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jinjuku

Bang 4 Buck Office Computer $1000 Debate

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With RH9 and Acroreader 6/5.05 there is a bug with the UTF-8 extended character set. My point is the trouble with that even popping up, and secondly having to walk a user through editing the correct text file.

For the $130 that WinXP costs, ALOT of my time is saved. Even if you are a LINUX guru, time spent on a particular implementation seems to be longer in my experience.

If this is an office computer, WinXP Pro is the version of choice. Which costs about $240 CDN. Iam not sure at what price point Linux becomes attractive to you, but throw in office for another $340 CDN... (for a total of $580) and a lot of poeple give linux a good hard look, before being scared back to windows....

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If this is an office computer, WinXP Pro is the version of choice. Which costs about $240 CDN. Iam not sure at what price point Linux becomes attractive to you, but throw in office for another $340 CDN... (for a total of $580) and a lot of poeple give linux a good hard look, before being scared back to windows....

Using Windows XP doesn't correspondingly force you to use Office when you would suggest using something different for Linux does it?

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I've got an action pack subscription sitting on my desk right now :D

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ok---

motherboard $140... (Asus A7N8X-VM-UAY)

Athlon XP 2500 $130.

256 MB PC 2700 $70.00

Windows XP Pro $245.00

ATX case /w 300 Watt power supply $89.00

Keyboard & Optical mouse $35.00

40 GB Samsung Hard Drive. $85.00

So that comes out to $789 cdn... ($595 US)

You didnt mention office or a monitor...

BTW-

This would be my choice as well. I've implemented something similar (but with 400JBs) in several places, and they smoke the PIV whitebox competition.

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Using Windows XP doesn't correspondingly force you to use Office when you would suggest using something different for Linux does it?

An earlier poster pointed out that Windows XP only cost $130, that would be for XP home, in an office, Microsoft demands Windows XP Pro, which costs $240. You could use Corel Office, or Star Office with Windows XP Pro, but the market share of these programs are lower than Linux's... (practicly zero)

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xp pro oem is around $140, and xp home oem is around $90. as for the office suites, their market share does not take away from their functionality. if it works, it works.

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xp pro oem is around $140, and xp home oem is around $90.  as for the office suites, their market share does not take away from their functionality.  if it works, it works.

Thats in US dollars. In canada XP Pro (OEM) is $240. (CDN)...XP Home (oem) is $130 (CDN) ... thats where the confusion comes from...

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An earlier poster pointed out that Windows XP only cost $130, that would be for XP home, in an office, Microsoft demands Windows XP Pro, which costs $240. You could use Corel Office, or Star Office with Windows XP Pro, but the market share of these programs are lower than Linux's... (practicly zero)

You seemed to be suggesting that using Linux saved money because you saved money on the OS and on the office suite, I'm merely suggesting that just because you buy WinXP Home/Pro doesn't keep you from saving on the office suite as well.

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Using Windows XP doesn't correspondingly force you to use Office when you would suggest using something different for Linux does it?

An earlier poster pointed out that Windows XP only cost $130, that would be for XP home, in an office, Microsoft demands Windows XP Pro, which costs $240. You could use Corel Office, or Star Office with Windows XP Pro, but the market share of these programs are lower than Linux's... (practicly zero)

I have 5 Copies of XP Pro sitting here that cost $130 per.

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My point is the trouble with that even popping up, and secondly having to walk a user through editing the correct text file.

I take it that ssh'ing into the users box and fixing it for them was not an option?

My point is, with an XP Platform, I cannot remember the last time I had to RDP in to fix ANY thing as mundane as trying to get Acrobat installed.

My other gripe with RH9 and Acrobat was the fact that I had to fool around with getting the soft link to work correctly. I took a look at how I had Opera setup, but Acrobat had to be different.

Linux simply takes more of my time getting it to work like advertised.

I am not a MS zealot by any stretch, but.....

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I've got an action pack subscription sitting on my desk right now :D

But one must be a registered reseller to get the action pack... It's great for those that are :D

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I've got an action pack subscription sitting on my desk right now :D

But one must be a registered reseller to get the action pack... It's great for those that are :D

You don't have to be a registered any thing to get the action pack.

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I've got an action pack subscription sitting on my desk right now :D

But one must be a registered reseller to get the action pack... It's great for those that are :D

It took me a whopping 3 minutes to order one. No special anything was required except a questionaire inquiring about the focus of my business.

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Base config is: 2.4 Celeron, 256MB RAM & 40 GB HDD. No CD, No sound, Integrated graphics

You did say business, right? :)

IBM A30 (819955U) w/ 17" Monitor & 500VA UPS = ~$800

you can add $130 for 3-year on-site service.

DELL OptiPlex SX170 w/ 17" Monitor & 500VA UPSA = 780

you can add $100 for 3-year on-site service

In quanity you can get some deals. Moreso from IBM than Dell.

