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Oracle to market 'Internet Computer'

By tidepool in News
Tue May 09, 2000 at 07:59:50 PM EST
Tags: Hardware (all tags)
Hardware

According to this story from the AP (by way of the Washington Post) Oracle corp. is going to be releasing an 'internet computer' for $199. Best of all: It runs linux and there is no 'service contract'.


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This 'Internet Computer' or NIC as they like to call it (cute, eh?) will be lacking a harddrive and does not include a monitor. Below are the specs:
"The machine runs on a Linux operating system, has a 266-megahertz microprocessor, 64 megabytes of memory, a 56K modem and 24-times CD-ROM drive. Monitors are not included, although Oracle's philanthropic arm will give away monitors to schools, Smith said. "
Read that? They run linux. Now, you're probably saying to yourself - why is this different from the i-opener, et al? Well, besides the fact that these already run linux, there is no internet service that one must purchase. You buy the machine (+ HD + Monitor + a lil' customization) and you've got yourself a nice little linux workstation for you and your grandma.

What do you think? Should we be seeing more of these hit the market from well-respected companies?

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Oracle to market 'Internet Computer' | 27 comments (27 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I hate it when I mush purchase a se... (none / 0) (#3)
by joeyo on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:11:43 PM EST

joeyo voted 1 on this story.

I hate it when I mush purchase a service contract...

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi

No hard drive? So do they expect p... (none / 0) (#7)
by skim123 on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:13:50 PM EST

skim123 voted 1 on this story.

No hard drive? So do they expect people to be able to install one of their own? If so, that would really limit the potential audience.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


I can build my own low-end box for ... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:16:51 PM EST

rusty voted -1 on this story.

I can build my own low-end box for less than that, and install linux on it myself, also without buying an ISP contract or lining larry ellison's pockets even more. Who needs this machine?

By the way, you can't link to AP Wire stories. It only works if you go through their little select menus. Sorry, but you all will have to find another source for the story if you found it on AP.

____
Not the real rusty

Hmm, would like a NIC with that, bu... (none / 0) (#22)
by slycer on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:26:13 PM EST

slycer voted 1 on this story.

Hmm, would like a NIC with that, but can probably add that afterwards. What do these things boot from? CD? EPRom? Anyone know?

I was glad to know about it (thinki... (none / 0) (#2)
by Paul Dunne on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:28:51 PM EST

Paul Dunne voted 0 on this story.

I was glad to know about it (thinking of spending that sort of money just on new chip, m/b and RAM; but then I don't suppose these things'll be for sale in Germany any time soon); but, this is just an ad. for Oracle, isn't it? It's been obvious for several years that what the market needs is an Internet appliance, not a Windows PC; why it's been so long taking over the market I don't know.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/

Yet another network computer. hoora... (none / 0) (#24)
by Anonymous Zero on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:30:20 PM EST

Anonymous Zero voted 0 on this story.

Yet another network computer. hooray.

Where's the OS stored? on flashcard... (none / 0) (#6)
by kraant on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:31:29 PM EST

kraant voted 1 on this story.

Where's the OS stored? on flashcards?
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

Shouldn't this be on e-bay?... (none / 0) (#21)
by Rasputin on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:41:25 PM EST

Rasputin voted -1 on this story.

Shouldn't this be on e-bay?
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

With no hard drive, this thing can ... (none / 0) (#10)
by marlowe on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:42:01 PM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

With no hard drive, this thing can have no independent existence from a network. So why not an X terminal instead?
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

When oracle *does* release said com... (none / 0) (#19)
by kovacsp on Tue May 09, 2000 at 02:42:16 PM EST

kovacsp voted -1 on this story.

When oracle *does* release said computers it will be news worthy. This isn't the first time we've heard these noises coming from Oracle...

Interesting. I wonder if it will us... (none / 0) (#26)
by Qtmstr on Tue May 09, 2000 at 03:00:11 PM EST

Qtmstr voted 1 on this story.

Interesting. I wonder if it will use standard interfaces, and, if it does, whether a hard drive can be purchased. An entire machine, sans monitor, for $299 ($199 + cost of a HD) would be nice.


Kuro5hin delenda est!

Drooool..... ... (none / 0) (#23)
by flamingcow on Tue May 09, 2000 at 03:00:16 PM EST

flamingcow voted 1 on this story.

Drooool.....

Is this really all that great a dea... (none / 0) (#9)
by HiRes on Tue May 09, 2000 at 03:07:36 PM EST

HiRes voted 1 on this story.

Is this really all that great a deal? Why a modem? Without a HD, wouldn't a NIC make more sense, especially if they are targeting schools?
--
wcb
wait! before you rate, read.

Looks like this is the age of the t... (none / 0) (#11)
by inspire on Tue May 09, 2000 at 03:37:34 PM EST

inspire voted 1 on this story.

Looks like this is the age of the thin client. Funny, business tried that in the mid 90's and it more or less flopped, but it's found a home in the home market.
--
What is the helix?

