UltimateOS.com: How Much Are You Willing to Pay for a Free PC?

[ Thanks to Allen Harkleroad for this
link. ]

“Rush on down to your local Best Buy and for ‘free’ you can walk
out with a 380mhz AMD K6 IBM computer with 64 megabytes of shared
memory (8 megabytes goes to the video system) and another huge
4.0-gigabyte hard disc (but you can keep all 4 gigabytes to your
greedy self)… Sorry, no monitor, but it’s ‘free’! All you have to
do is sign up for 3 years of Prodigy… That’s only $718.20 for a
computer worth about $350.00 at today’s prices.”

“Now that you have your ‘free’ PC you are going to need a ‘free’
OS to install onto it. Head over to eBay and purchase you a copy of
Linux for $9.95 (to cover cost of burning it onto a 80-cent CD).
After it arrives, in about six weeks if you are lucky, it won’t
install correctly. Some message pops up about an I/O error at
0x049f in the /dev/hd0 user partition. Huh?

Dial on up Red Hat and you will be informed in less time than it
takes for a rumor about Microsoft to spread across the Internet
that, ‘we do not support free copies of Red Hat Linux
distribution’… So much for ‘free’.

As anyone from Microsoft to IBM to Red Hat can tell you the
real money is made in support.
… For those of you who think
support isn’t a critical issue, just wait until the hard disc fails
to boot up or you get a nice message ‘BIOS ROM CHECKSUM ERROR’. In
the year since I’ve purchased my Dell I’ve called support twice,
never had to wait more than 15 minutes to speak with a
representative, and when I needed a replacement part it was on my
doorstep the next morning – all without me paying a cent.
Dell has earned a customer for life, and I never felt better about
paying what I did for my computer.”