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Wal-Mart Sells $199 Linux Computer
www.physorg.com ^ | 10/31/2007 | PETER SVENSSON

Posted on 11/05/2007 12:19:20 PM PST by Red Badger

Linux, the free operating system that's a perpetual underdog in the desktop market, will get another chance this holiday season at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The chain was taking orders online Wednesday for a computer called the "Green gPC" that is made by Everex of Taiwan, costs $199 and runs Linux. It will be available in about 600 stores, as well as online, Wal-Mart said. A comparable Everex PC that comes with Windows Vista Home Basic and more memory costs $99 more, or $298, partly because the manufacturer has to pay Microsoft Corp. for a software license. Both computers come with keyboard, mouse, and speakers, but no monitor.

Linux is maintained and developed by individuals and companies around the world volunteering on an "open source" basis, meaning that everyone has access to the software's blueprints.

It is in widespread use in server computers, particularly servers that host Web sites. But it hasn't yet made a dent in the desktop market. Surveys usually put its share of that market around 1 percent, far behind Windows and Apple Inc.'s OS X.

Wal-Mart started selling Linux computers at its online store in 2002, at prices as low as $199. Computers from several manufacturers were available for several years, but are now gone from the inventory.

The variant of Linux on the gPC is called gOS and is derived from the popular Ubuntu variant. It's heavily oriented toward Google's Web sites and online applications, like YouTube, Gmail and the company's word processing program, all of which can be used only when the computer is connected to a broadband line. The PC comes with a dialup modem, but gOS doesn't support it. So most users likely will get online other ways.

Google's push into desktop applications is relatively new, and gOS, the Los Angeles-based startup behind the software, sees it as crucial in overcoming consumers' reluctance to leave the familiar Windows environment.

"We feel the timing is right for open source because of that," said gOS founder David Liu. The company has fewer than 10 people on it staff but gets help from volunteers in the Linux community.

Whether value-minded shoppers who would be enticed by a $199 PC will also be interested in making the jump to Linux remains to be seen. The operating system isn't known for ease of use and mainly attracts the tech-savvy.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien said it is stocking the computer in about one in eight stores to test the demand for an open-source product.

The gPC has a low-end processor from VIA Technologies, plus 512 megabytes of internal memory, an 80-gigabyte hard drive and a combination DVD drive and CD burner.

Everex says the processor is very energy efficient, meriting the "Green" part of the name.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: computer; green; linux; pc; walmart
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Microsoft is shaking in their hot tubs.............
1 posted on 11/05/2007 12:19:21 PM PST by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

Desktop Linux is and always will be a non-starter. Too many competing distros. No uniformity of UI. Besides, Linux is way too hard for most people and they wont want to deal with it. Install software on Windows? Double click an icon. Install Linux software? Find the correct repositories for your distro. Download it and try to install it with the command line. Oops. Wont work. Dependency failure. Missing libraries. Linux is best as a server OS and as a geek toy.


2 posted on 11/05/2007 12:25:31 PM PST by Astronaut
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To: Red Badger

Info and specs:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7754614


3 posted on 11/05/2007 12:30:16 PM PST by RedCell (Honor thy Father (9/6/07) - Semper Fi)
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To: Red Badger

At $199, I would buy one just for hobby purposes. It would be fun to mess around with Linux.


4 posted on 11/05/2007 12:31:11 PM PST by gridlock (Recycling is the new Religion.)
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To: Astronaut

also people want the windows software, not linux software


5 posted on 11/05/2007 12:31:39 PM PST by ari-freedom (I am for traditional moral values, a strong national defense, and free markets.)
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To: RedCell

Would it be worth it to buy the computer and install Windows XX on it instead?..............


6 posted on 11/05/2007 12:31:43 PM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger
The PC comes with a dialup modem, but gOS doesn't support it.


7 posted on 11/05/2007 12:31:47 PM PST by MarineBrat (My wife and I took an AIDS vaccination that the Church offers.)
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To: Red Badger

That was my thought. Load XP on it.


