Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Reg readers take the Dell 'Open-source PC' challenge

Filed under
Hardware

Once upon a time, Michael Dell heard about this thing called Linux. The open-source operating system promised to sweep across PCs all over the world. Ever the low-cost, high-volume guy, Mikey figured he could sell a heck of lot of systems with Linux, and set to work pumping companies such as Red Hat and Eazel with money from Dell's Venture Fund, and even declared that Dell would be the very first major OEM to ship PCs with Linux already installed.

In Redmond, Mikey Dell's plan didn't go over so well. Of all Microsoft's OEMs, Dell was the most favored - because it sold the most boxes. The word came down from the top. Dell would need to put on a tutu and twirl its way back to the all-Windows camp.

"I'm thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. ... they should do a delicate dance," Microsoft's OEM enforcer announced.

These days, even without a real Linux on the PC business, Dell still dances more delicately than a ceramic music box ballerina twirling under a Skycar.

Dell wants you to know about something called "Open-Source PCs," which ship with a copy of the widely popular FreeDOS operating system in the packaging material but not installed on the PCs. In theory, this provides an easy path for customers to install any OS they like on the systems.

But this whole public relations exercise in openness began to unravel when we discovered the Windows-less PCs cost more than similar Windows-equipped PCs, and when it's near impossible to purchase an "Open-Source PC," in the first place.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Five reasons to switch from Windows to Linux

Linux has been in the ascendancy ever since the open source operating system was released, and has been improved and refined over time so that a typical distribution is now a polished and complete package comprising virtually everything the user needs, whether for a server or personal system. Much of the web runs on Linux, and a great many smartphones, and numerous other systems, from the Raspberry Pi to the most powerful supercomputers. So is it time to switch from Windows to Linux? Here are five reasons why. Read more

today's leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

  • Chrome vulnerability lets attackers steal movies from streaming services
    A significant security vulnerability in Google technology that is supposed to protect videos streamed via Google Chrome has been discovered by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) in collaboration with a security researcher from Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin, Germany.
  • Large botnet of CCTV devices knock the snot out of jewelry website
    Researchers have encountered a denial-of-service botnet that's made up of more than 25,000 Internet-connected closed circuit TV devices. The researchers with Security firm Sucuri came across the malicious network while defending a small brick-and-mortar jewelry shop against a distributed denial-of-service attack. The unnamed site was choking on an assault that delivered almost 35,000 HTTP requests per second, making it unreachable to legitimate users. When Sucuri used a network addressing and routing system known as Anycast to neutralize the attack, the assailants increased the number of HTTP requests to 50,000 per second.
  • Study finds Password Misuse in Hospitals a Steaming Hot Mess
    Hospitals are pretty hygienic places – except when it comes to passwords, it seems. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and USC, which found that efforts to circumvent password protections are “endemic” in healthcare environments and mostly go unnoticed by hospital IT staff. The report describes what can only be described as wholesale abandonment of security best practices at hospitals and other clinical environments – with the bad behavior being driven by necessity rather than malice.
  • Why are hackers increasingly targeting the healthcare industry?
    Cyber-attacks in the healthcare environment are on the rise, with recent research suggesting that critical healthcare systems could be vulnerable to attack. In general, the healthcare industry is proving lucrative for cybercriminals because medical data can be used in multiple ways, for example fraud or identify theft. This personal data often contains information regarding a patient’s medical history, which could be used in targeted spear-phishing attacks.
  • Making the internet more secure
  • Beyond Monocultures
  • Dodging Raindrops Escaping the Public Cloud