Really Small Cheap Computers

“Keep in mind that this is a $9 Linux-based computer. There certainly are limitations to its capabilities although you shouldn’t mistake the CHIP for a toy. You are reading the proof, right now, since all of this copy, the process of uploading it into the TNS’s content manager, and graphics editing were done on the CHIP. It only took a little bit longer than usual.”
 
See Off-The-Shelf Hacker: This Story was Composed on a $9 Linux Computer
If price matters, TLW is rolling on the floor laughing. Her PC cost ~$100, including delivery. She definitely has no problem getting her work and play done using the Odroid-C2, a $40 USD SoC, running Debian GNU/Linux. The one little niggle is that 1080p video works but is slow. That will be fixed sooner or later. Her old PC ran at 1280×1024, because it was slower. OTOH, audio is smooth and flawless.

She runs FireFox, Chromium, LibreOffice and Gimp without issue. Browsing the web is much faster on her new PC even if it is small and cheap.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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16 Responses to Really Small Cheap Computers

  1. oiaohm says:

    antifanboy
    You do know you’ve included phones, tablets, and game consoles in the mix.
    Sorry the reality is in some countries the wide mainstream item to use for email, business documents, banking, surfing internet, dealing with their government answer is a phone or tablet not a desktop computer.

    The reality is what I looked as is being antifanboy. When you say wide mainstream you have to step back and consider what everyone is in fact using. So it not possible to use the term wide mainstream as a arguement around windows any more. The common desktop computer user could be used but not wide mainstream any more the market has moved way too much. Really as a antifanboy to be true to you handle you should have stomped on kurkosdr has the usage as wide mainstream was pure fan boy.

  2. antifanboy says:

    “So maybe the wide mainstream does have some problems using their Windows PC as well so are instead jumping ship to Android.”

    You do know you’ve included phones, tablets, and game consoles in the mix.

  3. oiaohm wrote, “Watch windows tell you that you still have a printer of that name installed even after rebooting. This is quite a bug.”

    I’ll say. That kind of crap happens when you make things so complex no one can fix it without replacing it and breaking “backward compatibility”… Chuckle. If M$ had bugzilla, it would probably have a bug for “Who the Hell decided to lock us in to this crap?”.

    I haven’t missed TOOS at all. With GNU/Linux a bug is a bug not a feature.

  4. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr simple one for you. Sit a a windows machine add a printer. Set it name to something delete printer now add an new printer and attempt to set name to the prior name you used. Watch windows tell you that you still have a printer of that name installed even after rebooting. This is quite a bug. I could list quite a few more bugs like this one. This is not drivers this is internal Windows operations being stuffed up.

  5. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr
    http://gs.statcounter.com/#all-os-ww-monthly-201605-201607-bar
    And the wide mainstream has no problem using their Windows PCs, just by leaving the frickin’ settings to default and installing a free antivirus or enabling Windows Defender.
    That is a bit of a question. Do wide mainstream in fact use a Windows PC any more. On a country by country base sometimes that answer is no they don’t.

    So maybe the wide mainstream does have some problems using their Windows PC as well so are instead jumping ship to Android.

    It’s only FOSSies who always face insurmountable difficulties in using an operating system whose default settings are basically “auto-maintain all the things”.
    In fact one of the most hated thing Windows users have is the fact items like Printers fail after windows auto-maintains self. This is not old hardware just sometimes when windows 10 runs it auto update it would double install a printer resulting in conflicting drivers so you cannot print. You delete the problem printer and next update you lose printing again because when you deleted printer under windows 10 it did not in fact totally delete printer. This fault first appeared in windows 2000 and still is not fixed.

    Idiots like kurkosdr say that people reporting problems about Windows is fictional or extreme conner cases what is not the case. GNU/Linux, Android, Chromebooks, OSi and OS X you delete a printer it truly does delete printer completely including it spool directories and other bits Windows fails to.

    I give that Linux needs to improve usability for administration. GNU/Linux once you get pass the administration side is either as equally behaved as windows or better.

  6. kurkosdr says:

    Blah… blah… usual Pog blather.

    BTW:

    dd might be well-documented but for most people, it’s an obscure piece of terminal-fu.

