Poll

If there was a retail store that sold computers with eComStation pre-installed, would you buy one?

Yes.
4 (15.4%)
Depends on the location of the store.
7 (26.9%)
Depends on the price of the computer.
5 (19.2%)
No.
9 (34.6%)
What is a retail store?
1 (3.8%)

Total Members Voted: 26

Author Topic: eComStation Retail Store?  (Read 13735 times)

BigGoofyGuy

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eComStation Retail Store?
« on: March 28, 2014, 09:17:26 pm »
There is an Apple retail store and a Windows retail store. I am curious if there was an eComStation retail store would there be interest in it.  8)
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Joseph M. Kempf

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 08:45:34 pm »
I enjoy building my own eCS desktop PCs so I can not imagine purchasing one 'retail'.  A laptop is another matter though.  Some years ago I purchased an IBM T43p Thinkpad with eCS pre-installed.

Doug Bissett

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 10:28:12 pm »
I just replied "No". The main reason is that trying to get things, like computers, across international boundaries can be a major hassle. A few years ago, I did buy a couple of eCS machines from the US, and they ended up costing more than what I could get the same thing locally for (even after buying eCS). Then, one of them died, and getting warranty proved to be far more trouble than just fixing it myself. Since then, I build my own, or buy from a company in Canada, and let them worry about importing it.

Software, on the other hand, can be (and is) made available on the internet, but it is generally better to go to either Mensys, or BMT micro, for that.

BigGoofyGuy

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 04:38:16 pm »
I was thinking of an actual 'brick and mortar' store in the area where one lives. The store would be the one who imports the computer and not the customer. Service would be like the Apple or Microsoft retail store where one can take ones device if something goes wrong and not have to mail it to the company.

I was just curious what people might think of it. The replies are appreciated and welcomed.
 8)

Quote
I enjoy building my own eCS desktop PCs so I can not imagine purchasing one 'retail'.  A laptop is another matter though.  Some years ago I purchased an IBM T43p Thinkpad with eCS pre-installed.
I know Blond Guy sells computers with eCS pre-installed. Are there other places that sell computers with eCS pre-installed?
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BigGoofyGuy
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Doug Bissett

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 08:53:18 pm »
Quote
I was thinking of an actual 'brick and mortar' store in the area where one lives.

You had better be a rich man to try that. First, you would need to find a location where the largest number of eCS users lives, in the nearby area. Then, you would need to stock the shelves with whatever they wanted. Then, you would need to sell whatever it is, near to cost, to get them to shop there. I suspect that any one user would visit less than once per year, after the initial visit, to see what may be available. Then, you still need to pay the rent on the store, and salaries for the staff. It is not a very good business plan.  ::)

Quote
Are there other places that sell computers with eCS pre-installed?

There were, a few years ago, but I haven't gone looking lately.

Fahrvenugen

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 10:56:39 pm »
I remember back in the mid 90's all the IBM  stores (does anyone other then myself remember these?)  had OS/2 Warp displays selling both the OS and various shrink-wrapped software available (Object Desktop and Describe were common to find, among others).  The stores also sold other IBM products (computers, laptops, software, etc).  I don't know how well any of the OS/2 stuff actually sold.

I can also recall going into my local Staples and finding OS/2 Warp on the shelf.

But at this point I would say the best option for selling OS/2 / eCS related stuff is online for software, and just pick up hardware locally.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 10:59:11 pm by Fahrvenugen »

BigGoofyGuy

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2014, 04:07:39 am »
Quote
I was thinking of an actual 'brick and mortar' store in the area where one lives.

You had better be a rich man to try that. First, you would need to find a location where the largest number of eCS users lives, in the nearby area. Then, you would need to stock the shelves with whatever they wanted. Then, you would need to sell whatever it is, near to cost, to get them to shop there. I suspect that any one user would visit less than once per year, after the initial visit, to see what may be available. Then, you still need to pay the rent on the store, and salaries for the staff. It is not a very good business plan.  ::)
Perhaps it could make sense if it was a store that sold computers which one could chose the operating system one wants? I guess this would be more practical than having to sell computers with just eCS. It would make it more appealing since one would not have to pay for a computer operating system that one did not want?


Quote
Are there other places that sell computers with eCS pre-installed?

There were, a few years ago, but I haven't gone looking lately.
[/quote]
I asked Lenovo about it once but they said I would have to order one. I did not want to order one if I could not get eCS on it. There was nothing about it on their site but I will check again.

