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'[OT] Dell Linux Desktop -- poor sales'
2007\11\30@185922 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/

Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.


'[OT] Dell Linux Desktop -- poor sales'
2007\12\01@013614 by Dave Lag
picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
>
> Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.

Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
version. What did they expect?
Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish
'Would sell like mad
D

2007\12\01@030126 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 1, 2007 2:37 PM, Dave Lag <spam_OUTdavescomputerTakeThisOuTspamrogers.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
> >
> > Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
>
> Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
> version. What did they expect?
> Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish
> 'Would sell like mad

To be honest I think Dell pays much less than $80 for Windows
XP/Vista. And there production line is more geared toward automatic
installing Windows. So I really think the price reduction is not
that much for Dell. For smaller vendors, the price difference
can be much more significant.

Xiaofan

2007\12\01@052108 by Shawn Tan

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face
On Saturday 01 December 2007 06:37:11 Dave Lag wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
> >
> > Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
>
> Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
> version. What did they expect?
> Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish
> 'Would sell like mad
> D

Plus, I read that the machines were only available for home users/personal
purchases. Supposedly, you couldn't buy a whole building full of them because
Dell wouldn't sell it to you under a business contract. For that, you would
still need to purchase the N series or a Windows machine.

cheers.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2007\12\01@075629 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 03:01 AM 12/1/2007, you wrote:
>On Dec 1, 2007 2:37 PM, Dave Lag <.....davescomputerKILLspamspam@spam@rogers.com> wrote:
> > Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > > www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
> > >
> > > Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
> >
> > Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
> > version. What did they expect?
> > Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish
> > 'Would sell like mad
>
>To be honest I think Dell pays much less than $80 for Windows
>XP/Vista. And there production line is more geared toward automatic
>installing Windows. So I really think the price reduction is not
>that much for Dell. For smaller vendors, the price difference
>can be much more significant.
>
>Xiaofan

Some interesting speculation here:
http://www.ideastorm.com/article/show/62836/Make_clear_what_Windows_Vista_costs



Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2007\12\01@081833 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 1, 2007 9:01 PM, Spehro Pefhany <.....speffKILLspamspam.....interlog.com> wrote:
> >To be honest I think Dell pays much less than $80 for Windows
> >XP/Vista. And there production line is more geared toward automatic
> >installing Windows. So I really think the price reduction is not
> >that much for Dell. For smaller vendors, the price difference
> >can be much more significant.
>
> Some interesting speculation here:
> http://www.ideastorm.com/article/show/62836/Make_clear_what_Windows_Vista_costs
>

I will believe that Dell will need to pay a bit of monery for
Windows Vista Basic but it might be really true that Dell could get
the money back from those bundles junks.

Last time I bought the Dell 600M, I need to reinstall Windows
completely to get rid of the junks (Dell does provide the XP
install CD and the driver CD).

Xiaofan

2007\12\01@082525 by Shawn Tan

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face
On Saturday 01 December 2007 06:37:11 Dave Lag wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
> >
> > Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
>
> Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
> version. What did they expect?
> Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish
> 'Would sell like mad
> D

Plus, I read that the machines were only available for home users/personal
purchases. Supposedly, you couldn't buy a whole building full of them because
Dell wouldn't sell it to you under a business contract. For that, you would
still need to purchase the N series or a Windows machine.

cheers.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2007\12\01@085138 by Funny NYPD

picon face
A laptop for around $299, that's cheaper or close to the Asus Eee PC. I will buy ten of this as Christmas gift. I do think put Linux on the laptop is great. Ubuntu is great on windows style for anyone who is familiar with the current Microsoft staff.

Best buy has a similar deal on black Friday, but it is hard to get.

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



{Original Message removed}

2007\12\01@101046 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Sat, 2007-12-01 at 01:37 -0500, Dave Lag wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
> >
> > Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
>
> Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
> version. What did they expect?

Exactly. I didn't even go for their linux offerings. If Linux had been
an option on EVERY model it would have sold like hot cakes. As it was,
you had to buy models that had stuff I didn't want, stuff that trumped
up the price way to much.

Give it time. TTYL

2007\12\01@102455 by Shawn Tan

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face
On Saturday 01 December 2007 15:10:44 Herbert Graf wrote:
> Exactly. I didn't even go for their linux offerings. If Linux had been
> an option on EVERY model it would have sold like hot cakes. As it was,
> you had to buy models that had stuff I didn't want, stuff that trumped
> up the price way to much.

Plus, if you look at the Dell UK offerings, they're only offering it on really
_old_ hardware models. Looks like dumping to me.

> Give it time. TTYL

Yup, a limited offering is a good start. It could even be considered
a 'pilot'.

But, they should really expand it to all product lines. Granted, some hardware
limitations exist due to driver problems. But these are slowly being
resolved.

Cheers.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2007\12\01@134155 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
When I have ordered my Dell laptop I phoned up an Irish number but then
ended up talking to a guy in India. He could not understand that I know what
I want, he asked many questions like: "Do you want to precess photos on your
computer" which I replied: "most probably I will do but I saw the
configuration that I want on the net I just wanted to know how can I order
it with Linux?". He could not skip this 'stupid-user' process, so I answered
to those silly questions, then he offered me a ridiculous price for a lower
spec computer, then I had to tell him that I saw a much better deal on the
net, then he asked me the link (it was on Dell site and he did not know
that) so finally he had to talk to his boss about removing Windows as they
do not provide Linux for that computer. Finally they did not even remove
Windows as it was told me that computer is already in a very low price so
what do I want more? (it was indeed) Dell in my opinion is not willing to
sell Linux, if you are very very pushy you might be able to get out it
otherwise you have to install it by yourself.

