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CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 03:37 AM
Does anyone have any idea where I can get legal copies (with activation keys) of XP or Vista for a decent price?

It seems like no matter where I go they are always the SAME price. XP has been $90 for 6 years, Vista basic is almost the same price.

I have a few systems I'm putting together and I want to sell them. I will not sell a system with an illegal copy of an OS, mostly because it causes the users a lot of problems if the key they're using ever gets black listed by MS Genuine Advantage.

The systems I'm putting together are worth no more than maybe $200-$250 to me so spending $90 on an OS is completely retarded.

I'd just stick Linux on them if people knew how to use it (I sure as hell don't), but that'd just cause more headache every time someone wanted to install a windows exclusive program or game, and it'd end up coming back to me.

I'd be willing to give Linux a try if its a version that has high compatibility with other software and is easy for Windows users to understand (ie, same terminology).

If Windows is the only way though... Are there any software wholesalers or bulk discount sites out there? Does MS have some program to get Windows cheaply for system builders?

I'm a member of MS Technet, so all of my OSes are covered, but I can't sell PCs using those licenses.

What can I do to not break the bank (or the law) to get cheap, older PCs up and running?

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 04:06 AM
Is Xandros as good as this guy makes it out to be?
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3073255522.html

Would the average little old lady be able to turn it on and email\IM with her family, browse the internet and type documents that are compatible with Windows PCs?

Also, would it work ok on a system running an Athlon XP 2000+, 256Mb of DDR and ATI Rage AGP video?

EDIT: Ok... apparently Xandros isn't free to download. :retard:

Redeemed
10-13-07, 04:26 AM
Well, you'd want to create a second account specifically for your customer. This account you create for them would have heavily limited access to system files, features, etc. Otherwise they'd easily screw something up. If you're okay doing something along those lines... go with Kubuntu. It's stupid easy to use if you don't go exploring "too much". That's why you'd want to get a non-administrative account created specifically for your customer that has limited access and rights.

But that might be more work than you're wanting to do... not sure.

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 04:29 AM
I don't mind messing around with it to get it set up, I just want it to be convenient for the user, which makes it convenient for me in the long run by not having to answer tech support calls every day.

I guess I'll download Kubuntu and give it a whirl.

Redeemed
10-13-07, 04:31 AM
I don't mind messing around with it to get it set up, I just want it to be convenient for the user, which makes it convenient for me in the long run by not having to answer tech support calls every day.

I guess I'll download Kubuntu and give it a whirl.

Do that. In regards to Linux distros I'm hooked on kubuntu.

Though I must confess, I'm having a heck of a time trying to get my 8800 working right.

But on a rig like what you mentioned, I bet Kubuntu already has all the drivers you'll need. All you'd have to do is get familiar with the OS, then create that sub account for your customer and limit it so they can't bork their system up. It'll be a lot of trial-and-error more than anything... but it's doable, and free. ;)

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 04:38 AM
Free is the main thing. :p

I think I could probably make some pretty decent cash slapping together "little old lady" machines and selling them for a couple hundred bucks. This one is actually has a lot more potential than most of the ones I've come across because of the CPU and the good motherboard (its a high end Soyo KT266 board) but it just isn't fast enough or expandable enough to give to anyone who will be doing any gaming, so it'll have to be an internet machine. ;)

EDIT: LOL

Is this really the kubuntu site?

http://www.kubuntu.org/


... nevermind, they must have been having problems. It actually looks like a real site now. Before it was all white with black text and blue links. :p

six_storm
10-13-07, 08:55 AM
Captn, if you want the most Windows like distro of Linux, go for UBUNTU. It has Gnome instead of KDE. Gnome also takes up less hardware resources than KDE and it's a personal preference of mine lol. But hey, try both of them out with a LiveCD before you install anything! The only difference between having it on the HDD and on the CD, is just the speed of opening up programs and files.

ViN86
10-13-07, 11:42 AM
Well, you'd want to create a second account specifically for your customer. This account you create for them would have heavily limited access to system files, features, etc. Otherwise they'd easily screw something up. If you're okay doing something along those lines... go with Kubuntu. It's stupid easy to use if you don't go exploring "too much". That's why you'd want to get a non-administrative account created specifically for your customer that has limited access and rights.

But that might be more work than you're wanting to do... not sure.
making an account is cake. just dont let the old lady login as root, heh. as long as the user isnt root, they cant mess with the heart of the OS.

tbh, Ubuntu would be VERY easy for her to use.

LycosV
10-13-07, 11:58 AM
I dunno, I don't think personally selling machines with anything other than Windows is a good idea. Especially to the computer illiterate. I personally would put Vista or XP on the machines and lower your profit margin or raise the price a little to cover the extra cost. The number of stupid calls you're going to get from users trying to install Windows software on a UNIX machine is going to make you wish you had.

