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Hardware Build

Wal-Mart to Offer Components for DIY Computers 434

FearTheFrail writes "Reuters reports that Wal-Mart is preparing to put "build your own computer counters" in 1200 of its 3200 stores, with plans to do so in at least 1400 by the end of the year. Maybe this will bring on an influx of new hardware enthusiasts, along with plenty of horror stories about attempted computer assembly. Do you think this will have an effect on the OEM parts market? And what about the operating systems to be offered? Will Wal-Mart shoppers migrate to Linux in order to save a hundred bucks or more, or will they even have the chance?"
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Wal-Mart to Offer Components for DIY Computers

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  • Oh no (Score:5, Funny)

    by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:16PM (#15257911) Homepage Journal
    I can see it now:
    Customer - "The computer memory won't upgrade."

    Walmart - "What was the problem?"

    Customer - "I put it inside the CDROM drive and didn't get any more hard drive space."

    Walmart - "Alrighty then."
  • How odd... (Score:5, Funny)

    by penguinstorm ( 575341 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:18PM (#15257919) Homepage
    For years, we shipped assembly off shore to factories where people would work for 20 cents an hour. From these economic theory, Wal-Mart was born.

    Now, they're shipping the labour back here.

    Perhaps in future, Wal-Mart will offer sew-it-yourself clothing as well? They could market it as a sweat shop tourist attraction!
  • by nizo ( 81281 ) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:18PM (#15257920) Homepage Journal
    I wish Walmart would start selling self-assembled microwaves for $10. Talk about a quick way to clear out some of the genetic driftwood in this country.
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by AriaStar ( 964558 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:20PM (#15257949) Journal
    Cheap clothing, food, plans to open a bank, computers.... Is there nothing Wal-Mart doesn't provide aside from living wages, benefits, and dignified to its employees?
  • by geoffspear ( 692508 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:21PM (#15257962) Homepage
    Wal-Mart already sells fabric, sewing machines, and patterns.

    I don't believe they have any sweatshop-related marketing for them, though.

  • by bogidu ( 300637 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:28PM (#15258007)
    . . . millions of voices cried out in terror, and then suddenly silenced.
  • reminds me (Score:4, Funny)

    by xmodem_and_rommon ( 884879 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:30PM (#15258017)
    I have a friend who will remain anonyous (oh, but he reads slashdot) who tried to put together his own omputer one time.

    I told him to wait till I got there, but no, he had to "get started" on it

    When I got there, I found the motherboard screwed to the side of the case. As in, he hadn't screwed down the little "riser" things you put in first. When I pointed out to him that his whole computer would exploode in a glorius display of sparks the second he applied power, he stated incredulously, "i wondered what those were for"

    I expect that telling everyday people they can build their own computer will get a lot of idiots who just want to save a few bucks trying it, and making all kinds of mistakes which, to the uninformed seem perfectly logical.
  • Re:Oh no (Score:5, Funny)

    by foundme ( 897346 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:31PM (#15258018) Homepage
    Well, I think most joe users are sick of jokes like this. Whenever something goes wrong, it's always, always the users' fault!

    Why can't companies make more user-friendly products, so if you do put a memory module into the CDROM, it will install it for you, and spit out the old stick if there isn't enough room.
  • Maybe? (Score:5, Funny)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:31PM (#15258022)
    Maybe this will bring on an influx of new hardware enthusiasts, along with plenty of horror stories about attempted computer assembly. ...Will Wal-Mart shoppers migrate to Linux in order to save a hundred bucks or more, or will they even have the chance?

    Yea, yea! And maybe they will all be nympomaniac blondes with huge bimbos that will be ready to do anything if you show them how to properly install a SLI video card setup on their home-made PC-s?

    And they will be easily impressed when you show them your mad Perl skills?


    Or maybe it'll create a small niche market for the already existing geeks and not change much of anything.

    We can always dream though, that's what Slashdot is for.
  • by HaeMaker ( 221642 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:32PM (#15258028) Homepage
    Sure they can. They have better customer service!
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:40PM (#15258074) Homepage Journal
    "so if you do put a memory module into the CDROM, it will install it for you, and spit out the old stick if there isn't enough room."

    They already make it able to hold your coffee, you can't expect miracles you know.

    Your joke had me laughing louder than I should in an office, even though I'm done work for today.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:51PM (#15258159)
    On /., reading first is **cheating**!
  • by jazman_777 ( 44742 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:52PM (#15258168) Homepage
    Making me feel thin again.
  • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan.stine@gmail.cTEAom minus caffeine> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:02PM (#15258234) Homepage
    Are they banned from entering computer and book stores?

