Author Topic: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable  (Read 24051 times)

jvizueta

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • "Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free"
    • View Profile
Hi, as most of you may already know, there is a new $200 PC that a few weeks ago sold out on Wallmart called gPC (gPC Specs: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7754614, Reviews: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/allReviews.do?product_id=7754614),  that comes with g0S (http://www.thinkgos.com, an Ubuntu based linux distro) installed, and the first thing that came to my mind was that maybe (and forgive me for being so optimist, that's exactly why I'm writing this post, because I'd like to know your opinion about it), and just maybe there could be a way to build a $300 or $400 HTPC with only essential cheap but quality-acceptable hardware (excluding the front-end of course) that could be attractive to masses (as gPC is trying), and increase LinuxMCE popularity vs. Windows MCE.

Searching on this forum I found this thread: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3204.0  (I was about to reply to this thread with this post you're reading but I didn't think the name of the original post "Possible thin client?" would get to the point I'm trying to make) that talks about the $60 all-in-one motherboard (http://clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A4842001) that is used to build the gPC as an option to build a LMCE PC. Maybe with a Hauppauge PVR-150 tuner or even a cheaper Linux-compatible one cost wouldn't go so high.

The thing is that I would like to know if someone has already tested this gPC or at least it's motherboard with LinuxMCE indeed or if somebody knows or has a better idea for a low-cost HTPC and would like to post it here. The problem is that reading some reviews on clubit's motherboard page I found something I already expected but I don't take it for granted before I get to know some LinuxMCE specific stories about this hardware or test it on my own:

Quote
Buy this for its economy and low power consumption. This is a 5 rating for my needs. wouldn't rate higher than a three for multimedia or games. There are better options (I wonder how much those options would get to cost).

Some other reviewer wrote this:
Quote
Strengths: Low power. Using PicoPSU and Maxtor 160GB EIDE, LiteOn DVD writer the system runs 24-40Watts. The DVD kicks it up to 40. Idles at 24.
Weaknesses: Display sucks and no upgrade slot for AGP or PCIe.
Summary: Using a Dell 1905FP LCD display there are blurry areas splattered around the screen. Other MBs with better built in GPUs do not have this problem. The GeForce 6100M and AMD 690G work excellent. Using the same hardware on a GeForce 6100M the power usage is 30-55 Watts with a BE2300 CPU.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 05:06:34 pm by jvizueta »
"Which mindset is right? Mine, of course. People who disagree with me are by definition crazy. (Until I change my mind, when they can suddenly become upstanding citizens. I'm flexible, and not black-and-white.)"
      - Linus Torvalds

tkmedia

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
    • LMCECompatible
Re: LinuxMCE gPC?, trying to build the cheapest quality-acceptable HTPC
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007, 04:45:22 am »
Just ordered one will let you know how I make out.
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE gPC?, trying to build the cheapest quality-acceptable HTPC
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2007, 05:17:14 am »
I've got one showing up on the 30th according to fedex's site. I'm just going to use it as a nonvideo playing oribiter/md that will run a touchscreen access panel and do bluetooth detection near my door entry to my house. I'll put it through it's paces though and see what i can get the graphics to do and what kind of video it can handle. I've already know how to get unichrome graphics working so it shouldn't take me long once I have it in hand. For $60 it's about impossible to beat for a low power system.

jvizueta

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • "Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free"
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE gPC?, trying to build the cheapest quality-acceptable HTPC
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2007, 04:01:22 pm »
Thank you for your replies, I'll be expecting impatiently for your test results.

For those of you who haven't read about gPC I leave you some links here to articles written about the topic

"gOS PC Sells Out: People Like A Google Focused PC"
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/11/12/gos-pc-sells-out-people-like-a-google-focused-pc/

"gPC $199 C7 powered PC at Wal-Mart":
http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com/2007/11/gpc-199-c7-powered-pc-at-wal-mart.html

"Is Wal-Mart's gPC The Linux Version Of The Mac Mini?":

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2007/11/is_walmarts_gpc.html

"La gPC se agota en poco tiempo" (spanish):
http://www.orlandoalonzo.com.mx/tecnologia/la-gpc-se-agota-en-poco-tiempo/

"El Google PC es factible: el gPC se agota en las tiendas, fotos y vídeo del gOS" (spanish):
http://google.dirson.com/post/3740-google-pc-video-gos/

Thanks a lot for reading and I would love more replies from you all.
"Which mindset is right? Mine, of course. People who disagree with me are by definition crazy. (Until I change my mind, when they can suddenly become upstanding citizens. I'm flexible, and not black-and-white.)"
      - Linus Torvalds

blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE gPC?, trying to build the cheapest quality-acceptable HTPC
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2007, 05:02:35 am »
I have had my board for a few days but havn't had any time to test it. I may just wait for the new linuxmce release. I won't have time to spend to review it until the 4th and 5th

jvizueta

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • "Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free"
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2007, 05:20:34 pm »
any news about this topic?
"Which mindset is right? Mine, of course. People who disagree with me are by definition crazy. (Until I change my mind, when they can suddenly become upstanding citizens. I'm flexible, and not black-and-white.)"
      - Linus Torvalds

clarky2o2o

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 03:07:56 am »
Id like to know more too.

I nearly purchased 1 of these the other day for $399 from walmart (ripley,wv).....so glad i didnt the cradle robbing....walmart associates.

blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 05:44:43 am »
I just got my picopsu the other day. I'm pretty much not messing with it until 710 comes out. I'm certain it won't run UI3 but I'll see how it does on 720p and 1080i content and the UI2.
For a temporary test I may just install ubuntu 710 and see how it works with myth as a client. I'm off work for the next two days so I'll mess with it later on this morning and let you know


blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 06:46:35 am »
the linuxmce user interface 3

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5501
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 06:57:15 am »
what people call UI3, is actually UI2, with compositing (blending).

It is incorrectly called UI3.

-Thom

blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2007, 06:58:57 am »
ohhh we have one of those people that like to correct everyone else  :P

Hagen

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 437
  • LMCE wannabe user
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 07:34:17 am »
Well... he's correct, and when others ask just what UI3 is... there's really no choice...

blackoper

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 03:53:53 pm »
so I've been messing with it for about an hour and I can't get it to post.. power kicks in, fan comes on and nothing. It may be very picky and not like my ram no idea.. checking to see if there is a support site. So far I've tried 2 different psu's and 4 brands of ram

just found the board's support site
http://www.pcchips.com.tw/PCCWebSite/Products/ProductsDetail.aspx?CategoryID=1&TypeID=19&DetailID=384&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=1&LanID=2
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 04:13:47 pm by blackoper »

jvizueta

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • "Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free"
    • View Profile
Re: LinuxMCE on Wal-mart's $200 gPC, is it possible??? it really is affordable
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2007, 04:18:03 pm »
Thanks blackoper for all your interest about the topic

May this help you?:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=609034

complete specs of the motherboard from via's website:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/empowered/pc2500_platform/index.jsp

Sorry I didn't find much to help but I'm really busy right now
"Which mindset is right? Mine, of course. People who disagree with me are by definition crazy. (Until I change my mind, when they can suddenly become upstanding citizens. I'm flexible, and not black-and-white.)"
      - Linus Torvalds