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Free PC With French Broadband Connection 245

robson writes "Neuf Cegetel announced the purchase of AOL France, an ISP that counts 500,000 broadband subscribers and the arrival of 'the box,' an Internet access terminal. Code-name: Easy Gate. It's a computer, working under the Linux OS. It's a router. It's a DSL modem. It's also a telephone. All in one. Easy Gate will be available from November, the actual 'box' consists of: an Intel 852 GM, 6 ports USB 2.0, 512 Mb of RAM and 512 Mb of Flash memory."
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Free PC With French Broadband Connection

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  • by dadioflex ( 854298 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:21PM (#16191581)
    French fries > french cuisine? Wrong.
  • Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:24PM (#16191631)
    It's a computer, working under the OS, Linux. It's a router. It's a DSL modem. It's also a telephone. All in one.
    Where can I get my mom one of these? So she can call Bangalore instead of me? Seriously, if low-end machines like this were as ubiquitous as phones, it would save a lot of us a lot of spare time.
  • "PC"? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:28PM (#16191705) Homepage
    Code-name: Easy Gate. It's a computer, working under the Linux OS. It's a router. It's a DSL modem. It's also a telephone. All in one.

    Well, so then it's not a "free PC", it's a "free internet access terminal". I doubt anyone's going to be running half-life or photoshop on that thing.
  • by ewl1217 ( 922107 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:39PM (#16191857)
    You can't even compare this to an entry-level PC! It's worthless and hardly a wonder tht it's free. Just look at the specs:
    • Intel 852 GM
    • 6 USB 2.0 Ports
    • 512 MB RAM
    • 512 MB Flash Memory
    That Intel card is a decent graphics card, good enough for web browsing, and 6 USB ports are great. 512 MB of RAM is pretty good, but only 512 MB of storage space (with the flash memory)? I'm assuming this won't have a hard drive, considering that it's free and there's no mention of one. You can't even install Ubuntu (or similar) on this! All you'll get is a stripped down KDE or GNOME environment with Firefox/Konqueror and Kopete/Gaim (I'm assuming so much at least). You couldn't even have space for documents. Sure, there are USB ports, but flash drives aren't good enough for bulk storage, and external hard drives are just bulky. I know this is meant as a web browsing tool, and nothing more. Worse yet if that the second anyone has an issue with this, they'll most likely blame Linux. You would never see Windows on a PC like this, so people would just assume that Linux is just a step behind Windows. This is far from the free computer everyone has been expecting.
  • by monopole ( 44023 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @05:57PM (#16192119)
    Another instance of bubblepack computing(like the gumstix, socket pc, OLPC etc.). So cheap it's a giveaway/impulse buy, Linux based with zero maintainence/zero service. Sure, not a gaming rig, but sufficent to do the primary functions of a PC these days websurfing and light office functions. Not likely to be a primary machine, but an excellent kitchen/bedroom terminal, perfect for hotel/public terminal axcess. While they won't replace the present PC they will crowd them out just as PCs did to mini's.
    What will be interesting will be when the /. crowd starts modding bubblepack computing for specialized apps (wardriving, geolocation, picture frames)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2006 @06:08PM (#16192243)
    Do you know how many French soldiers died fighting the Nazi invasion? Do you know anything about the Free French Forces or the French Resistance? It is amazing how many Americans have this unhistorical belief that the French just gave up and accepted the Nazis - they fought just as hard as every other nation and lost hundreds of thousands of people in combat. More French soldiers died battling the Nazis than US soldiers.
  • by 42Penguins ( 861511 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @06:19PM (#16192401)
    And as long as it pokes at America and not France, it will not get modded flamebait.
  • Not for you, maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plasticsquirrel ( 637166 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @06:55PM (#16192805)
    Typical Slashdot response. This computer is not meant for the average Slashdot reader. It's meant for old women who would like to browse the web or send their relatives email, but who don't want to deal with the nuisances of PC's and Windows. These people don't need a 120GB hard drive or the ability to install Ubuntu.

    And no, these people will not blame Linux if things don't work right, because they probably won't even know that their computer is running Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2006 @07:11PM (#16192995)
    Some things aren't so funny -- we're talking about people's
    parents and grandparents being shot, sent to concentration camps
    etc. "Heard the one about the plane which flies into the side of
    a building ...", you get the idea?
  • by Quent ( 981778 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @11:51PM (#16195199)

    Yes this box looks like a big breakthrough for not so computer literate people looking for getting in touch with friends and relatives using today's technology.

    However, this almost comes like shadow over the Free Telecom's new Freebox [] which comes with router, Wifi-MIMO connection, HD TV tuner and something like 50 free channels and a total of 200, including all the international ones like CNN, BBC and many others, a VoIP phone system with free calls to landlines all over Europe [] (free calls to Australia, the US and Canada for instance!)

    I keep going: Possibility to watch TV on your computer using VLC or use it as a multimedia player [] to send video and audio stream to the box that then displays it on your TV and sends the sound to your HiFi system through the Optical connection. Ah yes also video on demand with films that you can replay and fast forward for 24hours just as a DVD.

    Of course it can provide very fast Internet connection (28Mb/s), obviously runs Linux and all that comes for the ridiculous price of 30 per month (they just lend the box to you!!!)

    All that to say, with such as competition on the ADSL market in France, no wonder why Neuf Cegetel is trying to catch with such an offer...

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