BTW: After I have told all of these stories about my Linux need and after he
was talking to his boss if they can remove Windows, he asked me: "Do you
want McAffee antivirus?" I was just laughing :-)

Tamas



On Dec 1, 2007 1:01 PM, Spehro Pefhany <EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\12\01@145839 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> Last time I bought the Dell 600M, I need to reinstall Windows
> completely to get rid of the junks (Dell does provide the XP
> install CD and the driver CD).

Some times it happened to me too! (other brands)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\12\01@190610 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Dec 1, 2007, at 10:41 AM, Tamas Rudnai wrote:

> Finally they did not even remove Windows as it was told
> me that computer is already in a very low price so what
> do I want more?

That's the crux of the matter.  The best "deals" at Dell
aren't realistically "299 for hardware plus 100 for windows",
they're selling you a system at the bare minimum possible
profit, for which they probably have a special deal with
Microsoft (legal or otherwise) to have windows there at
a minimal cost (to them.)  All of which means that they
wouldn't be able to offer you any significant discount just
by deleting windows...

I mentioned that my home (windows) PCs these days are dells.
The fact that windows was essentially free with those systems
was a not-insignificant factor in those purchase decisions.
(ie I could "build my own PC" for similar or smaller cost, but
NOT after I factored in list price for windows...)  That was
one of the excuses for not upgrading old PCs, too;  upgrading
HW was reasonably cheap, but upgrading the SW wasn't.

BillW

2007\12\01@205951 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 2, 2007 2:41 AM, Tamas Rudnai <KILLspamtamas.rudnaiKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
>  Finally they did not even remove
> Windows as it was told me that computer is already in a very low price so
> what do I want more? (it was indeed) Dell in my opinion is not willing to
> sell Linux, if you are very very pushy you might be able to get out it
> otherwise you have to install it by yourself.
>
> BTW: After I have told all of these stories about my Linux need and after he
> was talking to his boss if they can remove Windows, he asked me: "Do you
> want McAffee antivirus?" I was just laughing :-)
>

I can see two interesting things from the above.
1) Outsourcing contributes to Dell's problem of losing market shares. I think
Dell business customers still get better support but many home buyers
still got support from some call centers in India (some of them good, some
of them pretty bad).

2) Linux is kind of experiment for Dell but the internal organization
and procedures are not tuned to support this initiatives. To me
Dell should actually concentrate on Business Linux Desktop sale
and not the 40000 consumer Linux Desktops.

Xiaofan

2007\12\01@213240 by Matt Pobursky

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On Sat, 1 Dec 2007 16:06:05 -0800, Chops\ wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I just quit buying off-the-shelf computers and build my own exclusively now
(except for laptops). No one will sell me a PC with the OS I want (Win2K)
and they all come with so much junk (spyware, malware and adware) on them
that I end up reformatting and setting up the OS from scratch anyway
(that's assuming they even give you an OS CD). Total time spent setting up
the system is about the same and I end up with exactly the PC I want. I
know Microsoft doesn't like it but I keep recycling the 10 or so legally
obtained Win2K licenses. Once I can't practically do this anymore I will
probably make the switch to a non- Microsoft OS.

I took me almost a full day with my new laptop (WinXP) to clean all the
crap off, setup the UI the way I wanted it, turning off all the crazy
services I don't want or need and backing up the final configuration (so I
could go back to "new" if something hardware related ever failed). And it
is an Acer laptop which has a lot less junk pre-installed on it than the
average Dell, HP, Copmaq, Toshiba or Sony.

As a side benefit, my systems seem to be much more robust that almost any
of the people I work with (suppliers and clients). I don't get viruses or
trojans, my systems last typically for 5-7 years before I retire them and
they run for months between reboots (barring any new drivers or hardware
changes).

The system I am typing this email on was built in late 2004, is a 2.4 GHZ
AMD Athlon XP Win2K system, has 2 GB of DDR400 RAM, WD Raptor Serial ATA
hard drives, a Geforce 6600GT dual head video card, (2) 20" Samsung
1600x1200 LCD monitors. I do all my CAD work (2D and 3D), web browsing,
email, electronic EDA design work and general office stuff with it and it
is still very "snappy". If I recall correctly I have maybe $1000-$1200
total in the system. It gets rebooted every couple months on average. It's
so reliable that I am still not thinking seriously of retiring it yet even
though I have had it's Athlon 64 "replacement" running in the office next
door for almost a year now.

One other note -- since I started running my computers 24/7 with APC
extended run time UPSs (SmartUPS XL series) in the late 1990's I have had
virtually no hardware related failures. I'm not sure if it's running them
all the time and eliminating the power surge, temperature cycling or just
luck but the small amount of additional electricity cost has more than
offset the amount of time wasted booting up systems and fixing hardware
gone bad. Another added benefit is that since the systems are all running
anyway, I have a backup system that fully backs up every workstation and
server daily at about 4am (hourly too, FWIW). Since I know someone will
ask, I measured the standby of the (5) systems that are normally running
here and it's about 300W total.

