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The Almighty Buck Hardware

A PC For Tightwads 19

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pinching-a-penny-till-lincoln-cries dept.
ThinSkin writes "What can a $159 fetch you these days? Apparently a PC that includes Linspire, a keyboard, mouse, and speakers. ExtremeTech's Loyd Case took the plunge with this $159 PC and come out quite impressed--with a little cheating of course. From the article: 'If you're willing to spend just a bit more for some more memory, you'd end up with a highly capable light duty office system for less than buying Microsoft Windows and Office.'"
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A PC For Tightwads

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't forget to pay your $699 licensing fee, you cocksmoking teabaggers.
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis.gmail@com> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @07:00PM (#13965356) Homepage
    ECS motherboard ... 250W noname power supply unit, AGP 4x support!!!!

    If all you want is something to write emails with or whatever then that's good. ... I guess. If you want a PC to play games with or develop software this isn't it. 250W doesn't allow you to have [say] a decent CPU and multiple hard disks. Something most home developers require. etc..

    I guess it serves a purpose but I'd rather see some innovation. This isn't creative, it's just OLD. How about you make a PC out of an IBM 405 [or 440] PPC processor, 128MB of SDRAM, 512M flash. some Linux distro, etc. That box would take far less power, be smaller and be just as capable to write emails.

    Tom

    [*] you could build the same PC out of a MIPS or ARM processor... I just have a PPC fetish lately :-)
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @07:16PM (#13965428) Homepage Journal
      I wasn't aware that developers needed multiple hard drives. A fast CPU helps, it really depends. Writing code and running software isn't necessarily processor intensive. But this isn't meant to be a developer computer, I really don't see why that's even mentioned.

      I thought ECS was some company that just makes junk disguised as something that might be useful.

      For game play, one might as well just stick to a console computer.
      • If you're a software developer who works for home and you don't have a lot of resources you need some short term stability. A raid-5 or raid-1 setup is a must. If you can manage another box to host it, all the power to ya [hehehe punny].

        While a RAID setup is not a "backup" it's more reliable then just putting it on a single drive. Losing even a single "really productive day" of work can be disheartening and a setback.

        Tom
        • It'd be better to have a USB hard drive that you can periodically copy your code over to in order to back it up. Maybe even have a program that automatically does the backups every so often. With RAID you're going to lose your data even if you have 50 redundant drives and you accidently do a rm -rf on the directory.
          • first off, copying to a device like raid or usb is NOT a backup you should rely on. In my case I have a cronjob that does nightlies to the RAID then I do manual burns to a CD.

            Copying to another HD is a good temp storage but not a backup.

            Tom
    • It's obviously not intended to be a gaming or development machine. It's intended to be a standard office machine.

      An ECS motherboard, onboard video, small PSU, 256MB of RAM is exactly (it's creepy how exactly actually) the machine we buy for most people in our office. If I could tell my boss that a new computer was $159 (or $200 ... we're in Canada after all) including all the software, he'd be a lot more willing to replace the Celeron 333's we're still using. This can only help Linux by getting it into m
      • When I'm buying desktops I always go ASUS or Gigabyte because they're more often than not decently priced and very stable. It also happens to help to shop at stores with good exchange policies. Once in a while you get bad boards but a quick replacement or BIOS upgrade [ASUS did mess up the A8N-E boards when they first shipped the BIOS was unworkable] is all they need.

        On the otherhand when I chose ECS a few years back [around 2003 or so] I had no end of trouble. They didn't really support AGP and the over
    • You must have a short memory or something. Five years ago the PC in question would be a spead demon, and I'm pretty sure people did more than write emails back then. Put Windows 2000, or Linux without the new versions of KDE or GNOME and you have a system that will fly.
      • My point is with todays technology you can have a box capable of handling email that draws less current, requires less resources to create [and run] and contributes less to overall polution. The flipside too of using non-x86 is that you get thrown headfirst into the world of OSS which I think is a good thing.

        A 400Mhz PPC [IBM 405] processor draws less than a Watt of power, in turn the power supply doesn't have to be as big [and wasteful, keep in mind they're not 100% efficient]. You won't need a huge moth
  • You might need a good PC for all your favorite games (unless your favorites are over 3 years old), but any cheap PC will usually be enough to run your favorite desktop apps. I bought one of those Linspire PC's for my dad for $269, which had 256mb ram, an 80gb HD, and a DVD/CDRW combo drive. It runs pretty smoothly. The only big downside is that they used a video chipset which was incompatible with Linux, including the Linspire that was preinstalled. And the hard drive is held in by only two screws, allowing
    • I feel the need to chime in with my cheap computer comment...

      I was able to pick up a $220 dollar computer (granted after rebates) with 512MB ram, 160Gb sata drive, 16x dl dvd+-RW, amd 64 3500+. The biggest down side for me is that it says compaq :-( but the only part that was bad on it was the cheap multi card reader. Called in and they shipped me a new one same day shipping for free.

      keep an eye out for those 6 hour only sales at compUSA... The key is to look at upgrades carfuly.. for 20 dollars that ma
  • It's the old adage of you get what you pay for. These PCs are perfect for a first PC where the user might not be able to handle a high end PC's capabilities.

    Not everyone is after a high end gaming machine. Some literally just want to use an office type program, surf the web, email, and play Solitaire.

    It's the stupid salespeople selling these expensive computers just for the purpose of getting their profits up so they can win that incentive the big bosses put out. Not all salespeople are like that but th

  • Imagine a... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by el_womble (779715) on Monday November 07, 2005 @09:56AM (#13968969) Homepage
    ...beowulf cluster, ok don't this would suck as much at this as much as an XBox, but I think the target market for this should be geeks, not noobs. As the article said, in order to get it working they had to put 512MB RAM in to get it acting like a modern PC. I can sympathize with this, but really, should this machine be allowed a GUI?

    It's got a good network card, a half decent amount of RAM and a harddisk. I'm seeing a fileserver, bittorent client, tomcat, CVS, distcc, firewall, game/print server etc. It takes cheap DDR, so if you want to run JBoss or MySQL that is a real possibility, but what I'm thinking is stick a $20 WiFi card in it, and stick it in a cupboard/basement away from harms reach.

    I have a PowerBook and a iMac G5, and although both of these are fully capable of running all of those applications, I like keeping my development boxes 'clean'. Farming out essential, but resource nibbling tasks out to smaller, disposable boxes makes a lot of sense to me.
  • Everything was ok up until the ECS 741GX-M. That was the turn off point right there.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...