Capt. Picard
10-13-07, 12:37 PM
I dunno, I don't think personally selling machines with anything other than Windows is a good idea. Especially to the computer illiterate. I personally would put Vista or XP on the machines and lower your profit margin or raise the price a little to cover the extra cost. The number of stupid calls you're going to get from users trying to install Windows software on a UNIX machine is going to make you wish you had.

Is it not possible to get some cheap XP Home SP1 CDs?

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 03:10 PM
Is it not possible to get some cheap XP Home SP1 CDs?
Not that I can find.

Everyone knows how valuable they are, so they all charge $80-$90, even on ebay.

I'd prefer to use XP, definitely, but like I said its a matter of cost. A $200 computer that costs $300 because of the OS? It defeats the purpose of building cheap machines for people who just need them to work.

I was thinking of maybe looking for old PC cases on ebay to get the license stickers off of them, but thats not exactly legitimate and it'd probably still cost me an arm and a leg because of shipping.

Even getting upgrades and using them on old 98\Me keys would be just as expensive as buying a new copy of XP from a store.

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 03:58 PM
Installing Kubuntu now.

The live CD is really damned slow on this old 32x CDROM drive though. :p

evilghost
10-13-07, 05:42 PM
I just put Debian on my cousin's desktop. He's a computer novice but not your typical retard. He was thrilled. He showed me how he made a custom .ico for one of his folders on Windows, and he still had the original PNG image. I changed the icon on a folder by simplying browsing to the PNG and then resized the icon, on the fly. His jaw dropped.

He's loving Synaptic and all the packages available for download. I showed him gcompris (education games for children) as well as Xine and Movie Player. Got IceWeasel (Firefox) and IceDove (Thunderbird) working and he was thrilled.

Movie Player played his MOD movies from his HDD camcorder perfectly, without any additional software/headache like the Win32 world.

Most Window's users really don't expect much from their boxes but they're used to the headache and whimsical nonsense they're forced to endure. He left today smiling like nightmare beta playing in a toilet.

Not one bit of software was pirated. DVD/CD burning software, video editing, movie player, DVD player, etc. All legally free. He's going to pick up an nvidia video card due to their superior Linux support so he can start gaming with free games like FGFS and FreeSpace2 Open as well as the BSG total conversion.

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 06:36 PM
Well, I'm on Kubuntu right now.

It seems ok, but its definitely not going to be easy for me to get used to after being 100% windows and DOS user for the past 13 years.

I downloaded firefox from the usual website and had no idea how to run or install it (it was in a gz zip file). I extracted it and it was just a bunch of files I didn't know what to do with, and there was no readme file.

I ended up finding an alternative way to install it using the Adept Manager. I installed Firefox and Thunderbird that way since I know how to use them.

Other than that it doesn't seem to bad.

Ghost, do you recommend Debian for a novice user or the average little old lady as opposed to Kubuntu? I've noticed that it seems like all the different programs could get pretty confusing because they all have similar names (all the K stuff seems a bit unnecessary...).

I like it so far, it just seems like it could be a little less complicated for the average user.

I'm just picturing someone trying to download and install some messenger program and not knowing how to find it. I didn't know how to find the Firefox zip I downloaded at first. The lack of drive letters is infinitely confusing to me. I hope I'll be able to figure that out some day. :p

nekrosoft13
10-13-07, 07:01 PM
I like it so far, it just seems like it could be a little less complicated for the average user.

I'm just picturing someone trying to download and install some messenger program and not knowing how to find it. I didn't know how to find the Firefox zip I downloaded at first. The lack of drive letters is infinitely confusing to me. I hope I'll be able to figure that out some day. :p

if a person few years of experience with PCs is having a hard time to get around, just think about the people that might buy those machines.

if you sell those PCs with linux get ready for the new customers to complain a lot. unless you sell them to some one that will do nothing else then e-mail and internet.

make sure you explain to them very well what is linux, and that software they buy at stores will not work.

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 07:04 PM
if you sell those PCs with linux get ready for the new customers to complain a lot. unless you sell them to some one that will do nothing else then e-mail and internet.

make sure you explain to them very well what is linux, and that software they buy at stores will not work.
I know, thats my main fear, but the thing is: they won't need any other software.

They won't need norton, they won't need office...

Games are the only thing that would really cause a problem I think.

EDIT: uhh... does Linux not recognize .exe files as programs?

nekrosoft13
10-13-07, 07:06 PM
I know, thats my main fear, but the thing is: they won't need any other software.

They won't need norton, they won't need office...