8 posted on 11/05/2007 12:33:29 PM PST by listenhillary (You get more of what you focus on)
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To: Astronaut

Heh, careful there, them’s is fightin’ words for some folks! :)

I wonder if this machine can be slapped around to become a reasonable media center. Shove a high-end video card into it...

...oh wait, that’s right Linux. I’ll stop right there. The next step in that process is cruising usenet to find drivers for the video card, finding them, installing them, discovering they don’t work, finding the source code for the drivers, installing developer tools so I can rebuild it myself... All of this, of course, being done without a monitor. Gah.


9 posted on 11/05/2007 12:33:32 PM PST by Omedalus
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To: Red Badger

My first computer was an Everex, about 20 years ago. Cost me a bundle, but it was a great unit. Upgrading from a 20MB to 30MB hard drive cost me twice as much as this complete machine.


10 posted on 11/05/2007 12:34:58 PM PST by gridlock (Recycling is the new Religion.)
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To: Astronaut
"Besides, Linux is way too hard for most people and they wont want to deal with it."

I used to think this. However, I installed Ubuntu linux on a spare machine this summer, just to see where Linux was at, and was quite surprised. It was very user friendly and had a very windows-esque look and feel to the desktop. Installing programs (even those downloaded from the net) has become automated and is no longer the "geeks only need apply" hassel it used to be. If all I was using a computer for was office apps, internet and music I would switch in a second.

11 posted on 11/05/2007 12:35:01 PM PST by joebuck
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To: gridlock

I remember buying a mail order HD, a whopping 40 MB $400, to put in my old Turbo XT. I wondered, “What in the world will I ever fill this up with?”.......


12 posted on 11/05/2007 12:36:47 PM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: gridlock

Buy a three year old surplus dell for $50 and get linux somewhere for free.


13 posted on 11/05/2007 12:37:07 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: MarineBrat

Exactly, who thought this one through? The reason people buy computers for the home is primarily to access the internet and to run some software for word processing, accounts, etc. Leaving out the most important and functional aspect of a product? That is no bargain/.


14 posted on 11/05/2007 12:37:34 PM PST by bajabaja
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To: Red Badger

You get what you pay for.


15 posted on 11/05/2007 12:37:41 PM PST by CholeraJoe ("Gunners til I die!")
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To: Astronaut

You obviously have never heard of Synaptic or Aptitude. Installing software in Debian based/Ubuntu based distros is far, far easier than installing Windows software. The only exception is installing Windows software in Linux (which defeats the whole purpose).


16 posted on 11/05/2007 12:37:49 PM PST by twntaipan (To say someone is a liar and a Democrat is to be redundant.)
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To: gridlock

You can download VMWare server for Linux (from VMWare) free of charge and run one of your old operating systems on it as well.


17 posted on 11/05/2007 12:37:54 PM PST by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: Maurice Tift

“You can download VMWare server for Linux (from VMWare) free of charge and run one of your old operating systems on it as well.”

You wanna try running VMWare on a machine with these specs? How about buying a real machine from the beginning. Its sad knowing that poor people who are ignorant about PCs will spend money on this kinda garbage. Walmart is taking advantage of folks with this.


18 posted on 11/05/2007 12:43:35 PM PST by driftdiver
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To: twntaipan

I’ll agree that recent distibutions of linux are much easier to install. But thats where the easy part ends. Try getting it on the network and its not so easy. Guess with this wonder machine that wont be a concern since they didn’t make it internet capable.


19 posted on 11/05/2007 12:45:07 PM PST by driftdiver
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To: bert

Where can you find one?


20 posted on 11/05/2007 12:45:48 PM PST by secret garden (Dubiety reigns here)
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To: secret garden

Check the classifieds and the Trading post papers. Make an offer regardless of what is asked.


