Practical Technology

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Linux PCs still available at Wal-Mart: Just not the one down the road

Recently there were some rumors that Wal-Mart was once more selling Everex PCs with gOS Linux. Well, they got it about a third right.

Yes, Wal-Mart is selling gOS Linux-powered Everex laptops, but then again they never stopped selling them. What they did so was stop selling them at their retail stores. Today, if you want an Everex gOS PC you need to go to the Wal-Mart Web site.

However, Wal-Mart doesn’t make it easy to find their Linux-powered PCs. A simple search for “Linux” won’t do the trick. If you do some digging, or just follow the links below, you can find their Linux systems.

One of Wal-Mart’s new offerings is an Everex laptop, the Everex 15.4″ gBook VA1500V Laptop PC. This notebook is powered by a 1.5GHz VIA C7-M CPU. It also comes with 512MBs of RAM, a 60MB hard drive and a dual CD-RW / DVD-ROM optical drive. For networking this system offers a Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. It runs on gOS 2.0. This model sells for $398.

Wal-Mart is also now offering the Everex 7″ CloudBook CE1200V UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC). This system’s heart is a 1.2GHzVIA C7-M processor. The display comes in at 800 x 480, which is par for the UMPC’s 7” displays. This CloudBook also comes with 512MBs of RAM and a 30GB hard drive. To connect with the outside world, it uses an Ethernet port and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. This small unit retails for $388.

Wal-Mart is also continuing to offer the Everex gOS desktop line. These computers come without a monitor, but you’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper new PC.

The Everex gPC2 TC2512 Desktop uses a VIA 1.5GHz C7-D processor. It also includes 512MBs of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, keyboard and mouse, and all the usual ports. For connectivity it includes a Fast Ethernet and modem port. At $199 for the unit, it’s about as inexpensive new PC as you’re going to find.

All of these systems use Via chipsets. Via, in case you didn’t know, has recently decided to open up its chips and devices to open-source developers, so this bids well for long term support of the chips that makes these Everex computers go.

They also all run gOS 2.0. This Ubuntu-powered Linux features the lightweight Enlightenment desktop interface instead of the more well-known KDE or GNOME desktops. It also makes as much use as possible of Google applications, making it in many ways a new generation of operating systems.

The one thing I can’t recommend about these computers is upgrading them to the newest version of Ubuntu. GOS reports that if you try to upgrade gOS to Ubuntu 8.04 you’ll break their operating system. GOS’ developers promise that their next version will avoid this update problem.