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Author Topic: Build a $200 Linux PC -- How-to by ExtremeTech  (Read 2951 times)
zridling
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« on: July 26, 2010, 06:55:35 AM »

I love the idea of building a cheap PC for either a relative or someone who doesn't think they could use one (such as my 75-year old mom). ExtremeTech came through with an honest build of a cheap PC, explaining each sacrifice for price. And they still managed to get a decent machine out of it.



Times are still tough out there, but our needs and desires don't always flag just because the economy does. If an accident or an equipment failure has punched an unexpected hole in your computing life, you may be in need of a system—any system—to fill it. Or maybe you've discovered that your family just needs one more box to use as a Web terminal to keep the more powerful systems free more often. Whatever the circumstance, you may be tempted to drop $500 or even more on one of the cheaper, pre-fab models you can find at Costco, Wal-Mart, or from one of the major manufacturers. But once you've factored in all the attendant costs, taxes, and shipping, you could be spending a lot more than you planned—and that's something to avoid, especially when every penny counts.

Even if you need a computer right away, there are plenty of good reasons to build one rather than buy one. You control the parts, so you get exactly what you need at the price you can best afford. You're assured of being able to upgrade any (or all) of the pieces later, when you have more money to spend. And, perhaps most importantly, you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself and maintaining complete control over it from the very instant you open the boxes. No matter how little you want to drop, building your own computer is still the best way to go.


So we asked ourselves: What's the lowest point at which these two goals could intersect? If we needed a simple computer right away, and wanted to spend as little as possible, what could we build? We knew we wanted to aim low, almost ridiculously low—so we decided on what seemed like almost an unthinkable total: $200, which would include everything needed for the base computer itself (but not counting the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, or tax and shipping charges).
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 06:37:40 PM »

The benchmarks they have there against a $300 box are pretty impressive.
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 07:44:23 PM »

Nice find. Thanks for sharing. (c:
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 04:09:51 PM »

I kind of wonder why nobody ever goes for Solaris. It really is the mack-daddy of all operating systems. Nothing comes close to it. Hot swappable mother boards? Yep. Solaris has that, and it don't need no stinkin' app to do it~! tongue cheesy
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 09:31:11 PM »

Probably because Oracle now requires users to purchase a service contract in order to use Solaris, thus jacking up the price of your $200 PC.
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 09:39:28 PM »

I checked, and didn't see anything like that. It looks like it's still free. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/solaris/downloads/get-jsp-136013.html#download
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 02:54:26 AM »

I checked, and didn't see anything like that. It looks like it's still free.

Free download - from what I can see in the License Agreement, it's as Zaine said, you have to buy a Service Contract after 90 days.

Quote
Solaris 10 Download Customers
Obtaining an Entitlement Document is simple. On the Solaris 10 Get It page, select the platform and format you desire from the drop-down menus, and then click the Download Solaris 10 button. When you arrive at the Sun Download Center, either sign in or register, ensuring that a valid e-mail address is part of your Sun Download Center account to receive the Entitlement Document. Fill out the Solaris download survey, specifying the number of systems on which you are installing the software. Once you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the Solaris 10 download page for downloading, and your Entitlement Document will be sent to your registered e-mail address. Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software.

However, OpenSolaris seems to be free to download and use - perhaps that is the version you alluded too?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2010, 03:01:27 AM by 4wd » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 05:20:58 AM »

Got it. I didn't dig that deep. I expected to see things a bit more visibly displayed, like in the pricing area where it was missing. Sigh...

But yes -- also OpenSolaris.
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2010, 11:02:59 AM »

Then again, really. Who needs to hot swap motherboards?
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2010, 04:39:39 PM »

Then again, really. Who needs to hot swap motherboards?

Datacenters. But not many normal people. Still, it's very cool!
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 09:01:07 AM »

So are iProducts... but...  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2010, 04:34:18 PM »

How the heck do you hot-swap a motherboard without bringing the system down?
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2010, 07:37:52 PM »

Hot swappable motherboards are not that necessary...you have redundancy for that. Besides, the default motherboards you buy from vendors is not hot swappable anyway, because of the power management.

So special motherboards, special power supply, special (rack) case...you likely see already that it is cheaper to run a second system, hardware wise. Let alone the software and maintenance fees...

Solaris is nice, but you do not see me shed any tears if it would go the way of the dodo.

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