May 5th, 2007

Slackware Tux

Good Saturday

Slept long and well last night. Between camping in Chas. City, my cold, and work, it was the best sleep in over a week.

colgaffneyis quarterly membership meeting was today. This went quickly and smoothly under the circumstances. Several concerns about money, other resources, and personalities are very much with us, but the organization is coping so far this year. Despite limited publicity, quite a few members showed.

I rebuilt my main home computer this afternoon after Thursday's hard disk failure. I had some hassles with hardware issues but none with the software (Slackware Linux) itself. I have a little configuration still to do but the system is usable now. Much easier than the last few times I have done a Windows install.

Watched The Producers (the original 1960's version) on TV after dinner. It has been a favorite of mine for nearly 40 years, but I had not seen it in a while and had forgotten just how funny it really is.

The Microsoft Tax

The last couple days I was shopping for computer parts and visited two local stores that have used/reconditioned computers for sale. At the low end of the price ranges in both stores I saw the same model Pentium III Compaq DeskPro for sale. One store wanted $59 for it. The other was asking $149. Is the second just being greedy? They had more memory on the box. At current retail prices that would account for $20. It may have had a bigger hard disk--perhaps another $10-20 at current prices for old hard disks (I did a little checking). That still leaves $50-60. Pure profit? No--the more expensive store was selling a functional system with Windows 2000. The cheaper store was selling a nearly naked box. It had just enough pieces of DOS to boot. Looking at the current price of Windows, that is not unreasonable. So I really cannot fault the second store.

But, don't you need Windows? No, you don't. Linux is free. That $50-60 goes straight to Bill Gates.