Cheap PCs from Wal-Mart

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at
Fri May 30 08:31:30 EDT 2003

If you're "blessed" with a Fry's Electronics in your area, the $30 cases 
are available.  So are the $400 cases...

If you're astute, Fry's usually has the toys to do the $200 computer 
with only a time investment.  However, I agree with Jim: My time's worth 
something, and I'm running out of grad students.  If we get the proposed 
funding I'm looking at, I'll hire a couple of kids to play node acolyte, 
but until then, it's not likely we're going to have spare cycles to 
build and test hardware.

And tell me again, Why would I want to get a M$ license?  Especially on 
my cluster?

As for the sales tax issue, if I don't present the appropriate 
paperwork, Texas a sales tax collection from in-state vendors.  If I 
don't provide the paperwork and tax is collected, the University will 
extract that tax from ME(!) and not acknowledge the paperwork reduction 
as cost-savings...


Alvin Oga wrote:
> hi ya jim
> On Thu, 29 May 2003, Jim Lux wrote:
>>However, allow me to point out the following:
>>- $200 for a Linux machine is cheaper than $280, albeit for less 
>>performance.  I have shopped around the local stores looking for a similar 
>>pricepoint, and nobody is interested in stocking components that provide 
>>the low level of performance at the low price point Wal-Mart is selling at.
> some local pc stores carry the parts .. off the shelf ...
> 	- you will have a hard time finding a $30 pc case though
> 	and rest of the components are easy to find 
> 	( even at frys(fries) )
> its probably better to buy a cpu/mb/disk/memory/ps that you know and like
> vs experimenting with "cheap parts" ... i always get burnt trying to save
> $5 - $10 by buying generic  but buying "bad" name-brand stuff doesnt help
> either
>>- The Walmart special requires ZERO labor to assemble and test, and is 
>>guaranteed good out of the box (they'll pay return shipping)...As far as 
>>DOA rates go... I'll bet Walmart wouldn't tolerate a 5% DOA rate, since 
>>their corporate reputation rests on "non-sophisticated users" who "take it 
>>out of the box and plug it in"
> yes... a good thing about buying a complete box
>>- One probably cannot buy a *LEGAL* copy of WinXP for $25 as an end user. 
>>One might be able to negotiate such a price from a dealer, but I'll bet the 
>>OEM License agreement *REQUIRES* the dealer to install it on a working 
>>system.  Microsoft is no fool when it comes to extracting money, which is 
>>probably why WalMart is charging $100+ for the WinXP
> those ms OEM deals are tightly controlled based on number of systems
> one sells vs number of ms cdrom only sold, etc...etc..
> 	- most of the pc stores selling w/ windoze xp preinstalled are
> 	just paying for the rights to sell n-machines ... and their
> 	ms license fee is significantly discounted...
> 	( ask for a copy of ms xp cdrom and watch them squirm and 
> 	( turn red ...  same for laptops
>>- Buying locally over the counter merely moves the shipping cost from the 
>>vendor to you.  How much is your time worth?  FWIW, Walmart charged me $14 
>>for shipping, which is quite reasonable.
> shipping for large entities is cheap ...
> shipping for 1 system from small 1-z and 2-z companies is "regular
> pricing"  .. roughly  $5/lb of shipping .. ( ground shipping is little
> less about 1/2 but takes 7 days in transit )
>>- Legally, you have to pay sales tax (or, alternately use tax) in 
>>California regardless.  Sure, some out of state vendors may be remiss in 
>>collecting it, but, then, you're then *legally responsible* for paying the 
>>use tax.  Likewise, if you use your "resale permit" to claim you're buying 
>>for resale as an OEM (probably also how you'd finagle the oem Windows 
>>license), you're responsible for the tax. When it comes to tax, the 
>>government is amazingly tenacious...
> should be tax exempt, even if a cali corp sells a bunch of pc to
> some groups of is tax exempt also
> and yes, collecting and paying on sales tax is important..
> we say resale permit vs paperwork needed is not worth the hassle.. 
> its 10x cheaper to pay the 8.25% cali sales tax for 1-z 2-z orders
>>And, of course, if you were buying a low-buck Beowulf for an educational 
>>purpose (i.e. to give a local middle school a chance to work with a 
>>cluster), they're not going to hassle the shady tax and/or shipping and/or 
>>licensing issues.
> those are probably can all be tax exempt except for MS part of it
> have fun
> alvin
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Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at
Network Engineering -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.847.8578
Page: 979.228.0173
Office: 903A Eller Bldg, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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