Pascualina / EsMasPC

Submitted by gwolf on Sat, 12/11/2004 - 13:14
It seems that after yesterday's rant SEPOMEX decided to stop playing me tricks, and they finally left me at home a final call stating I could go to my area's post office (which is not in my area at all, there are at least two post offices much closer, but anyway) to pick up a package. Now... A final call? Yes... I never got the first or second ones, and my package was about to be either sent back to the sender or discarded. Well, I went to the post office, got there past 16:55 (it closes at 17:00 - and believe me, mexicans are really punctual when it comes to going home after work). I was expecting this package for a long time: Five Pascualinas I asked the good [friend]MAVE[/friend] (this guy)to send me for my nieces when I was in Chile! I want to open them, but of course, it is not up to me - The girls must do it. Thanks a lot, man! :-D Later that night, [friend]Arareko came for a T-shirt I had promised to keep for him, and [friend]Kbrown[/friend] came to show me an EsMas PC, as I was quite curious about it. What is this EsMas PC? Well, first of all: EsMas (literally: ItIsMore) is the Internet name for Televisa, the largest commercial TV chain in Mexico. This computer they sell for around US$250 is the first attempt I saw at making the PC into a commodity - Clearly following the iMac's design, it is a fully integrated unit. Now, just as the original iMac, it is a very dated machine - 300MHz Celeron, 64MB RAM (of which 8MB are allocated to video). The interesting thing is that they ship the system with Linux - And not just any linux, it is a Debian Woody system with KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.4, Mozilla 1.4, OpenOffice 1.1beta2, and some extra propiertary stuff (Netscape 7.1 IIRC, RealAudio player). It comes with a nice (although cheap-feeling) USB keyboard/touchpad that has just the exact laptop size and arrangement. I love my laptop's keyboard, so I'd like to get hold of one of those - Except that it lacks many keys, it is very similar to the HappyHacking keyboard. It has only five rows of keys - That's right, no Esc, no Function keys, cursor keys are only the arrows (no PgUp/PgDn/Home/End). Wait - It does have function keys... Only they masquerade as extra launcher buttons. They are not mapped correctly - Home is F1, Network is F2, and so forth. Silly. The offer seems quite good (although with limited hardware), and I asked Kbrown to lend me the machine for a couple of days just to test it, once again, thinking about my nieces - they would really like having a computer like that. But I soon got disappointed. The machine is really slow. It would be much better if they cared to ship it with 128MB instead of just 64. We measured it, and just after opening, Mozilla used some 25MB. Opening a page with a Java applet required the JVM - 30MB more. Add to this X and Metacity, and... Well, happy swapping. Oh, and don't even try to open OpenOffice as well. And if you do, make sure that's it - I opened some other programs... And the kernel decided to kill X as it ran out of memory. Kbrown has this machine because he wants to offer EsMas the quite amazing computadora.de service he is working on - He is no Debian user, so he came to me to help him install Firefox, hoping it would be lighter. Well... Upgraded the machine to Sarge. It took a couple of hours, but in the end it worked. We finished at 4:30 AM. The results? Well, nowadays Firefox is as resource-hungry as Mozilla. I would just not recommend this machine to anyone for any use. The machine is also not usable as a terminal for computadora.de. Probably with 128MB the system would be quite usable for many more people, and with 256MB I would definitively recommend it. Well... Off to bed at 4:45 AM. Woke up at 7:45, as we had some things to do in the morning. For some reason we don't have running water at home today, so no shower for me. Back home, I was falling asleep. I had a cup of strong coffee, some Bolivian coca tea, and... Well, I am still longing for my morning shower :-(
( categories: )
markuz's picture

RE: Pascualina / EsMasPC

Hi, I read this, and I dont like the way that esmas.com is selling this computers. First, the price, is cheap, but for a computer that was in the top 10 four years ago... I can get a Pentium III @ 600Mhz at the same price. Then, It includes linux, its good, opening their mind, but, it is a wrong configuration, I had a AMD K6-2 @ 350Mhz, and run Mandrake with KDE 2 and GNOME 1.4 quite well, but thinking on GNOME 2.4 ?? or even KDE, it takes a lot of time just in the startup. Then people will say: "This shit is linux??", is horrible, I just cant run my games, it takes a lot of my time just in the startup, to slow, to boring... So people will hate linux. By the way. I had reviewed this EsMasPC, http://www.islascruz.org/html/index.php?gadget=blog&action=single_view&id=9