    Well, "book learnin'" never was the forté of many a Wal-Mart customer.
  • Wal-Mart is becoming the DIY headquarters for the sleepless youth of America. I remember hatching wonderous schemes with my friends and heading off to the Wal-Mart in the wee shelf-stocking hours to buy the materials needed to accomplish our plans... with interesting results.

    The absolute best however was the idea to combine solid-fuel model rocket engines, large toy cars, and almost abandoned parking garages. A very stupid and dangerous activity of questionable legality was made all the more fun by seeing the checkers faces at that ungodly hour, trying to figure out why we were buying:

    1. An assortment of large plastic cars
    2. 2 rolls of gaffers tape
    3. Large stage solid rockets
    4. Ignitors
    5. Off brand Barbie dolls
    6. Flashlights
    7. Goggles
    8. Liquid graphite

    The conversations were always hilarious - and considering our share was coming from a bunch of "punk kids" with a random assortment of hair colors, piercings, stages of (un)dress, and associated stereotypes - we always had a good time.

    Late Night Checker: Soooo... what are you fellas up to?
    Punk Kids: We're building rocket cars.
    LNC: *vacant expression*
    PK's: We're going to attach these motors to the cars, and shoot them up ramps in parking garages.
    LNC: Right, so the goggles are for protection... uh, the barbies?
    PK's: Someone has to drive, dude.
    LNC: And the liquid graphite is for the axles? (Every now and then we got a bright one)
    PK's: Nah, that's just "personal lubricant".

    Now, that's all gone. With self-checkout I can buy any assortment of bizzaire and crazy crap with no-one to question me with the exception of the few flagged items that require "customer service" checks - although this may not be true depending on how late the self-checkouts are open in your area.

    In any case the idea of Wal-Mart doing this has Dell beat on one thing, if not price: instant gratification. A lot of times I'll dump an extra couple of bucks on something I can get right now as opposed to waiting for delivery. And if I can custom configure a box, get it at a competitive(ish) price with quality hardware, and pay say $50 bucks more to take it home and commence the fiddlin' associated with a new computer purchase - I'll probably do it.

    On the same note however, if they can't beat the prices available online by a good margin or stay very close to prices available online - the only added incentive to me becomes: ease of return and instant gratification. I've become more savvy with my online shopping to accomodate for shipping times, returns, etc. My matra has become buy before you run out and have scheduled purchases. Which brings up yet another issue with selling locally and cutting in on the online sales of computers:


    Where I live in Tennessee (By force, not by choice) we pay a "fair use" tax on internet and out of state sales, i.e., if you buy it online or in Kentucky (no sales tax) you're supposed to voluntarily give the State the sales tax. I am very dubious as to how often this actually happens by anyone who is not forced to do so by their employer, as I am.

    I think for the people that are interested in spending the time to research best prices and save a buck are not going to be lured into buying their computers from Wal-Mart (especially the "high end" gaming market) or anything other than emergency peripherals. (If you ever need that kind of thing,. I have a box so full of mice you could choke a thousand donkeys with it.) But the sheer volume and monlith that is Wal-Mart is so saturated and in so many markets that "Average Joe American" cannot help but notice that their best friend and retailer of everything is now selling custom configuration computers.
  • by cartman ( 18204 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:47PM (#15258566)
    But this will drive out of business all the mom-and-pop DIY computer assembly store chains.

    And Wal-Mart intends to pay me NOTHING AT ALL while I assemble my computer, which is a violation of my rights.

    And don't get me STARTED about HEALTH CARE. Suppose I become injured or sick while assembling my computer?

    And what about workers' rights... Suppose I want my domestic partner to help me assemble my PC? Will there by any support from Wal-Mart? NO?

    It's just another way for Wal-Mart to screw over the consumer, make obscene profits, force small businesses to close, and discriminate against lesbians.

    The lesson we can draw from this is perfectly simple. Wal-Mart is the earthly incarnation of Evil.

    Fortunately, the local mom-and-pop store is PURER than the HOLY MOTHER VIRGIN.

  • by vortmax ( 409954 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @09:06PM (#15259017)
    Sounds like the kids clothing line where you matched zebra to zebra, lion to lion, etc.

    Gee, all I did was put the LAMB memory in the LION motherboard and POW.... it all went blewie.
  • by ECramer ( 905950 ) <> on Thursday May 04, 2006 @01:07AM (#15260115)
    I work for Wal-Mart, so I'm really getting a kick out... erm wait a tick, I *really DO* work for Wal-Mart. /*sigh* my life is NOT where I thought it would be five years ago //damn my pyschologist! ///but I do get %10 off, so maybe this wont be so bad. ///am I really using slashies on /.?!
  • by FullMetalJester ( 887382 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @08:59AM (#15261430)
    Consider the possibilities if Walmart partnered with, kinda of like the old egghead sections in staples.

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