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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Computers and Their Cost

... It has been some time now since my last rant on computers. I was working up an estimate for a friend the other day and was once more slapped in the face with the cost of the operating system that Microsoft charges. The cheapest I found a full copy of WindowsXP Pro for was $189.00 plus Shipping and the best I've found Windows Vista Ultimate for is $360.00 plus the shipping. For less than $600.00 I can build a terrific computer complete with a dual core processor but if the person wants Windows on their unit the price automatically jumps by more that two hundred dollars and that is indecent.
... Because of my age and my status in the system I have ceased to charge folks for my labor and have began to push hard the Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu operates with the same type of point and click system that Windows users love. The huge problem with the system is the cost, it is free and people do not like free. If it doesn't cost them money they do not trust it. The biggest advantage to the Ubuntu system is the fact that one need not run an Anti-Virus or a Firewall program. Being a security freak I run both any way. Another large plus is the fact that there are thousands of programs from a complete Office (Microsoft's costs over $600) and thousands of programs available for taking the time to download them and the office apps will even save in the Microsoft native formats plus these apps will open documents and such from the Windows machines. Not only that but if you are really hung up on the MS Apps you just point and click to download Wine and the install that app inside your Wine program and it runs as a native of Ubuntu.
... Are you afraid that you will not be able to test it? Maybe you have the room or another disk you can put it on but your not smart enough to set up a dual boot system so that you have your windows system for a safety net. Well, to just test the system all you need is a Live CD and to get that you can contact me at and I'll burn and ship you a copy for ten dollars labor and shipping cost, the software is free. Another method, even cheaper is to go to and download the .iso file and burn your own copy. Then you put the disk into your computer, do a restart and it should boot from the CD allowing you to test the system a reduced speed because it will not write to you hard drive. These Live CDs are also the complete system for the install if you choose to install it. And now, about that dual boot system, it is cover for you by the disk. If you already have Windows on your 'puter the Live CD will automatically set you up for a dual boot of both systems.
... I can do no more than to beg you to stop tossing your hard earned money into file thirteen at MS and give this OS a try, it will cost you nothing and will, over your life save you thousands of dollars.