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A Replacement for the i-Opener? 98

kenh writes "For years my father has gotten along the Information Superhighway with just an i-Opener and an Earthlink account. However, the internet has moved too far ahead for his burned-in-ROM browser to be useful to him anymore, and dial-up is a bit slow these days. While investigating various options (Apple Macintosh, Knoppix Linux/Ubuntu Linux with USB key file storage, WebTV) I didn't find any that were very appealing, for a variety of reasons. Right now, I'm looking for something that has: dial-up support, no update/anti-virus/etc pop-ups, and no software 'update' downloads, support for PDFs, Flash, Javascript, and other features necessary to accommodate more modern websites. The i-Opener was 'foolproof', and if things went wrong, you could just shut it off and try again, Everything I see today lacks that ability (to varying extents)." What decent i-Opener replacements, if any, exist today?
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A Replacement for the i-Opener?

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  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @06:39AM (#16075045) Homepage Journal
    You can find them on ebay for usually less than $200, they hook up to a tv, and aren't really prone to viruses. You can get Firefox and you should be good. However, I don't know if they support USB modems.
  • by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Sunday September 10, 2006 @07:10AM (#16075082)
    I put my grandparents on Fedora after they had tons of trouble with Windows 98 and Windows XP and they couldn't be happier. It meets all of your requirments and you could get any cheap or old machine to run it. I had it running on a p3 733mhz with 256megs of RAM. After the install all I did was turn automatic updates on and turned off a few unneeded services(ssh, bluetooth etc) It took about an hour or so to do. As for modem support just make sure that the modem is supported under Linux before you buy it. In our area its actually cheaper to get DSL(only $20 a month) then dail-up, if you do that pretty much any ethernet card works.
  • by moonbender ( 547943 ) <moonbender@gmail ... inus threevowels> on Sunday September 10, 2006 @08:19AM (#16075172)
    The i-Opener was 'foolproof', and if things went wrong, you could just shut it off and try again, Everything I see today lacks that ability (to varying extents).

    You can do just that with any Live CD Linux. Something not working as it should? Reboot. The only downside is the longer boot time. Install to a HD to make it faster (mounted as RO to keep it tamper-proof). I'm sure there are special live CD distributions that come with a fool proof GUI, ie. a big friendly button labeled "INTARWEB".

Old programmers never die, they just become managers.