    And the wide mainstream has no problem using their Windows PCs, just by leaving the frickin’ settings to default and installing a free antivirus or enabling Windows Defender. It’s only FOSSies who always face insurmountable difficulties in using an operating system whose default settings are basically “auto-maintain all the things”. Some would say most of their problems are fictional or extreme corner cases (aka “my ultra-old and unsupported USB peripheral from the 90s doesn’t work”) just to subconsciously justify to themselves the fact they don’t use Windows and its rich library of software. Apparently, refusing to use a piece of software just because of an EULA (most people will click “accept” and be done with it) won’t cut it by itself. For that reason, Windows just has to be somehow fundamentally broken in their minds.

  7. kurkosdr wrote, “obscure utilities and commands”

    dd is well-documented.

    dd if=some_image_file of=/dev/some SD-card bs=1024k works today as it did back in the days of my first exposure to GNU/Linux. In those days the target was more likely a floppy or small hard drive.

    kurkosdr also wrote, “Meanwhile, everybody and their dog have no problem buying a Windows PC or installing Windows, leaving everything to default settings, and then leaving Windows Update do its thing.”

    ISTR spending hours per installation of TOOS and I had to do it as often as monthly on some PCs. TOOS is a very fragile OS. Look at the extremes M$ goes to today (UEFI/inSecure Boot, anti-malware, layers of this that and the other) and it still fails. Meanwhile for the Odroid-C2, dd can change the complete OS and applications in the time it takes to write the storage device. That’s due to the simplicity of FLOSS licensing and the absence of bloat.

  8. dougman says:

    “Some people like tweaking cars, for heaven’s sake”

    LOL…well at least their car runs.

    Imagine the horror and chagrin that consumers would have to endure, if they have to spend days getting their car to work correctly. No cars would be sold, ever.

  9. kurkosdr says:

    and install Windows Defender or Panda Antivirus (both free) = and enable Windows Defender or install Panda Antivirus (both free)

  10. kurkosdr says:

    It sure beats re-installing or delousing TOOS every month or so.

    Oh look, a person who has no problem installing GNU/Linux on a 40$ cheap DIY piece of electronics using obscure utilities and commands can’t get Windows to work without re-installing it every month. Riight…

    Meanwhile, everybody and their dog have no problem buying a Windows PC or installing Windows, leaving everything to default settings, and then leaving Windows Update do its thing. The only thing you MAY have to do is uninstall the trial antivirus and install Windows Defender or Panda Antivirus (both free). This is what my dad did, all by himself.

    OK, you don’t want Windows because you hate the MS EULA. We get it. But please let go the lies, will you? Can you?

  11. luvr says:

    “wasting days to get a $40 device to function properly is not my ideal of a way to so”

    I’m sure that if Robert considered the time that he spent on the device as “wasted days”, then he wouldn’t have done it.

    Ever heard of “early adopters”? “Tweakers”? You know, people who like to fiddle with whatever tickles their fancy, just for fun? Ever heard of “fun”?

    Some people like tweaking cars, for heaven’s sake… I cannot see the fun in that, but if others can, then who am I to claim they’re just “wasting their time”? And even if they’re just “wasting their time”, then who am I to condemn them for it?

  12. dougman says:

    “It sure beats re-installing or delousing TOOS every month or so.”

    Did I even bring up Windows? *rolls-eyes*

    Yes, I understand the idea of a pensioner and increased time, but wasting days to get a $40 device to function properly is not my ideal of a way to so.

  13. dougman wrote about “labor and R&D”.

    I consider what work I’ve done as simply unboxing and using the thing. There wasn’t much retraining involved, just dd and plugging things in. It sure beats re-installing or delousing TOOS every month or so.

  14. dougman wrote, “a $40 device with questionable life-span.”

    I would expect a fanless device running at 40-60C would have a pretty goof lifespan. Of course, I could step on it…

  15. kurkosdr says:

    @dougman

    As I ‘ve said before, Pog is a pensioner. He has to find ways to fill his copious free time, be it low-end DIY small-cheap ARM boards or some-assembly-required Chinese tractors. In that sense, the $40 device actually pays Pog, because otherwise he would have to find other more expensive ways to fill his time (going to an expensive dinner for example).

  16. dougman says:

    Ummmm, you left out the labor and R&D aspect.

    24 man hours at $25-75/hr: $600 – $1800

    Not entirely a cheap purchase, eh?

    A Chromebox would have been the ideal choice. You would have saw a massive savings in your labor and R&D time. I am quite sure you never understood that time is money and people have better things to do then fiddle with a $40 device with questionable life-span.

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