Walmart 200 Dollar Computer
Product Review
By Thump - 12-05-02

You've probably heard at least something about the new Lindows operating system. It came to my attention when they were sued by Microsoft for using the name Lindows saying it might confuse people and they might buy it thinking they were getting a real Microsoft operating system. The judge threw it out but it made a lot of news. As I read more about it I became more and more interested. It was supposed to look and "feel" just like Windows and should be easy to switch to if you wanted. I knew I had to try it out but hated to pay the money.

Then one day I saw somewhere on the net that Walmart was selling a computer on the net with Lindows already installed. I went to the Walmart electronics section and traced it down and there it was. A computer made by Microtel for 199 dollars with Lindows already installed. The computer had a 800 megabyte processor with 128 megabytes of ram and a 10 gig hard drive. It sounded just too good to pass up. The computer was worth the amount and I would get a chance to try out Lindows for free and I had a copy of Windows 98se to put on it after the test. I chose the one with a modem for 30 dollars more and after shipping it was still under 250 dollars. I ordered it and waited for it to arrive.

As soon as it arrived I took it out of the box and set it up on my table and hooked it up to a monitor, mouse, speakers, and keyboard and clicked the button to boot it up. It was very slow to boot like most Linux versions but it came on and ran great. I explored nearly every option available and it looked fine. One thing came up as I was trying to set it up to my own preferences. It only had two cursors to choose from; a small black arrow which was the default and a small white arrow that I chose because it didn't have one as big as I use and need. I had a borrowed AOL and tried to set it up but it wouldn't work. Someone should have let people know it doesn't work with AOL before they buy it. Lindows reccomends Earthlink.

I took it loose and moved it to my main desk and hooked it up to my cable modem and it found it instantly and I was surfing the net in style with a mozilla browser. It was so fast I could hardly believe it.

It's a very fast system and would make an excellent buy for someone starting out and only needed something to surf the web and use e-mail or the netscape instant messenger. If I'd had one a few years ago I could have given one to my mother instead of the Webtv for Christmas. It would also be good for an extra computer, especially if you had a cable isp. I was very impressed with the computer and with Lindows but I'm set in my ways now. This is the first computer I've ever owned which was ready for Linux with the correct type of modem and hardware. The experiment's over and I installed Red Hat Linux 8.2. I still have the Lindows disk and expect to return to it at some point. The one I have is the Lindows 2.0 version {a beta} and the 3.0 is out now and must be better.

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