Race Online 2012 – Full Ubuntu Desktop Packages £100

The Government campaign to get all Britons online by 2012 will have a selection of PC bundles available hovering around the £100 mark.

Race Online 2012, which is headed by digital inclusion champion Martha Lane Fox, have a range of Linux-powered computers on offer that have been refurbished by Remploy, an employment service for people who have difficulties finding work.

The budget machines are kitted out with 2.0GHz Pentium 4 processors, between 20 and 40GB of storage and are bundled with a keyboard, mouse and flat-screen monitor.

  • 2.26GHz P4, 15-inch monitor, £98
  • 2.26GHz P4, 15-inch monitor, £101
  • 2.4GHz P4, 17-inch monitor, £131
  • 2.6GHz P4, 17-inch monitor, £135
  • 2.8GHz P4, 17-inch monitor, £140

The puters are running Ubuntu 10.10 instead of Windows which obviously keeps the price down (although I have had word that Microsoft may be providing a basic Windows package). The thing is – using Ubuntu wont help much when applying for a job or getting a bit savvy as most places in the outside world uses Windows machines. But that’s just my opinion I guess.

The machines do come loaded with useful software though – Openoffice (a pretty good Windows Office alternative which allows you to save in Windows format), Firefox web browser and VLC video player. You even get Shotwell photo management and Rhythm Box music software included.

Granted, there’s not going to be gasps of amazement from most of you reading this but at least this stuff will get people up and running.

Anyone buying one of these packages even gets a 30-day warranty and 30 days of software support, available 9-5 Monday to Saturday. Further support can be bought separately.

3 Mobile is providing dongles for Internet connection. Users can plump for 1GB, 3GB and 12GB of geekahol, starting from £12.

If you fancy a cheap, Governement subsidised Ubuntu full set-up you’ll be pleased to hear that there are no prerequisites for buying. You don’t have to be on benefit, or be computer illiterate!

The government is not just pushing this online (would kinda defeat the purpose) and are spreading the joy through charities and 60 computer training centres.

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