I asked a similar question at the ReactOS site. It did not take long to go off topic. I am glad it did not happen here.  8)
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Doug Bissett

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2014, 04:15:53 am »
Quote
I remember back in the mid 90's all the IBM  stores (does anyone other then myself remember these?)  had OS/2 Warp displays selling both the OS and various shrink-wrapped software available (Object Desktop and Describe were common to find, among others).  The stores also sold other IBM products (computers, laptops, software, etc).  I don't know how well any of the OS/2 stuff actually sold.

I was working for IBM in the early PC days. I was also one of the employees who got an original IBM PC (the one that had 16K of memory, expandable to 64K on the motherboard). I spent some time learning the basics (literally) so I knew a little bit about them (OS/2 came later). I spent some time in the store, teaching the staff about PCs, and DOS. IBM saw fit to staff the store with people who knew next to nothing about PCs, or DOS (not their fault). Most customers already knew more about it than the staff did. The store was closed, before OS/2 appeared on the market, as being not profitable (I wonder why???).

OS/2, when it appeared, was used by a couple of large IBM customers, who did most of the support themselves, and a few of the IBM sales people, who needed to know a bit about it. I doubt if the general public ever made any sense out of the pathetic ads that IBM put on TV, and I don't remember seeing OS/2 in the local stores. It was a very small market, poorly serviced, which probably explains why it never flew.

Quote
But at this point I would say the best option for selling OS/2 / eCS related stuff is online for software, and just pick up hardware locally.

I agree, but there is a major problem with deciding what hardware to buy. By the time a couple of people buy something new, and figure out whether eCS will work, or not, then make a report, the model in question will be obsolete (no longer available). You can't just assume that a replacement model will be similar (usually, they are not), so it is a case of starting over. Re-sellers have the same problem, so it is pretty risky to buy a new machine to pre-load with eCS (I wouldn't even consider trying to use OS/2 on new hardware). If it works, great. If not, they need to recycle the machine into the windows world, and hope to recover their costs. Then, they start the whole thing over again, probably after losing a customer because it took so long. You can't just go out and buy 100 new machines, because the market isn't that big, and you run the risk that eCS won't run on any of them anyway. It used to be that desktops were a little more flexible, because video, NICs, sound, etc. were plug in cards. Laptops, and newer desktops, are pretty much one piece, so you are stuck with what you got. My last two laptops (Lenovo ThinkPad T510, and L530), took MONTHS of work (part time) to get them to work reasonably well (WiFi still doesn't work, and sound doesn't work properly on the L530). If I was selling these things, I would lose half of my investment, simply because they were obsolete by the time I got them almost working. One way to actually do it, is to buy used equipment (lease returns, or similar), and refurbish them. Blonde Guy does that, but I think it is not a money maker.

David Kiley

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 06:15:03 am »
I know this thread is "old" but I was interested in the topic so hope no one minds..

Anyway right now I actually am starting a local computer company, and will be offering linux desktops (centos which has a long release cycle) because I can set it up to give a mac like experience to regular computer users - but sadly I don't think ecomstation right now would be a good choice for most average computer users at this point.

Up until recently I ran it as my stand alone ECS desktop, but it's been falling further and further behind. Serenty systems has been pretty quiet for years, and who knows what is going on with mensys now.. so there doesn't seem to be much muscle as far as future development.

Developers have been struggling to keep firefox up to date.. java is really good but not really working as good as centos. Buggy usb support and fairly difficult to setup other than the most obscure printers.

No virtualbox so I can't really emulate windows (which I can do on centos, so I can give users access to the windows apps and windows only harware).
 
To me that virtualbox is the biggest issue, since if we had a virtualbox with usb support working on ecomstation, then I could offer a system that allows users to still access compatible windows hardware while still running ECS as their main os.

Don't get me wrong i'm a huge fan of os/2, but things seem pretty bleak right now I think as far as a consumer os goes.






« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 06:16:48 am by David Kiley »

David Kiley

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2014, 06:30:31 am »
Quote
You had better be a rich man to try that. First, you would need to find a location where the largest number of eCS users lives, in the nearby area.

Actually I think there IS a demand for an alternative os if your running a computer shop. People are tired of windows and all the malware. I'm currently setting up linux for a customers for just that reason - in their own words "Next time i'm getting a mac since I can't afford to keep buying anti virus and dealing with these problems."
When I explained there is an alternative os that would run on her current computer, and she wouldn't need to worry about malware, while still accessing some windows programs, she was excited.

