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Re: The Naked Truth About "Naked PCs"

  • Subject: Re: The Naked Truth About "Naked PCs"
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 09:25:31 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <4d4d84F18g7krU1@individual.net> <30nvj3-gm7.ln1@sirius.tg00suus7038.net>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ The Ghost In The Machine ] on Friday 19 May 2006 04:00 \__

> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, B Gruff
> <bbgruff@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>  wrote
> on Fri, 19 May 2006 00:11:02 +0100
> <4d4d84F18g7krU1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
>> Quoting....
>>  The term naked PC is used by Microsoft Corporation to refer to a personal
>> computer that is sold without any operating system preinstalled on the
>> hard disk drive (HDD).
>> The term was coined for its dramatic value and as a means for creating the
>> impression that it is evil to sell computers without operating systems
>> because they might be used for so-called software piracy (i.e., copying or
>> using software in violation of its license). This is due to the fact that
>> the word naked implies both that something is missing and that it is an
>> inappropriate or immoral condition.
>> The real reason that both of these colorful terms were devised was as an
>> attempt to protect and expand monopoly profits --
>> http://www.bellevuelinux.org/naked_pc.html

[to self:] Shouldn't "naked" refer to exterior rather than interior
(software)? What could expand monopoly profit would be a statement that says
the computer has no soul/feelings/whatever...

> Well, yeah, naked PCs are like soft core porn (nude or
> scandalously clothed women) -- offensive to some people
> (or corporations).  :-)  The OS clothes the PC to make
> it look respectable -- and usable.  (Remember that the
> IBM PC was very well received by business; Apple, Amiga,
> and Atari didn't have nearly as much success.)

Naked PC's could be associated with use for pornography, which no corporation
would like to be associated with.

Mother: "So, what PC did you eventually get?"

Son: "The naked one."

Mother: "The naked one?!?!"

Son: "Yes, why?"

Mother: "But what are you going to do with it?"

Son (holding crotch): "Errr... nothing... business stuff"

> Coupled (erm, can I rephrase that?) with the mandatory
> hardware refresh every 3 years or so required by either
> Moore's Law or Microsoft Windows {insert next codename
> here}, Microsoft will be profitable far into the future.

*giggle* Well, I think it's more of a side-effort. I am not sure that
Microsoft are in cahoot with OEM's, having some grand scheme to deliver
resource-hogging software to increase sales. That said, almost every new
computers pays Microsoft through a licence and warrants a forced upgrade, so
to speak.

> I don't know how "evil" an OS-less PC is, but it's
> fairly useless to have a computer without an OS (though
> very old models did allow for toggling in programs).
> As a single computer one is totally stuck until one gets
> some floppies (Debian still supports booting therefrom,
> AFAIK) a bootable CD or DVD, either a boxed set from,
> say, CheapBytes, SuSE, RedHat, or some such, or from the
> nearest store which sells an OS (usually Windows XP).
> If a facility has multiple computers one can play "schlop
> onto the drive" (by moving the new computer's drive to
> an existing computer, formatting and populating it, then
> moving it back), although it's probably slightly simpler
> to have another computer burn an ISO9660 image and stick
> it into the naked computer's CD-ROM drive.

I would _love_ to see the day when _everyone_ just picks up a so-called
'naked PC' and then turns over to the shelf, which is filled with Linux
distributions which suit different people/businesses. The buyer will then
point at a particlar box to the seller and say "I want this one".

Much like that seller-buyer negotiation over hardware (if custom-built), the
two can exchange a word and make a decision regarding a distribution. The
seller can have it installed at the back or just leave it for the user to
install for 20 minutes at home. The _user_ chooses the addon software, the
desktop environment (if choice is available in the distribution's installer,
e.g. SuSE) and various important passwords, accounts and customisation, of

> (Gentoo in particular can easily be compiled onto a spare
> drive, and done properly that drive can then be popped
> back into the "naked" unit.  The main issue is ensuring
> /etc/fstab is properly edited on the new drive's root
> partition.  I'm not quite sure how to set up /boot on the
> new drive using GRUB, but that's trivial given a LiveCD.)

Gentoo is not for everyone.

                -- Ghost

> I can't think of a better term, evocative as the term
> "naked PC" might be of evil, wanton, lustful incubi and
> succubi running around on one's desktop trying to seduce
> the unwary executive (who'd much rather be chasing his
> or her secretary anyway, presumably!), though one can go
> with the rather boring "sans-OS PC" as an alternative --
> or perhaps "uncommitted PC" or "unencumbered PC".  Once a
> free OS such as Linux, FreeBSD, or FreeDOS is installed
> a logical name would be a "freeware PC".
> Or even "a Microsoft-free workstation environment", if
> one is enthusiastic enough.  ;-)

The PC of choice, perhaps. Choice has a positive connotation. PC of Freedom
perhaps? How about the later suggestions?

__/ [ rapskat ] on Friday 19 May 2006 04:25 \__

> Hmm...I've heard systems sold sans OS referred to by many terms...
> White boxes
> Clear computers
> Base systems
> Bare boxes
> Virgin systems
> ...but I have never heard of the term "Naked PC" used in this context
> until just now.
> Geez, M$ can't even use standard terminology!

Virgin systems? How about a "Virgin Naked System"? That won't make a good
seller, will it?


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