Since you already have Outlook, I would install Open Office.

I *greatly* prefer OO over MS Office.

I have only found a couple compatibility problems between OO and Office XP: images within tables, etc. Kind of obscure issues for a "standard" office environment

Also, what is there to future proof in an office machine? Additional memory slots?

Are you handling the service and / or installation?

It's funny that the few guys that I know that handle small businesses, just tell the customers what Dell equipment to buy and the guys handle the install and network setup.

So much more money is made from the service contracts, that it is not worth the time to build it themselves.

In the time it takes to put together a system (what about an hour on average?) that "guy" could have been on-site at $150-200 / hour (installation).

Standard service is double that amount.

If Windows was not a requirement, then you could build good machines for under $450.

Dogeared

8^)

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I've got an action pack subscription sitting on my desk right now :D

But one must be a registered reseller to get the action pack... It's great for those that are :D

You don't have to be a registered any thing to get the action pack.

When did that change?

But I know down here in Australia, 12months ago MS Australia wanted you to be a registered reseller or MSDN subscriber to get the pack... normal business entities couldn't get it (even those in the IT Industries)...

But if that has changed... I'll be the next one in line to get the pack...

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Base config is:  2.4 Celeron,  256MB RAM & 40 GB HDD.  No CD, No sound, Integrated graphics

You did say business, right?  :)

IBM A30 (819955U) w/ 17" Monitor & 500VA UPS  = ~$800

  you can add $130 for 3-year on-site service.

DELL OptiPlex SX170 w/ 17" Monitor & 500VA UPSA = 780

  you can add $100 for 3-year on-site service

In quanity you can get some deals.  Moreso from IBM than Dell.

Since you already have Outlook, I would install Open Office.

I *greatly* prefer OO over MS Office. 

I have only found a couple compatibility problems between OO and Office XP: images within tables, etc.  Kind of obscure issues for a "standard" office environment

Also, what is there to future proof in an office machine?  Additional memory slots?

Are you handling the service and / or installation?

It's funny that the few guys that I know that handle small businesses, just tell the customers what Dell equipment to buy and the guys handle the install and network setup.

So much more money is made from the service contracts, that it is not worth the time to build it themselves. 

In the time it takes to put together a system (what about an hour on average?) that "guy" could have been on-site at $150-200 / hour (installation). 

Standard service is double that amount.

If Windows was not a requirement, then you could build good machines for under $450.

Dogeared

8^)

Far as my business is concerned, I offer the customer two routes. I can build them a machine, which in my opinion is better built (300watt Antec/Enlight/Fortron PSU's) Retail box parts (ASUS/Intel/AMD) HD's w/ 3yrs, Cyberpower 625VA UPS w/AVR. so pretty much everything has a 3 year warranty.

The machines come fully patched (Windows Update/Drivers/BIOS's).

OR

I can charge 4 hours or so of my normal contracting rate, and go to bat for them and call IBM, HP/COMPAQ, Dell... and try to get them the best package deal. They still will have to pay for me to Patch up and Image out. It is about break even when you take a $800-850 and put 1-1/2 hours labor to get it up to speed.

Like everything else, there are pro and cons.

The white box approach is one that I call "you get to strangle one neck". That means that me as the vendor from everything from premise wiring to server/workstation and periphs, you make ONE call.

You contract me out to find you the best price on hardware, if you call me if the server smokes, I will be glad to call IBM, DELL, Compaq/HP. But it's gonna cost you, and I am not on the hook for any of that.

Value Add still has it place, especially in my selling cycle. It works about 7 out of 10 times, my customers feel comfortable putting thier money with me and what I build.

I try to work with customers that look past the "bottom" line, never realizing what the bottom line actually is.

I avoid customers that pinch every penny that goes out the door. They have always ended up a collections issue at some point.

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I have only found a couple compatibility problems between OO and Office XP: images within tables, etc. Kind of obscure issues for a "standard" office environment

i've found oo doesn't handle excel files which make use of any extended functions well. still great software.

It's funny that the few guys that I know that handle small businesses, just tell the customers what Dell equipment to buy and the guys handle the install and network setup.  So much more money is made from the service contracts, that it is not worth the time to build it themselves.

i handle several small businesses, and that is my perspective as well. i don't care about what (little) i can make on hardware when i have to support it if it breaks.

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i handle several small businesses, and that is my perspective as well.  i don't care about what (little) i can make on hardware when i have to support it if it breaks.

I just did an install, 4 workstations netted a profit of $1K. Couple that with the labor for the install on site(8hrs), tie into the server, etc, etc. I can make $2k for about 12-13 hrs of work when it is said and done.

Takes me about 5 minutes to order, takes 30-40 minutes (per) from pulling parts out of the shipping carton till the machine is together and very clean on the inside, about 1-1/2 to install XP Pro (other apps like office, acrobat, a/v get pushed out onsite via G.P.) and patch up. Sysprep it and image out via ghost (10 minute a machine MAX) (image from USB 2.0 drive and Ghost boot disk) Talking about 4-5 hours to build 4 machines.