If you offer them a complete package that can meet all their needs, and you support it, people would jump on it.
The problem with ECS is that it can't meet all their needs at the moment, especially the lack of a fully functional virtualbox in my opinion.

Emulation of windows in the os is pretty important since it lets a person that just needs ONE windows app or windows only hardware, needed for their job for example - to still happily use an alternative os for most of their computing.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 06:32:46 am by David Kiley »

Lewis Rosenthal

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 06:36:32 am »
[I'm not voting in the poll, as I build these for a living, so I wouldn't buy one in a store - but that's not to say that I don't believe people would buy them if they had the opportunity.]

Hi, all...

David, as a Linux consultant, I can tell you that getting the average Windows user to switch - even given the enormous learning curve moving from Win 7 to Win 8 - is a difficult task. Getting a Windows user to switch to the Worklplace Shell, however, is a different matter. Of course, we *do* need those updated apps (and they are coming).

As for lacking a fully functional VirtualBox, how so? Frankly, I find running *any* guest under a 32-bit host is less than enjoyable. If you want to install eCS as a VM under 64-bit Linux, then you have pretty much all the support you might need. That said, I *do* run guest VMs under eCS, for specific tasks ( a slim Ubuntu build makes a great multi-protocol VPN client; route the traffic from the eCS host through it, and there is no need to be concerned about a native VPN solution).

Macs are another alternative, and people seem to make the switch to that environment without too much fuss (I can't get used to mice with single buttons - "cycloptic," I like to call them). Still, there are alternatives, and eCS isn't for everyone. That said, every time I list eCS pre-loaded machines on eBay, I sell a few. In fact, it's pretty good advertising, and I've made more than one acquaintance from people just seeing the systems there and contacting me about other OS/2-related work.

Cheers, and good luck with your new venture.
Lewis
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Ian Manners

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 12:10:16 pm »
Hi Lewis,

Quote
Macs are another alternative, and people seem to make the switch to that environment without too much fuss (I can't get used to mice with single buttons - "cycloptic," I like to call them).

Nothing stopping you plugging in a normal 2 or more button USB mouse, they do work, as do the extra buttons :)
I like to right click to bring up the menu's under OSX.
Cheers
Ian B Manners

Doug Bissett

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 04:57:27 pm »
Quote
especially the lack of a fully functional virtualbox in my opinion.

What is missing? I run WinXP, eCS 2.x, and Warp4, in VB v1-6-1_OSE. They all work about the same as on real machines, although slower (as expected). I don't really use them for much, but they do work. I do leave sound off, because it seems that UniAud can't handle it properly.

Quote
I find running *any* guest under a 32-bit host is less than enjoyable.

I have VB running under Win7 Home edition (32 bit on my Lenovo T510), and under Win7 Pro (64 bit on my Lenovo L530). Again, I don't use them much, but I really don't see much difference. I did have Linux Mint (64 bit on the L530), with VB, and it seemed to boot the guest faster than it does in windows, but once it got going, I couldn't notice much difference. Of course, you can't run a 64 bit guest under a 32 bit host, but that applies to all platforms. The trick for "performance" seems to be to give the guest enough memory, that it doesn't have to swap. Of course, that limits the number of guests in a 32 bit system, and you need the physical memory in a 64 bit system. Again, that applies to all platforms.

Lewis Rosenthal

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 05:53:24 pm »
Hi, Ian...

Hi Lewis,

Quote
Macs are another alternative, and people seem to make the switch to that environment without too much fuss (I can't get used to mice with single buttons - "cycloptic," I like to call them).

Nothing stopping you plugging in a normal 2 or more button USB mouse, they do work, as do the extra buttons :)
I like to right click to bring up the menu's under OSX.

True enough, but on a stock MacBook, with no external mouse (which is about 90% of the Mac work I get these days), there is a single huge button below the touchpad (and I'm not even getting into my dislike of touchpads; input devices are personal things, and I understand that concept). I press on the left; I press on the right. It all does the same thing. Frustrating. Not for me. Once I get to a desktop and can open a terminal, I'm good to go, because it's all BSD on the back end - LOL.

Cheers
Lewis
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Andi B.

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Re: eComStation Retail Store?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 06:01:10 pm »
Quote
especially the lack of a fully functional virtualbox in my opinion.

What is missing?
- working netbios support (list files in all directories not only in some)
- full network support (mulitcast, server support)
- running more than one instance
- USB

to name a few