I know my approach won't work for a lot of people but I absolutely HATE
working on/fixing PC problems, I just want them to work as closely to 100%
of the time as possible. So far this approach has given me the least amount
of hassles and I'm going to keep doing it until it doesn't work any more...
;-)

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\01@214115 by Matt Pobursky

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On Sat, 1 Dec 2007 10:20:59 +0000, Shawn Tan wrote:
> On Saturday 01 December 2007 06:37:11 Dave Lag wrote:
>> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>>> www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/
>>>
>>> Maybe the gOS PC and Asus Eee are better deals.
>>>
>> Judging by the comments they didn't reduce the price for the "free" OS
>> version. What did they expect?
>> Take the 399 laptop they had last week and lop off $80~ish 'Would sell
>> like mad D
>>
>
> Plus, I read that the machines were only available for home
> users/personal purchases. Supposedly, you couldn't buy a whole building
> full of them because Dell wouldn't sell it to you under a business
> contract. For that, you would still need to purchase the N series or a
> Windows machine.

I am not sure how it is now but a few years ago when Dell had their first
Linux systems for sale I had a client that was interested in buying (15)
Dell systems pre-configured with Linux. This was after we had converted a
couple of their Dell workstations to Linux for a trial run. They found that
the Linux boxes were extremely stable and they didn't have any serious
problems running Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org in their
predominantly Windows environment.

They had a corporate account with Dell and when they configured the systems
on the Dell small business web site and place the order it told them to
call a toll free customer service number and give them the order number.
The customer service person told them that the Linux PCs were only for
consumer sales and they would have to take WinXP systems.

So I think there is some truth to that although I don't know if it's still
true.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\01@225708 by Funny NYPD

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Matt,
Curious where did you get win2k these days? I only got one, try to get more, but no reliable resources.

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



{Original Message removed}

2007\12\02@031412 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Funny NYPD wrote:

> Curious where did you get win2k these days? I only got one, try to get more, but no reliable resources.

Hi, AFAIK you can purchase Vista Professional (or how id it called...)
or XP Professional , and downgrade to Win2K.
Not sure how you receive a Serial number though.


--
Ciao, Dario

2007\12\02@040354 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 2, 2007 4:14 PM, Dario Greggio <RemoveMEadpm.toTakeThisOuTspaminwind.it> wrote:
> Funny NYPD wrote:
>
> > Curious where did you get win2k these days? I only got one, try to get more, but no reliable resources.
>
> Hi, AFAIK you can purchase Vista Professional (or how id it called...)
> or XP Professional , and downgrade to Win2K.
> Not sure how you receive a Serial number though.
>

Interestingly my colleague bought Visual Studio 2005 Professional
and then downgrade to Visual Studio 6 for some old programs.

Not so sure if you can do that for Windows 2k.

The other possibility is to get Windows 2k OEM version from
certain vendors.
Example: Google found this.
http://www.unicom-computer.com/os-detail.htm

If you are lucky, you may be able to buy an old computer
with valid Windows 2k licence for less than the price
listed above.

Xiaofan

2007\12\02@075427 by Matt Pobursky

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On Sat, 1 Dec 2007 19:57:06 -0800 (PST), Funny NYPD wrote:
> Matt,
> Curious where did you get win2k these days? I only got one, try to get
> more, but no reliable resources.

I haven't bought Win2K for a couple years now. The last time I did I found
a "surplus" software store online that had legitimate OEM packages. I think
I bought (5) more licenses at the time for about $100 ea.

Before that I bought Win2K OEM from Newegg.com but it is a long time since
they've carried it. I guess I started thinking about this and planning
ahead when one of my colleagues was refused authentication by Microsoft on
a re-install of WinXP in the middle of a big software project. The reason
they refused him was he changed motherboards and MS said "new motherboard,
new computer -- buy another copy". That made me mad and forever turned me
off to Windows authentication. Considering that I build my own systems and
change motherboards and other hardware periodically I didn't want the same
thing happening to me in the middle of a hot project.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems




2007\12\03@195049 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
Matt Pobursky wrote:

> I just quit buying off-the-shelf computers and build my own exclusively now
> (except for laptops). No one will sell me a PC with the OS I want (Win2K)

That's because W2K is beyond end-of-life support, and no vendor is going
to sell something they can't officially support.

Nate

2007\12\03@195231 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
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Matt Pobursky wrote:

> new computer -- buy another copy". That made me mad and forever turned me
> off to Windows authentication. Considering that I build my own systems and

Just stop that sentence at the word Windows, and you'll have the right
idea.  :-)

Nate

2007\12\03@201951 by Matt Pobursky

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On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 17:52:33 -0700, Nate Duehr wrote:
> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>
>> I just quit buying off-the-shelf computers and build my own exclusively
>> now (except for laptops). No one will sell me a PC with the OS I want
>> (Win2K)
>>
>
> That's because W2K is beyond end-of-life support, and no vendor is going
> to sell something they can't officially support.

