid for at least the last two years. My Radeon 9500 and my x800 both work perfectly in Linux with X.org, even with 64-bit drivers.
  • This can only spell one thing. Big trouble in little Dell!!

    Micro$oft will undoubtedly begin the legal proceedings against Dell due to the fact that the fundamental purpose behind FreeDOS was to be able to run those old MSDOS programs!!! Microsoft wants em dead... dead... dead. Dell is just helping now to promote software piracy by mitigating users to continue to use those old MSDOS games and heaven forbid... Word for MSDOS! :-)

    Cheers
  • by fak3r (917687) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @08:58AM (#13721775) Homepage
    I would have bought this earlier this year, as it stands I bought a Dimension 3.2G box for less than 500$. I DID NOT want to buy a machine with XP already installed on it, but get this; it was 80$ CHEAPER to buy the same machine with Windows than a 'naked' machine with a freeDOS option! I guess it's supply and demand, but it still irks the hell outta me that I paid the MS 'tax' and continued the 'look at home many ppl buy machines with XP installed!' FUD. Can these "Open" machines compete in price with Dell's (constantly) adverstised special? If not, I can't see too many ppl paying more for a machine with no OS vs a cheaper machine with XP (That I immediately installed over - no, I didn't look into the 'rebate' - sounds like it's a hassle anyway).
  • RTFM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ross_winn (610552) * <ross...winn@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:05AM (#13721819)
    I just love that the use an ATI video card, an audigy sound card, and a Serial ATA drive. If you can pack more difficult components for linux into a single box I would be very surprised. Most distributions seem to have the USB issue under control, but the rest is laughable. The price is also out of this world.
  • by cerberusss (660701) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:09AM (#13721847) Homepage Journal
    What's the difference between a Dell PC and a trampoline?

    With a trampoline, you take off your shoes first.

  • Didn't check it out if they do, but besides the cost savings for the purchase, Dell should also reduce the cost of their 1yr/3yr support cost. Of course the HW can still fail, but I'm sure that the majority of the calls in their support centers is about people having problems with their (Windows) software. When people install their own software, they are of course on their own on that topic.
  • If you've not got the time or skills to build your own PC and install your own OS, then a pre-built Dell PC with Windows XP on it is probably a good way to get a PC quickly, easily & relatively cheaply.

    However, with a bit of hunting around, it's possible to build your own similar specification PC for about the same price with components you know will work with Linux - so I really don't see a point to buying a blank Dell machine, except for avoiding MS tax if you have no need for a Windows license.

    I'

  • by jfoust2 (43840) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:28AM (#13721996) Homepage
    In the past year or two, a number of "hot deals" sites have featured Dell's low-end servers without pre-installed OS at nice prices in the $249-$349 range.

    I recall model numbers 400SC and SC420 among others, decent Intel motherboards that you'd otherwise find in Dell's mid- to top workstations, P4 1.8 to 2.8 Ghz, various combos of RAM and HD, some bundles with flat panels, free shipping, etc. I remember one deal for the 400SC with buy-one-get-one-free 10K 70 gig SCSI drives; another deal for dual CPU low-end servers.

    These make very nice desktops for the average business or home user - certainly they're a step above what Dell normally sells in the big ads in the consumer marketplace for roughly the same cash.

    As with many hot-deals, you'll find plenty of these units - parted out and not - on eBay. The shipping is crazy, but the overall price is often still low.
  • This is not new (Score:3, Informative)

    by pvera (250260) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @09:34AM (#13722067) Homepage Journal
    Dell has offered this choice to volume and channel sales for many years. The reason they sell it to you with FreeDOS is because their bulk license agreement with Microsoft forbids them from selling OS-less machines. This volume option was intended for two specific markets:

    1. People purchasing tons of desktops for organizations with streamlined IT management with pre-defined system images, so they could pull the machine out of the box, put the image and send it to the proper user. Saves them a few minutes per machine in setup.

    2. People purchasing tons of cheap reliable boxes intended to run a non-Microsoft OS. Think you just started your dream business as a hosting provider and you wanted to buy 500 $299 Dell servers.
  • No thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by blazer1024 (72405) on Wednesday October 05, 2005 @10:49AM (#13722653)
    I'll stick to building my own PC's. Been doing it since I was a teenager, and I have no desire to buy a big name PC. Plus, I don't trust what they put in there. I've seen the inside of several low/mid range Dells, Gateways, Compaqs, etc. With the exception of the very new Compaqs (from HP), most of them use cheapo generic parts, inadequate cooling, etc. Sans-OS or not, they don't interest me. I like to know exactly what I put in there. Also I don't have to send my PC's off to some "authorized repair center" where some PFY will likely erase the hard drive and reinstall everything to "fix" it.

    Just my two cents.
  • Seriously.

    Everytime I've tried to do a 'naked' install on a 'brand-name' low-cost system, I end up with driver problems, either with Windows or Linux.

    Something is *always* futzy. You *always* end up downloading strange roll-up drivers from the manufacturer, and they never seem to work properly. Basic things like suspend/resume end up being flaky unless you can figure out the exact set of drivers your system has been certified 'workable' with; this is true even down to the revision!

    Sony, Dell, HP, Compaq, the lot of them. In the low-end market, these machines feel like crap.

    I thought the purpose of buying a system with a pre-install was so that you didn't have to go throught that hassle?

    Mind you, I haven't had near as many problems with the higher end stuff.

    It's been awhile since I've purchased one of these, however, so I can't be sure.

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