Could someone please explain how th... (none / 0) (#16)
by homer on Tue May 09, 2000 at 03:52:50 PM EST

homer voted 1 on this story.

Could someone please explain how this $199 wonder is better than any old generic P-266 running Linux? These can be found for less, and with a hard drive (or is that a disadvantage?).
-----------
doh!

Hmm..already runs Linux. What is th... (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by End on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:08:12 PM EST

End voted 1 on this story.

Hmm..already runs Linux. What is there to do to it then? When I buy a cheap bitty box, I prefer to do the Linux part myself, thankyou! What fun is it hacking a box that already runs the right OS? Can you hack it to play mp3 in your car? Is there a set of analog inputs and a ROM Basic interpreter for ultimate extensibility? Hmm...seriously, I tell you what would be really neat: a cheap box like this, but non-assembled. You assemble it yourself, do your own soldering and install your own operating system. That would make it really fun.

-JD

You know, once you add that monitor... (none / 0) (#13)
by Field Marshall Stack on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:16:03 PM EST

Field Marshall Stack voted -1 on this story.

You know, once you add that monitor and hard drive, it's not that great a deal. I'm sure I could put together something similar to this for the same amount/less money.
--
Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork

With no monitor and no hard drive, ... (none / 0) (#17)
by YellowBook on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:24:10 PM EST

YellowBook voted 0 on this story.

With no monitor and no hard drive, $199 is not such a great deal.

Oracle has been touting the NC for ... (none / 0) (#8)
by evro on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:24:29 PM EST

evro voted 1 on this story.

Oracle has been touting the NC for a long time, and I think it was part of the impetus behind the iMac.
---
"Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"

VA Linux release Linux computer sho... (none / 0) (#4)
by hattig on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:47:33 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

VA Linux release Linux computer shock!

$199 is about 130, which is damned cheap for a machine that could be hacked to become a reasonable machine. At least we know where all those older chips that never got sold are now.

Now if they sold it in a 1.5" high unit then you are talking serious cheap servers - beowulf them together... 266MHz is still good for a webserver - that is I/O bound, not CPU bound. Wonder if the thing has PCI slots (on their side - one for ethernet, one for SCSI).

10 years ago you might have been able to get a C64 for that price. 7 years ago you would have got an Amiga A600. Then the sub $400 market for computers died a bad death.

We all know that Larry Ellison is c... (none / 0) (#25)
by feline on Tue May 09, 2000 at 04:55:10 PM EST

feline voted 1 on this story.

We all know that Larry Ellison is crazy and this is just his pet project, (Remember Jobs and Lisa?).

"this amazing $199 computer s going to allow us to put a computer on every child's desk." doesn't this sound a bit like Billy's promise about fifteen years ago?

Besdies, who in the world would possibly want a network computer, in history, they've been slow and could not be used for many things.
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'

Kick it. One of those little appli... (none / 0) (#15)
by warpeightbot on Tue May 09, 2000 at 05:06:07 PM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

Kick it. One of those little appliance-type boxen that's not tied to some joker's ISP, and thus worth discussing. 24x CDROM, eh? innnnteresting.

Don't want to be a party-pooper, bu... (none / 0) (#20)
by Camelot on Tue May 09, 2000 at 05:13:04 PM EST

Camelot voted 1 on this story.

Don't want to be a party-pooper, but Netpliance's approach makes more sense, at least as far as the customer is concerned. Who would want to buy an "internet computer" without an internet connection ? (Speaking of Joe Average here).

No service contract? Woo-hoo!... (1.00 / 1) (#18)
by pb on Tue May 09, 2000 at 05:15:43 PM EST

pb voted 1 on this story.

No service contract? Woo-hoo!
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

The iopener was interesting because... (none / 0) (#14)
by pvg on Tue May 09, 2000 at 06:00:52 PM EST

pvg voted -1 on this story.

The iopener was interesting because it had an LCD. Oracle is trying to recover whatever they can from their abortive investment into NC development. Personally, it doesn't strike me as all that newsworthy.

Re: The iopener was interesting because... (none / 0) (#27)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 09, 2000 at 09:51:02 PM EST

And because it was so cheap. Then again, this machine has more memory and a bootable CD-ROM, so you could burn a Linux distro to CD, and you wouldn't need a hard drive (depending on what you want to do - this would be fine for an X terminal, and you could use NFS if you need some storage). It would be cool if you could get an LCD for $50-100, and optionally replace the modem with a network card. Network computing may become popular, but not over a 56k link.

[ Parent ]
Nowhere near enough culture, and a ... (none / 0) (#5)
by Demona on Tue May 09, 2000 at 06:03:29 PM EST

Demona voted 0 on this story.

Nowhere near enough culture, and a story that's been plastered all over. Maybe there could be an ongoing New Toys section a la Wired's "Fetish"?

Oracle to market 'Internet Computer' | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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