Of course and I understand that. It doesn't mean that I still don't want to
buy it though ... ;-)

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\03@202838 by Matt Pobursky

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On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 17:54:28 -0700, Nate Duehr wrote:
> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>
>> new computer -- buy another copy". That made me mad and forever turned
>> me off to Windows authentication. Considering that I build my own
>> systems and
>>
>
> Just stop that sentence at the word Windows, and you'll have the right
> idea.  :-)

Unlike a lot of people, I am not a "Windows hater". I quite like Windows
2000, it's really stable and allows me to get my work done. I have serious
problems with WinXP and Vista, mostly related to Microsoft business
practices but in Vista's case the OS itself (and the design decisions
made).

If there were *any* alternative that allowed me to do my work in a similar
manner I am doing it now I would jump all over it (or at least seriously
consider it). Sadly I find the only two real contenders (Linux and Mac)
sadly lacking with toolsets equivalent to the ones I'm using with Windows
now. I hope that changes. I have such a huge investment in Windows
development tool and CAD software I'm not sure how or when a cost effective
crossover will occur (or if it's even possible in my working lifetime).

Sigh. It's kind of depressing to think about.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\03@205839 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Matt Pobursky wrote:

> No one will sell me a PC with the OS I want (Win2K) and they all come
> with so much junk (spyware, malware and adware) on them that I end up
> reformatting and setting up the OS from scratch anyway

> And it is an Acer laptop which has a lot less junk pre-installed on it
> than the average Dell, HP, Copmaq, Toshiba or Sony.

I don't know how you guys buy at Dell, but I just bought a Latitude, and it
came with all the drivers and standard Microsoft Windows stuff installed
(like MSN, which is easily uninstalled), but no actual junk (unless of
course you consider Windows junk :).

Gerhard

2007\12\03@210119 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/4/07, Matt Pobursky <spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespammps-design.com> wrote:
> Unlike a lot of people, I am not a "Windows hater". I quite like Windows
> 2000, it's really stable and allows me to get my work done. I have serious
> problems with WinXP and Vista, mostly related to Microsoft business
> practices but in Vista's case the OS itself (and the design decisions
> made).

Windows XP SP2 is much better than Windows 2k IMHO as long
as your hardware is not that old (any 3 year old computer should be
fine with 512M RAM). For one thing USB support is better. Multimedia
support is better. Application compatibility is better. More important
it is supported by Microsoft.

For Vista, you should wait a bit. I think SP1 will make it quite usable
and SP2 will make it as good as Windows XP SP2. Vista is said to
be quite stable but not so flexible and slower than XP SP2.

> If there were *any* alternative that allowed me to do my work in a similar
> manner I am doing it now I would jump all over it (or at least seriously
> consider it). Sadly I find the only two real contenders (Linux and Mac)
> sadly lacking with toolsets equivalent to the ones I'm using with Windows
> now. I hope that changes. I have such a huge investment in Windows
> development tool and CAD software I'm not sure how or when a cost effective
> crossover will occur (or if it's even possible in my working lifetime).
>
> Sigh. It's kind of depressing to think about.

You can still stick to Windows 2k/XP but add Linux as an alternative.
You can use dual boot, or use Vmware to run those Windows only
application.

Xiaofan

2007\12\03@213219 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/4/07, Gerhard Fiedler <TakeThisOuTlistsEraseMEspamspam_OUTconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>
> > No one will sell me a PC with the OS I want (Win2K) and they all come
> > with so much junk (spyware, malware and adware) on them that I end up
> > reformatting and setting up the OS from scratch anyway
>
> > And it is an Acer laptop which has a lot less junk pre-installed on it
> > than the average Dell, HP, Copmaq, Toshiba or Sony.
>
> I don't know how you guys buy at Dell, but I just bought a Latitude, and it
> came with all the drivers and standard Microsoft Windows stuff installed
> (like MSN, which is easily uninstalled), but no actual junk (unless of
> course you consider Windows junk :).
>

In US, I think it is a good idea to buy from Dell Small Business. Latitude
is considered to be the business offering  from Dell. Inspiron is more
geared toward consumer. In general, Latitude has a better quality than
Inspiron. That is of course one reason why Dell is still strong in the
business world but becomes weak in the consumer word. The other
problem is that Dell has better QA with in-house Desktop product line
but more rely on 3rd party for notebook lines.

Even if you buy Inspiron from Dell Small Business, the support is
better. Last time I called for support and the call center was in
USA. And at that time, if one bought from Dell Consumer, the
call center would be in India.

Xiaofan

2007\12\03@234836 by Bryan Bishop

picon face
On Saturday 01 December 2007, Matt Pobursky wrote:
> One other note -- since I started running my computers 24/7 with APC
> extended run time UPSs (SmartUPS XL series) in the late 1990's I have
> had virtually no hardware related failures. I'm not sure if it's
<snip amazing awesome story>

I think we could all learn something from you, here. Is this a
commercial setup, or something going on in your home, or what? I would
very much like to get my own self-supporting setup going, but I quickly
run out of storage space with the amount of data that I would like to
be accumulating (I guess I need to up my dx on my storage purchases?).