21 posted on 11/05/2007 12:48:44 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: CholeraJoe

Walmart is running a special right now on Acer Laptops. 1.73GHZ Celeron’s running Vista Home Basic and equipped with 802.11g wireless uplink. Too good a deal for me to pass up. Nice machine too, just bought one Friday.


22 posted on 11/05/2007 12:56:02 PM PST by lmr (The answers to life don't involve complex solutions.)
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To: Astronaut
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a Linux geek. I use XP Pro at work doing tech support for a branch of the feds, and two of the three machines here at the house are XP Pro as well. That being said...

I installed Ubuntu Linux 7.1 on my primary machine at home (the one I'm on now), and I think that your response is a little off target.

I downloaded the ISO, burned it to a CD, and rebooted my machine. The CD loaded up, and after it ran through its processes, it came up to a desktop, with an option to install permanently. I told it to do so, and it did. No hunting for drivers, no real problems at all. In fact, the only "real" problem was my secondary drive was formatted as NTFS, and I had to do a little reading to correct that issue - just like when I first started out running DOS - had to do a little reading.

I think one of the great things about the OS is the community. If I have a question, there are a group of forums I can go to, post my question, and have an answer in a very short period of time. The Windows community seems to have a ton of folks who enjoy sniping at newbies (and even old hands) who have questions. I haven't encountered that yet within the Ubuntu community. I'm sure that will change, though, as more folks come over.

Install Linux software? Find the correct repositories for your distro. Download it and try to install it with the command line. Oops. Wont work. Nope - I go to System, Administration, Synaptic Package Manager, and select the software I want. I'm already connected to the Repository, and have a dozen or so others to select from if I need to. Haven't had to mess with Terminal for the command line, with the exception of calling Wine so I can run Windows applications, and so far, I've only needed one.

Dependency failure. Missing libraries. Haven't had any of those problems yet. And if I do, I'll deal with it like I've dealt with all the Windows problems I've had. I'll research the issue, and correct it.

It does everything I want it to do, and everything I need it do to do. It does it well, and it does it easily. No lockups, no BSOD, nothing. My 74 year old father is getting ready to install it on his machine. But then, he's a real geek.

23 posted on 11/05/2007 12:56:26 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: secret garden

You could buy 2 of these, but you only get to keep one...the infamous “$100 laptop”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/technology/circuits/04pogue.html


24 posted on 11/05/2007 12:57:49 PM PST by GOP_Proud (I'm really tired of the Paulie WalNUTS.)
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To: gridlock
It would be fun to mess around with Linux.

You can do that with a live CD, which will not disturb your current Windows installation in any way, since it boots and runs from the CD.

You can download and ISO image, then burn it to CD.

Mepis is my current favorite, but there are many others.

SimplyMEPIS

Linux Live CD List

25 posted on 11/05/2007 12:58:03 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: driftdiver

Does anyone actually use a modem to connect to the Internet these days?

This will be a fine machine for what most people use a computer for.

Wal-Mart wouldn’t sell it if they didn’t think so.

Windows is just too expensive for the sub-$250 computer market.


26 posted on 11/05/2007 12:58:16 PM PST by B Knotts (Tancredo '08!)
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To: driftdiver
Try getting it on the network and its not so easy.

The Live CDs pretty much all do that automatically.

27 posted on 11/05/2007 1:00:37 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: gridlock
At $199, I would buy one just for hobby purposes.

At $199, I would buy one and load XP with one of my licenses on it.

I wonder what the actual hardware specifications are.
Might be worth a look.

28 posted on 11/05/2007 1:02:05 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (iTunes - The software that helps you bleed your bank account dry in 99 cent increments.)
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To: Astronaut

How to install software on Ubuntu Linux

1) Boot up Ubuntu
2) Open Synaptic
3) Choose software
4) Click “install”
2) Profit!

