Feeds

Some points missed in Return of the ‘free’ PC

The CDs! The hackers!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Letter The Return of the free PC

From Richard Lloyd, Liverpool

  • Did you calculate how many CDs Metronomy would have to send out to users if all 200,000 PCs were snapped up and kept for the full three years? Yep, 7.2 MILLION CDs - one wonders why at least broadband users couldn't download the ads off the Net rather than from CD.

  • Talking of Net access, it's not clear to me if you have to sign up with *only* the ISPs on their recommended list. Metronomy's Terms and Conditions rather stupidly state "you must maintain an ISP dial-up account throughout the term of the agreement." (doesn't say it has to be a particular ISP though) whereas elsewhere, I've read that you can use either dial-up or broadband.

  • Why not run a virtual desktop on XP and have the ads in desktop 1 whilst you do your work in desktop 2 ?

  • Also, how long is going to take before someone reverse engineers the "phone home" protocol and fakes it to make it look like the user's seen a bunch of ads and has been logged on for 30 hours (that's quite a lot of time for newbie users to spend online) during the month?

My personal opinion is that the PC sells at 411 quid on IBM's site (plus the cost of a monitor, let's round it up to 500 quid...somewhat short of the 800 quid the press releases have been saying) and if a user can't afford a 500 quid setup, then they're not going to be buying anything remotely expensive that's advertised to them.

Conclusion: Metronomy's scheme is doomed and is very unlikely to last the full three years. PCs are just too cheap now (I got my last white box one - minus monitor - for 219 quid) for this scheme to ever work again - not that it did the first time around. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.