- Bryan

2007\12\03@235043 by Dave Lagzdin

picon face
On 03/12/2007, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> Windows XP SP2 is much better than Windows 2k IMHO as long
> as your hardware is not that old (any 3 year old computer should be
> fine with 512M RAM). For one thing USB support is better. Multimedia
> support is better. Application compatibility is better. More important
> it is supported by Microsoft.
>
> For Vista, you should wait a bit. I think SP1 will make it quite usable
> and SP2 will make it as good as Windows XP SP2. Vista is said to
> be quite stable but not so flexible and slower than XP SP2.
>
> And if XP SP3 is 10% faster as they are claiming Vista will never catch up
:)

Dave

2007\12\04@012644 by Matt Pobursky

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On Mon, 3 Dec 2007 22:50:37 -0600, Bryan Bishop wrote:
> On Saturday 01 December 2007, Matt Pobursky wrote:
>> One other note -- since I started running my computers 24/7 with APC
>> extended run time UPSs (SmartUPS XL series) in the late 1990's I have
>> had virtually no hardware related failures. I'm not sure if it's
>>
> <snip amazing awesome story>
>
> I think we could all learn something from you, here. Is this a commercial
> setup, or something going on in your home, or what? I would very much
> like to get my own self-supporting setup going, but I quickly run out of
> storage space with the amount of data that I would like to be
> accumulating (I guess I need to up my dx on my storage purchases?).

Nothing too exotic, just a home office setup. I have two 10' x 10' bedrooms
converted to office space, one is a lab/main work space and one is a more
traditional office. I also have a server rack and networking gear in my
basement.

The work lab has two PC workstations, both with dual LCD monitors and both
systems on their own UPS. The office has one PC and LCD monitor on it's own
UPS. The server rack in the basement has two servers which both use the
same monitor via a KVM switch. The two servers, monitor and networking gear
all run on a common UPS.

These (5) PCs stay on 24/7 with the LCDs powering down after 15-30 minutes
of inactivity. I have a couple other PCs that are normally powered off
-- one PC that still has Win98 and some older legacy apps I occasionally
need to run and a PC used for testing drivers, PC apps and basically
anything I don't want to load on my work computers located on the server
rack and sharing the monitor with the servers.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\04@013700 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/4/07, Dave Lagzdin <dtekk.comEraseMEspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> > For Vista, you should wait a bit. I think SP1 will make it quite usable
> > and SP2 will make it as good as Windows XP SP2. Vista is said to
> > be quite stable but not so flexible and slower than XP SP2.
> >
> > And if XP SP3 is 10% faster as they are claiming Vista will
> never catch up > :)

Maybe Vista will never catch up XP in terms of speed. But Vista is more
about security along with some other changes.

XP is actually not faster than Win2k (start up is faster for XP) but XP
SP2 is now standard in many companies. Once XP is not officially
supported, Vista will catch up. ;-) The other possibility is that
Vista may see a replacement soon if it proves a failure for Microsoft
(Windows Me is a failure).

Windows 98SE and Windows XP SP2 are both quite successful for
Microsoft.

Xiaofan

2007\12\04@021714 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/4/07, Nate Duehr <EraseMEnatespamnatetech.com> wrote:
> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>
> > new computer -- buy another copy". That made me mad and forever turned me
> > off to Windows authentication. Considering that I build my own systems and
>
> Just stop that sentence at the word Windows, and you'll have the right
> idea.  :-)
>

It would be nice that you can build your own laptops but it is not easy.
Building a desktop is easy now. Actually here in Singapore, you can
ask the hardware shop to assemble everything for you and even
install Windows for you if you pay for the OEM license (Microsoft
sanctioned).

Xiaofan

2007\12\04@055347 by Shawn Tan

flavicon
face
On Tuesday 04 December 2007 07:17:13 Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > Just stop that sentence at the word Windows, and you'll have the right
> > idea.  :-)
>
> It would be nice that you can build your own laptops but it is not easy.
> Building a desktop is easy now. Actually here in Singapore, you can

I think that there has been some progress in the whitebook laptop market.
Compal has been making it's laptops available more widely. I believe that the
only thing that isn't customisable is the graphics. You can stick in
everything else yourself.

I can't remember the model number but Asus has one that has swappable
graphics, which uses an MXM interface. But this interface doesn't seem to be
widely supported.

In the end, I got a HP (with a £100 cashback), and tried my best to return the
Vista that it came with. Vista refuses to respond to anything unless you
agree to the EULA. I didn't, and so, I had to hard reset the machine. I
couldn't disagree with the EULA as there wasn't a button allowing me to do
so!

I got the run-around from both HP and Microsoft customer service. Each telling
me that I should return it to the other. In the end, HP sent me a new OEM
copy of XP and closed the case.

http://sybreon.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-windows-refund-saga.html

Cheers.

--
with metta,
Shawn Tan

Aeste Works (M) Sdn Bhd - Engineering Elegance
http://www.aeste.net

2007\12\04@061634 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I got the run-around from both HP and Microsoft customer service. Each
>telling me that I should return it to the other. In the end, HP sent
>me a new OEM copy of XP and closed the case.

You could always send BBC Watchdog your information. Once they start getting
involved, they get real tenacious and will not take 'no' for an answer.

2007\12\04@063523 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 4, 2007 6:52 PM, Shawn Tan <RemoveMEshawn.tanEraseMEspamEraseMEaeste.net> wrote:
>
> I got the run-around from both HP and Microsoft customer service. Each telling
> me that I should return it to the other. In the end, HP sent me a new OEM
> copy of XP and closed the case.
>
> http://sybreon.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-windows-refund-saga.html
>

Very interesting and I am surprised that HP gives you the XP. Maybe
this story should be slashdoted and many people will follow you.

