The cost of hardware these days is declining at the speed of light. I remember purchasing my first PC a screaming fast 16Mz 386 with 1 meg of RAM and a hard drive so small that it would not even support my Email inbox today. I also remember almost having a coronary at the $2,000 price tag! And that was only 20 years ago. 

This morning in my Email I received a Press Release from Linspire out of San Diego. For those of you not familiar with the company they are the creators of an easy to use commercial version of Linux by the same name and a free downloadable version named Freespire. I can definitely say for sure that it is easy to use, because I myself run it in favor of Windows, and my knowledge of Linux could be written on the back of a postage stamp.

Linspire in corroboration with Mirus Innovations has announced a PC with the retail price of $199 which will be available through ( Now what do you get for your $199? A 1.6GHz Intel Celeron processor, 1GB of Ram, 80GB hard drive, CDRW, and it is preloaded with operating system, and a very easy to use software finder/installer called CNR.

I read the hardware specs and reflected on that first PC I purchased, this new offering is 1000 times faster than my 16MHz, it has 1000 times the memory (1Gig rather than 1Meg), the hard drive is 1000 times larger (80Gig rather than 80Meg), and all for 1/10th of the purchase price! Another way of looking at it is, this is equivalent to buying a copy of Vista, and Microsoft throwing in a free PC!

One of the downsides with taking the Linux route is the lack of support for certain types of multimedia formats, however the Press Release goes on to explain, ‘The $199 PC provides improved out-of-the-box file type and multimedia support, such as MP3, Windows Media, Real Networks, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia, WiFi, and many more.’

Damn I knew I should have waited!

Simon Barrett



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