(Question marks were unnecessary in this case. :p )


29 posted on 11/05/2007 1:04:19 PM PST by Constantine XIII (THE CAKE IS A LIE)
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To: Red Badger

I have to be honest here. I was playing around with Linux on my four year old Dell XP machine. I think and still do think it has great possibilities. But for the novice to try to get a dual operating system up and running is not exactly chopped liver. I started to think about everything and just bought a new “refurbished” Dell Vista machine for $400 from Dell and for all the bad press that Vista has received I think it is a bad rap. I think the new operating system on a properly configured machine up and running out of the box is the way to go.

I couldn’t possibly have purchased even the parts for this never mind the Vista system which retails for $250 by itself. I do need to get the Home version of Office 2007 with Word and Excel for about $120 over the internet. Vista is is already on this machine including a big hard drive, dual core processor, and 2 gb memory and all the bells and whistles and is lightning fast. Two days and UPS is at my door.

I’ll just keep the old machine which worked fine as a backup but I’m loving my new machine and Vista. Definetly better than XP. Don’t even need a manual. I doubt if I will bother with Linux. Just not worth my time. My $0.03 for today.


30 posted on 11/05/2007 1:04:47 PM PST by RichardW
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To: Omedalus

“cruising usenet “

LOL, you kind of dated ur-self there. :)


31 posted on 11/05/2007 1:05:12 PM PST by Constantine XIII (THE CAKE IS A LIE)
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To: driftdiver
 You wanna try running VMWare on a machine with these specs?

I'm running VMWare with 2 Gigs and would like to make it 4 Gigs of memory. I did try VMWare on a WinXP computer with 512M. I cloned a customers Win98 to run as a virtual machine on that computer and it runs OK. The VIA processor worries me a bit - I used some a few years ago and they were pretty slow.

  My repair and data recovery business has been doing much better with all of the cheap computers. I actually saw an eMachine yesterday with WinXP and only 128M of memory. The sticker on the front actually said '128M DDR for optimized performance.' Horrors! It was unbearably slow until memory was added. You're right - cheap components in a colorful box - they really do take advantage of people. High quality components in a cheap box is really the way to go.
32 posted on 11/05/2007 1:15:00 PM PST by Maurice Tift (You can't stop the signal, Mal. You can never stop the signal.)
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To: Astronaut

If you’re really interested in Ubuntu, check out this site.

http://wubi-installer.org/

This is where I got started. Wubi will install Ubuntu as a dual boot on your machine. I ran that for a few weeks before I decided to make the change.


33 posted on 11/05/2007 1:26:51 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob ("Those who "abjure" violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf.")
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I keep a Knoppix and a PCLinuxOS on me at my support job and copies for home/travel.

The Live discs have come in handy for hardware ID and testing on quite a few Dells. They did a better job of hardware detection than the Dell Diagnostic discs most of the time.

The live feature is the best part to me since it doesn’t change anything on Windows.

I have even given a few away as gifts for people to try and they are amazed at the friendliness and reliabilty.


34 posted on 11/05/2007 1:31:29 PM PST by wally_bert (Tactical Is Still Missing A Chair!)
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To: Astronaut

FWIW, I run a linspire machine (Which is yet another distro of Linux based on the Ubuntu distro) and I have had zero problems with the box at all.

It runs everything I need, I have installed a few things with their “Click and run” software so there are no issues with compiling or make install issues.. lol

Im a unix geek but this was a 200 dollar box I got from Sears and it has been VERY cool for day to day use. Mainly I got it as a toy.. but I have found it very helpful for many tasks.

Best part? Putting in USB Drives and not needing to mount them.. box does it all.. lol


35 posted on 11/05/2007 1:32:13 PM PST by eXe (Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: ShadowAce

ping


36 posted on 11/05/2007 1:33:31 PM PST by KoRn
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To: joebuck
I used to think this. However, I installed Ubuntu linux on a spare machine this summer, just to see where Linux was at, and was quite surprised. It was very user friendly and had a very windows-esque look and feel to the desktop. Installing programs (even those downloaded from the net) has become automated and is no longer the "geeks only need apply" hassel it used to be. If all I was using a computer for was office apps, internet and music I would switch in a second.