Xiaofan

2007\12\04@071108 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> Even if you buy Inspiron from Dell Small Business, the support is better.
> Last time I called for support and the call center was in USA. And at
> that time, if one bought from Dell Consumer, the call center would be in
> India.

Does "call center in India" mean worse support than "call center in the
USA"? Or is the main difference a "funny" accent?

Gerhard

2007\12\04@075031 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Dec 4, 2007 8:10 PM, Gerhard Fiedler <RemoveMElistsspam_OUTspamKILLspamconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
> > Even if you buy Inspiron from Dell Small Business, the support is better.
> > Last time I called for support and the call center was in USA. And at
> > that time, if one bought from Dell Consumer, the call center would be in
> > India.
>
> Does "call center in India" mean worse support than "call center in the
> USA"? Or is the main difference a "funny" accent?
>

I have no problem with Indian accent. The main problem is that
some of them have really no clues. This not only happened
to Dell. I had a hard time to communicate with HSBC support
last time as well.

Xiaofan

2007\12\04@094156 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
I can't remember the model number but Asus has one that has
swappable
graphics, which uses an MXM interface. But this interface
doesn't seem to be
widely supported.

ACER (I think it is) had/have some where they swap the
badges and, lo and behold, they become HP/Compaq brand.

Do you know who made YOUR name brand PC?
Does it matter?
Do you care?



       Russell








2007\12\04@095011 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> Does "call center in India" mean worse support than "call
> center in the
> USA"? Or is the main difference a "funny" accent?

My experience of technical call centres is that, so far, any
can be good or bad, but the Indian located ones have a
higher percentage of bad ones. It is highly likely that this
is as much or more the fault of those utilising their
services not properly training them as it is a fault of most
of the centres per se.

What I find very annoying is having a cold caller from a
call centre, with a noisy low bandwidth phone line, a 2
satellite hop delay and a speaker with a heavy Indian accent
volunteering unasked that they are located in my city and
are calling from another suburb. Global village maybe :-).

Also annoying are the people who utterly insist on dragging
you through a long challenge and response sequence designed
to elicit Pavlovian responses and agreement with the
questioner when you just want to cut to the chase. Indian
centres seem, for whatever reason, to be worse in this area.

Where geographical or local general knowledge is important a
remote call centre tends to be inferior. Also when overall
culture matters.

All this may be just as true from a Georgian or Irish call
centre, but we don't seem to have any of those, yet.



       Russell


2007\12\04@095508 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 07:21:05 -0500, Byron Jeff wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 03, 2007 at 07:28:35PM -0600, Matt Pobursky wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 03 Dec 2007 17:54:28 -0700, Nate Duehr wrote:
>>> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>>>
>> Unlike a lot of people, I am not a "Windows hater". I quite like
>> Windows 2000, it's really stable and allows me to get my work done. I
>> have serious problems with WinXP and Vista, mostly related to Microsoft
>> business practices but in Vista's case the OS itself (and the design
>> decisions made).
>>
>
> You sound just about as preturbed with Microsoft as most of the Windows
> haters.

I like some of the Windows versions themselves a lot (Win2K or WinXP [minus
the authentication, WGA, DRM et. al.])

>> If there were *any* alternative that allowed me to do my work in a
>> similar manner I am doing it now I would jump all over it (or at least
>> seriously consider it). Sadly I find the only two real contenders
>> (Linux and Mac) sadly lacking with toolsets equivalent to the ones I'm
>> using with Windows now. I hope that changes.
>>
>
> It won't. It's unfortunate. But it won't.

I see it slowly changing. Several of the toolset vendors I use now offer
Linux alternatives as well as their more common Windows versions. I have
seen the more enlightened ones are writing their software with cross-
platform portability in mind from the outset. If I were a PC software
developer I would take this approach as someday Microsoft will not be "king
of the hill" anymore.

{Quote hidden}

Inertia is a hard thing to overcome for sure and that's what Microsoft is
banking on. General Motors once held a spot in the automotive world similar
to Microsoft's and look where they are now. A slow death spiral that also
can't be stopped because of the same inertia that made GM what it is.

I'm not sure the rest is totally true though. It is probably true with
large publicly held software companies though. I am developing a sense that
the best software companies are smaller, privately held companies that
actually can listen to their customers and give them what they want. They
are also more nimble and can change directions much better than larger,
wall street driven companies. They don't have to explain their actions to
anyone but their customers. The larger companies seem to care little for
their customers wants or needs and seemingly have an attitude of "you'll
take what we give you and like it". As long as it sells, they make their
numbers to keep the wall street folks happy then they are happy. Making a
quality product that their customers actually want is quite a bit further
down the list of priorities.

> But it gets even worse. Because of support issues, companies won't even
> help developers who wish to help out. Microchip is trying. Witness the
> release of code to drive the pickit2 for example.

Even though I don't use Microchip's tools, I applaud their efforts. I've
told them this quite a few times. Since I'm a registered consultant with
them I'd like to think that they actually listen... ;-)

> It's like an ant trying to take on an elephant. If you only have a few,
> you're never going to succeed. It's going to take the collective will of
> millions of users pressuring millions of companies to make a difference.

Agreed. That's one of the reasons I've taken the stance with Microsoft that
I've taken. When I can no longer run Win2K to sustain my business computing
needs I *will* make a change. Until then I will keep my eyes and ears open
for alternatives.

