Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Walmart, Linux, and Little Green Men

Posted by telecommatt on November 2, 2007

Download gOS, the operating system of Wal-Mart’s $199 PC – Download Squad

This week Wal-Mart started selling a $199 PC with a Linux based operating system called gOS pre-loaded.

The "g" in gOS apparently stands for "green" and not "Google" as people suspected. Now I have to give the Live CD a test run, just because it’s green and being green is cool.

I’m pretty anti-Walmart when it comes to most things, but when you get get gOS installed in a pretty decent PC for less than 200 little green men, it makes me hate them slightly less. When you recall that a Linux-based OS runs much more efficiently than a Windows OS, it looks even better. Based on my own experience (not any benchmarking, etc.) the average Linux OS runs about as well as WinXP on twice as much RAM.  (Can anyone else comment on this?) I’ve found that processor speed makes more of a difference, but mostly I’ve run Live CD’s. This means that the Walmart 512MB might well see performance like a WinXP machine with 1GB RAM. Throw in the fact that you don’t have to deal with Win-only headaches such as the dreaded automatic update, Genuine (dis)Advantage verification, constant antivirus updates, etc, and I’ve almost convinced myself that it’s worth going without groceries for a few weeks to put one of these in my living room. I’m still torn about contributing to the Walmartizing of America though. Anyone else have any thoughts? Leave your comments here or kontact me.

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