Games are the only thing that would really cause a problem I think.

what for example they might go to best buy and see the pretty fishy screensaver, buy it and oh no no linux support.

trust me, people like pretty fishies, i was building a PC for my neighbors daughter. Her only question was will it have fishy.

what if your customers will decide that he/she wants to learn German/or Spanish and buy the software at store?

CaptNKILL
10-13-07, 07:16 PM
what for example they might go to best buy and see the pretty fishy screensaver, buy it and oh no no linux support.

trust me, people like pretty fishies, i was building a PC for my neighbors daughter. Her only question was will it have fishy.

what if your customers will decide that he/she wants to learn German/or Spanish and buy the software at store?
Staples is the only computer store within 50 miles of here, I don't think anyone is too accustomed to going to the store and buying software in this area.

For what its worth though, I just installed Wine and I'm installing Quake 2 right now. :lol:

It was just like doing it in windows. I had Wine open the .exe file and setup ran without any problems.

EDIT: Also, I was thinking of leaving a link on the desktop to a popular site to get linux software (preferably for free). That way, they would have an endless supply of compatible software and wouldn't need to go to the store to buy anything if they ever needed something specific.

EDIT2: heh, playing Quake 2 now. :D

evilghost
10-13-07, 08:41 PM
1) Quake2 has a native linux client, there is no reason to use Wine.
2) I don't like KDE at all, if you want a better transition from Win32 to Linux consider using Gnome.
3) I prefer Debian over Ubuntu, the learning curve is fairly equal.
4) Sure, they won't be able to run their fishy screen saver but there are a plethora of ones available for Linux and you certainly won't be rebuilding the PC in 5 days because the luser decided to install "Spyware Protector 2007" or "Defrag Magic, adware edition".
5) Hook them up with Gnome and show them Synaptic.
6) OpenOffice should take care of most of your Office needs.

The reality is, with complete computer morons, I have less support issues than with Win32.

evilghost
10-13-07, 08:43 PM
uhh... does Linux not recognize .exe files as programs?

Linux isn't limited to an 8.3 style file format where the extension determines if a file is executable. I can name something "Magical Kitty Meowbox Powerful.PuffPuff.pass" and set it octal 0700 or +x and execute it.

CaptNKILL
10-14-07, 12:16 AM
Thanks for the tips Ghost, I'll check out those OSes you mentioned. :)

I'll have to read up on them all first to figure out what Gnome, Debian and Synaptic are. :p

CaptNKILL
10-14-07, 02:46 AM
Debian has 21 CD images, I see that only the first CD is required to install the OS, the others are for additional packages. Which packages\CDs would you consider "necessary" Ghost?

http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0_r1/i386/iso-cd/

Also, Ubuntu's minimum requirements seem a little steep for the system I want to use it on. 256Mb memory minimum and 4gigs of hard drive space. Are Debian or Ubuntu likely to run poorly on this system:
Athlon XP 2000+
256Mb DDR
20gig hard drive
ATI Rage AGP video (could swap the video for something better if necessary but I'd rather not)

I'm trying to find a capable OS with low requirements so that it runs good for as long as possible. Kubuntu seems to run pretty well, I just don't want to dump an OS on it that will force me to put more hardware in this PC that could be used for another system.

Also, I'm a bit confused about Synaptic. I don't fully understand what a "packet manager" does but from what I can tell its used to organize, download and configure "plugins" (packets) for the operating system.

Is it built into Debian or Ubuntu? If not, how do I use it or enable it?

And thanks for answering questions everyone. I appreciate it. :)

evilghost
10-14-07, 07:10 AM
Do the NetInst CD. It's a network based install, basically, you boot the disk and it will download all the packages you need. I usually end up downloading about 600M for a normal installation.

Synaptic is used to manage/install package content, both Debian and Ubuntu use a software repository which allows you to select and install content directly from the repo without the need to compile software from source code or use "3rd party" debs or RPMs (converted via alien).

In your above system, the RAM is the biggest limiter in performance. It should run well but you'll be hindered in multi-tasking.

Keep asking questions if you have them, I'll be happy to answer them.

evilghost
10-14-07, 07:16 AM
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, http://www.ubuntuguide.org

A fair amount of that applies to Debian, minus the extra repos. I use http://www.debian-multimedia.org

CaptNKILL
10-14-07, 08:13 AM
I already downloaded and burned the first CD for Debian, should I just use that or is it a lot easier to use the netinst CD?

Also, you mentioned Gnome. I read that Debian uses Gnome, but I downloaded the Gnome 2.2 iso too. Will I need this?

EDIT: And sorry for being dense, but is Synaptic part of the Debian\Ubuntu installation? Or is it an optional thing I'll have to install myself?

Also, what is your favorite source of free Linux programs\games to download?