> I haven't seen that will. The critical mass isn't sufficient yet.
>
> BTW you should consider virtualization while trying to transistion. Tools
> like VMware will allow you to carry Win2000 with you, while Wine and its
> admittedly hit and miss nature, facilitates bringing over Windows
> applications without the OS.

It may happen that way, I'm not sure at this point. One thing I do know is
that right now VMWare and Wine don't get it done for me. I've experimented
with that approach and there are way too many problems to fight and make it
cost effective (never mind the annoyance factor). Too many of the software
packages I run are tied to the Windows hardware interface. Slowly I see
that changing too as the hardware interface for a lot of tools is being
abstracted to a standard interface with a "black box" interface between PC
and end system.

> But in the end as long as everyone sits tight, change will never occur.
>
>> Sigh. It's kind of depressing to think about.
>>
> I'm not depressed. I simply made a committment a long time ago, in the
> Windows 3.1 days, that whatever it took, I wouldn't depend on Windows
> based apps. I haven't run MPLAB in a dozen years for example, since the
> DOS days.

No MPLAB here either but not because it's a Windows app but because we have
a better Windows toolset. ;-)

Unlike a lot of people on this list who seem to be married almost strictly
to PICs for their microcontroller development needs, we develop
applications for about a dozen different microcontroller families. We add
support for one or two more families every couple years. Decent, cost
effective tools for Windows are available for all of them. Most of the
toosl that run on another platform are, for us, generally a step back in
performance and capabilities. That costs us real money (time = $) so they
are not really alternatives.

> But like I said, I simply don't think that the critical mass of frankly
> slavish devotion to the cause necessary for mass change to occur. I think
> for it to happen that Microsoft will have to do something to shock the
> world into considering alternatives. I've always believed that it would
> be true effective application DRM so that applications are bound to a
> machine and cannot be copied. They've tried this a couple of times and
> backed off due to user complaints. However, I think to support their
> shareholders eventually they are going to throw it on the wall and make
> it stick.

Yes, I agree -- this will likely be the straw that finally breaks the
camel's back. I've already gotten to this point and I think a lot of other
people have too. The masses haven't fully caught on because it hasn't
inconvenienced them significantly... yet. Once it does and the bridge is
crossed it will be difficult for Microsoft or any other vendor or industry
to go back.

I already have my own personal list of "bad players" that I am personally
boycotting. I may only be a fly speck on their radar but I can at least
feel like I am doing something. I also tell my friends and family about
these companies and their shenanigans. For instance, I will never buy
anything from Sony or any of it's siblings ever again after their audio CD
"rootkit" debacle. In the past I had literally bought $10,000+ of consumer
electronics, CDs and computer items from Sony. Never again. I wrote a
letter to the CEO of both Sony Japan and Sony media and told them what I
was doing and why. Will it make a difference? Probably not but at least I
have made my feelings known and am informing my friends of the arrogant
nature and total disregard of Sony for their customers.

In my own way, I am trying to do the same thing with Microsoft. OK, I am
done now. I've probably said too much already but it's one of the few
consumer type issues that really gets me wound up.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2007\12\04@115924 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 09:58:52AM -0500, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Hence the "cannot afford to invest into a market that will yield less than
10% of customers". Right now if you are a software developer, you have to
support Windows or you are sunk.

> With open source model, the software offering needs to be pretty
> complicated (to earn money by support) or very popular (to earn
> money by Google ad-sense or something else).

You can still sell the software. The issue is that anyone else can too.

> Without using open source model, the software needs to be good
> enough to beat the free alternatives by a lot to have some people
> to buy it. It is not easy for small ISVs and the majority of those who
> use Linux or open source OSes do not want to buy software.

That's because virtually all current non Windows users are early adopters and are
perfectly happy to work out support for themselves. However, the large
chunk of Windows users out there do directly and indirectly pay for
software and services. They would pay under Linux and Mac. The problem is
that there hasn't been a feasible way to pry them away from Windows.

Let's take a real example that I see over and over again. Folks get a new
computer. While new computers come with free copy of Windows, most do not
come with a gratis copy of Office, only a trail version. So when the trail
time expires, they scramble to buy, beg, borrow, or flat out steal a copy
of Office to put on the machine. OTOH I can't convince anyone that for the
vast majority of office tasks, that OpenOffice.org, which is free for
download, is perfectly usable for all the task they use Office for,
including reading and writing Office standard formats. Why? Because they
have already invested in Office by generating tons of documents in it.
I'm useless because I'm not really an Office person so I don't have "Here's
how you do X" off the top of my head. A perfect example is that I can't get
my wife to use OO.o because of a lack of WordArt. I know it's there but
since I'm not a regular user, the details of getting done eludes me. So
while I was working on this message I took time to read the OO.o FontWorks
tutorial here:

http://www.tutorialsforopenoffice.org/tutorial/Fontwork_Gallery.html

It certainly looks good enough for me.

But an Office expert could make a good living off OO.o. Charge some fee for
an install and tutorial and explain that they can install OO.o on as many
machines as they like. Even though it's free software, many will pay just
to get their hand held.

> Therefore it seems only relatively big companies can
> earn money from Linux.

Can't get the critical mass to make supporting Linux cost effective.