I don't really worry about the warranty fuffilment. Everything that I toss in has 3 years from the manufacturer (besides the PSU, 1 year). I warranty parts and labor for 1 year, parts for whatever remains. I take my chances. That is why I stick AVR UPS's on all systems and use solid PSU's. Best defense against component failure.

I can see where you guys come from with having them order from Dell. I just get a bit nervous "teaching" my customers to shop me on everything.

I just don't think the amount I make to be "little". What is your definition of "little".

I stay around 20 points on systems.

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i would not build 4 machines for 1k in profit if that is your question - not worth it to me to have another person that can call me for another thing. adding another dependent office for something like that is a nightmare to me, and the alternative of building a ton of systems for a single office (instead of few systems for many offices) is not much brighter of a proposition. i only like to deal with and support servers. people can get the accountant's cousin or whatever to talk about arithmetic in excel or setting up rules in outlook for less money and i think it makes us all happier.

i got a funny expression from a receptionist recently when she called me to ask about a desktop support thing. she said, 'i wasn't sure if i should call you over this. i asked jim about something a while back [their ceo] and he said, "he [honold] doesn't want to be our butt boy." (only relaying that in humor, not to imply that desktop support is 'butt boy' work. i think what i do is as much too.)

i work full-time as a network administrator, i play poker about 20 hours per week, and i do consulting. i don't like individual (as opposed to general business network) dependents. even if i didn't work or play poker and had a business of this full-time i'd probably shy away from it just because i'm used to it being this way and i like it.

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i would not build 4 machines for 1k in profit if that is your question - not worth it to me to have another person that can call me for another thing. adding another dependent office for something like that is a nightmare to me, and the alternative of building a ton of systems for a single office (instead of few systems for many offices) is not much brighter of a proposition. i only like to deal with and support servers. people can get the accountant's cousin or whatever to talk about arithmetic in excel or setting up rules in outlook for less money and i think it makes us all happier.

I think our approaches are totally 180 degrees. I run my own consultancy, and every dollar counts. I don't have the problems with white boxing machines and stuff going tit's up on 'em that you might think is going to happen too often.

With what I do, I WANT people to call me, another chance to cement in thier mind as to who's the man. As a business owner, I don't wan't them going to someone else for their Excel solutions. My customers want to run their business, not have five different Ph#'s that they have to call to get something done, regardless if it is Excel, a Webpage, VB/SQL application, Servers, Workstations, Cisco configs, whatever... I strive to be the one stop shop, and customers don't mind, because they don't have time to track a bunch of different support people. They call me because it gets done. Out of their hair. Customers REALLY respond to the one neck to choke philosophy.

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For any one that was wondering why I push for UPS's (especially ones that AVR). I was at my install the 3rd-5th of this March in ohio, winds were gusting up really bad. During the training session on the network I was giving, power must have went out and immediately back on 12-15 times. Everything from the server to the switches to the workstations are on UPS w/AVR.

I talked to My buddy later that day to see what he was up to, turns out he is having a really bad day. He is an MCT/Security+/RHCE/CCNA instructer at New Horizons Cleveland. They lost somewhere between 100-150 computers. They are having to cancel this coming weeks classes.

I wonder how much a week of cancelled classes is going to cost vs. doing it right and thinking long term.

It isn't the cost of the toaster folks, it all the toast you don't get to make when it goes.

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I think you all are missing what these things are actually getting used for.

Your typical office computer is still a piece of crap comparable to the $199 Lindows boxes at Wal*Mart.

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I think you all are missing what these things are actually getting used for.

Your typical office computer is still a piece of crap comparable to the $199 Lindows boxes at Wal*Mart.

To whom are you directing that statement at?

Far as a "typical" office computer being equal to a $199 lindows pc, I guess your correct in the sense if you have an office using nothing but $199 lindows pc purchased at Walmart.

Far as what I put in. Definately not near the junk that you would drudge out of walmart.

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Perhaps glug is pointing out that most Offices get by with old PCs. I don't believe you can contest such a statement in a reasonable manner.

Many PCs I encounter in offices are indeed slower than the PCs selling in Walmart today at very low prices. Most offices do no upgrade their PCs more often than once every couple years and never buy near the top of the price curve.

Additionally, his statement implies another reasonably incontestable fact: $1000 is overkill for most office PCs. I would never suggest an office purchase systems at $1000 a pop. Any suggestion that the money is well spent is tantamount to extortion. If you put 75% of said cash into the screen, some of the money would be spent to a moderately worthwhile end --at least one that most office workers would appreciate.

On the subject of serious content creation PCs, before we get into that, $1000 could easily be too little.

Do well.

Jonathan Guilbault.

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