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Old 02-13-2013, 01:32 AM   #1
penandpaper
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Question Ultra cheap and simple PC's for the IT illiterate

Hi. I just recently saw the Raspberry Pi online for the first time and couldn't help wonder if there is a way to make it into an ultra cheap PC that I could install a very basic, straight forward, foolproof OS on and give to a few IT-illiterate friends as gifts, and possibly more. Then I saw all the stuff its missing and realized that would jack up the price considerably.

My questions is, is there a cheaper solution to providing internet and basic computer functionality to people?

Many thanks!
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
dave_the_nerd
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Depends how cheap you're willing to go, and what you consider to be basic computer functionality.

I haven't tried them, but the Chromebooks seems like they'd be pretty effective for that. You have a web browser, email, access to office apps through Google Docs. All your data is backed up to the internet, so you don't really have to worry about losing anything. And they're cheap (starting around $200.)

You just have to trust your life to Google.

For less mobile use, any SFF HTPC will do. Something like the Alienware x51. I'd prefer an i5 but that's me being elitist. Just set up a non-admin user account and use Metro. Or install a set-top box OS like XMBCbuntu. (I don't know if it has an integrated web browser or not... there was talk about it once upon a time.) Either way there's a limit to how much damage they can do.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
ArmyVet88
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I have just recently got into buildings comp just built my first rig. Waiting on the PSU to arrive. CANT WAIT

Case: Apevia X-Trooper LED Light Mid-Tower Case
CPU: AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz (No OC yet stock fan)
MotherBoard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-D3 AMD 970
Memory: 8GB 2x4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3/1600MHz
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
Fans: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan Dual Standard 120MM Fans Push-Pull
MONITOR: 24" Widescreen 1920x1080 Sceptre E246W-1080P
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:50 PM   #4
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That's pretty affordable: rather more GPU power (and expense) than I'd throw at somebody who just wants www access or a bit of netflix now and again, with a minimum of learning curve.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
frozentundra123456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_the_nerd View Post
Depends how cheap you're willing to go, and what you consider to be basic computer functionality.

I haven't tried them, but the Chromebooks seems like they'd be pretty effective for that. You have a web browser, email, access to office apps through Google Docs. All your data is backed up to the internet, so you don't really have to worry about losing anything. And they're cheap (starting around $200.)

You just have to trust your life to Google.

For less mobile use, any SFF HTPC will do. Something like the Alienware x51. I'd prefer an i5 but that's me being elitist. Just set up a non-admin user account and use Metro. Or install a set-top box OS like XMBCbuntu. (I don't know if it has an integrated web browser or not... there was talk about it once upon a time.) Either way there's a limit to how much damage they can do.
At 200.00 the chromebooks do look tempting. However, I occasionally need to use Microsoft office and google docs just does not cut it for me. Personally, I also would much prefer to store my data locally and back it up myself. Call me old school, but I just dont trust cloud storage, not to mention if you lose internet or dont have a connection, you cant access the data. I have to admit though that I probably would have been happier with a chromebook than my cheap tablet.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozentundra123456 View Post
At 200.00 the chromebooks do look tempting. However, I occasionally need to use Microsoft office and google docs just does not cut it for me. Personally, I also would much prefer to store my data locally and back it up myself. Call me old school, but I just dont trust cloud storage, not to mention if you lose internet or dont have a connection, you cant access the data. I have to admit though that I probably would have been happier with a chromebook than my cheap tablet.
Newer chromebooks come with fairly large HDDs. They will keep your stuff stored locally and allow you to work offline.

Definitely agree about Google Docs though. There's that Office Live service you could subscribe too, though? (I wonder if that would work.)
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