> And the fact many windows software are developed using
> Microsoft tools and GUI framework (not portable) is another
> issue.

Absolutely. It's one of the reasons that I'm rooting for web services,
because web apps can be vendor neutral.

> If QT/GTK+ or other platforms are used, it is easier for
> the small ISVs to come out a Linux version (almost free).

But would it have enough of the same look and feel to satisfy the wants of
current users. I have students that freak out if a button is not in the
expected place. It's a part of the training that if something is wrong,
then somehow it's the users' fault.

> I think Mono/Wine are a good thing even though some
> people have strong reservations.

The reservation is that it continues to prop up the status quo. Even if you
run Office on a Linux box, it precludes looking at alternatives.

BAJ

2007\12\04@120705 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-12-04 at 20:50 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> On Dec 4, 2007 8:10 PM, Gerhard Fiedler <EraseMElistsspamspamspamBeGoneconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> > Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> >
> > > Even if you buy Inspiron from Dell Small Business, the support is better.
> > > Last time I called for support and the call center was in USA. And at
> > > that time, if one bought from Dell Consumer, the call center would be in
> > > India.
> >
> > Does "call center in India" mean worse support than "call center in the
> > USA"? Or is the main difference a "funny" accent?
> >
>
> I have no problem with Indian accent. The main problem is that
> some of them have really no clues. This not only happened
> to Dell. I had a hard time to communicate with HSBC support
> last time as well.

I find tech support in general has no clue, whether the person is from
India, the US or elsewhere, 1st level tech support people, in general,
follow scripts and it's all they know. Perfectly fine for most people
calling in, complete rubbish for people like me.

TTYL

2007\12\04@124525 by Peter Todd

picon face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 10:10:48AM -0200, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
> > Even if you buy Inspiron from Dell Small Business, the support is better.
> > Last time I called for support and the call center was in USA. And at
> > that time, if one bought from Dell Consumer, the call center would be in
> > India.
>
> Does "call center in India" mean worse support than "call center in the
> USA"? Or is the main difference a "funny" accent?

Not always... Sherline Machine Tools, who built my mini-mill and lathe,
pride themselves on having American in house call staff, technical
support etc. A real human picks up the phone on the other end.
Unfortunately when I had to get a part replaced under warrenty the
replacement (sent immediately, no questions asked I should say) had a
handwritten address on the package with my name spelled as "Petter Tod",
an incorrect house number and a wrong postal code. I have no idea how it
ever actually got to me. FWIW on their website any shop manager
positions list "knowledge of Spanish" as an asset.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\12\04@133145 by James Newton

face picon face
Excepting the funny accent, which sometimes becomes very much NOT funny when
you can't understand the person at all, the only thing that makes any
difference is how well trained and competent the people are. I've had
excellent support from India and the USA, and I've had absolutely useless
support from both places as well.

The people on the line are not the problem. The problem is the support
manager who does not, or is not able to train the people on the line
properly.

This is coming from a guy who managed a small (15 people) support center. We
took at least 1 hour a day to review calls and train. I spent the bulk of my
time documenting and updating the internal support website.

The companies products were absolute crap, but our support was excellent.
The only real problems started when management decided that we were issuing
to many refunds. Telling a customer that you know exactly what the problem
is, and that there is no way known to fix it, but that they can not have
their money back is rather difficult for a normal human being. Eventually,
we had only abnormal human beings working the lines. Telling an abnormal
human being that he is going to get fired if he keeps cursing at the
customers is difficult for a normal human being. I quit.

At my current company, support is a joy. When people have problems, we solve
them quickly, customers are happy; we get thank you letters on a regular
basis. All because management actually cares and lets us do what we need to
do.

Companies who "sell" Linux are really selling support, right? It strikes me
that they must or should have extensive internal web sites for their support
people. That sort of documentation is NOT available to the general
population (as far as I can see) and if it were, the COST of Linux would go
down.

Writing documentation for an open source system is at least as important as
writing the code in the first place, but we don't seem to treat the
technical writers like rock stars they way we do the developers. If you want
"Linix uber allus" thank anyone who writes documentation.

--
James.

{Original Message removed}

2007\12\04@225613 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/5/07, James Newton <RemoveMEjamesnewtonKILLspamspammassmind.org> wrote:
> Companies who "sell" Linux are really selling support, right? It strikes me
> that they must or should have extensive internal web sites for their support
> people. That sort of documentation is NOT available to the general
> population (as far as I can see) and if it were, the COST of Linux would go
> down.

How do you define the COST of Linux? For subscription based
commercial Linux offerings like Redhat and Novell, it is not cheap
at all. For average users using Linux, it is pretty cheap (free download
or cheap CDs) and you get the support from the Internet (forums,
web sites, mailing lists, etc).

I believe the "support" Redhat and Novell are selling is quite different
from the "call center support" for Dell. One important thing they
offer is the certification to run big applications like Oracle and DB2
or similar.

> Writing documentation for an open source system is at least as important as
> writing the code in the first place, but we don't seem to treat the
> technical writers like rock stars they way we do the developers. If you want
> "Linix uber allus" thank anyone who writes documentation.

This is a problem with many open source projects and Linux distros.
It seems to me FreeBSD is doing a better job on the core FreeBSD
offerings (the kernel and the userland).

Xiaofa

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