I wasn't sure myself, but was able to mess with Fedora this past weekend and was very impressed. I think the main thing would be to have someone install the OS for you (well, for me, anyway). After it's stable and running, it really isn't any worse than Windows, and probably better in a lot of ways. I'm going to install Ubuntu on my old desktop & see how many apps there are to replace the ones I normally use. If I can find ones that mirror what I already use, I'll probably get rid of Windows. The virus worries and constant updates are too much to worry about.

37 posted on 11/05/2007 1:56:04 PM PST by mountainbunny
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To: wally_bert
I finally took the plunge and installed PCLinuxOS on the kids PC.

It has now been running over 3 months without a reboot. It is used for daily internet access through a Belkin Wireless G USB stick, online gaming, MP3 encoding and burning, Open Office for word processing.

My Wife is pestering me about putting PCLinuxOS on her computer.

38 posted on 11/05/2007 1:58:15 PM PST by yuleeyahoo
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To: Tennessee_Bob

You forgot to mention the best part of Ubuntu (in specific, and Linux in general): no viruses and no cost to upgrade (and no 7 year wait either).


39 posted on 11/05/2007 2:08:17 PM PST by twntaipan (To say someone is a liar and a Democrat is to be redundant.)
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To: Red Badger
A comparable Everex PC that comes with Windows Vista Home Basic and more memory costs $99 more, or $298, partly because the manufacturer has to pay Microsoft Corp. for a software license.

When you think "PC", think EVEREX.

40 posted on 11/05/2007 2:30:22 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat ((I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!))
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To: Recovering_Democrat

Are they the ones who make “EMachines”?...........


41 posted on 11/05/2007 2:33:47 PM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger
I run PCLinuxOS. Who says Linux is for geeks? Its the most user friendly distro I've tried!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

42 posted on 11/05/2007 2:35:31 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Astronaut
You haven't tried PCLinux2007. It detects your wireless card before it starts up and the Synaptic package manager will download and install software packages without dependency hell. The KDE desktop is a lot like Windows so if you're used to Windows, you will get the hang of KDE in no time.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

43 posted on 11/05/2007 2:38:49 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: wally_bert
I decided to install it on my hard drive once I saw it found my hardware on the Live CD! PCLinuxOS is a branch of Mandriva Linux and its easy to install and configure. That ought to be the future of Linux. If I can do it, grandma should be able to do it. And the cost of this operating system? FREE!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

44 posted on 11/05/2007 2:43:22 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Constantine XIII

Explain tagline please.


45 posted on 11/05/2007 2:44:24 PM PST by RockinRight (The Council on Illuminated Foreign Masons told me to watch you from my black helicopter.)
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To: rdb3; chance33_98; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; PenguinWry; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; ..

46 posted on 11/05/2007 3:09:07 PM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: RockinRight

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal_%28video_game%29

and also:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=RthZgszykLs

^_^


47 posted on 11/05/2007 3:14:00 PM PST by Constantine XIII (THE CAKE IS A LIE)
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To: RockinRight

Also, nice homepage. Pat Benatar is nothing to be ashamed of. XD


48 posted on 11/05/2007 3:16:10 PM PST by Constantine XIII (THE CAKE IS A LIE)
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To: Astronaut

I’ll tell you this: I switched, cold turkey, from years of XP to Kubuntu. I don’t know linux from a hole in the wall. I function beautifully in Kubuntu. I use Adept to install new programs so I don’t have to find repositories or use command lines (unless I want to). Kubuntu is made for the masses of non-nerds.


49 posted on 11/05/2007 3:22:57 PM PST by Clara Lou (Thompson '08)
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To: gridlock; ShadowAce; joebuck
Just buy the board...for $59....operating system is included...I believe:

gOS...An alternative OS for the masses.

50 posted on 11/05/2007 3:26:14 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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