Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 8, 2002

eMachines offers $500 computer

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Just what kind of computer can you buy for $500? If it's eMachines' T1150 PC, the answer is quite a lot. This smartly designed black and silver computer comes loaded with a 1.3-gigahertz Intel Celeron processor, 128 megabytes of memory, a 40-gigabyte hard drive, a 56K V.92 ready fax modem, a floppy disk drive and a 24X CD-Rewritable drive. While this PC isn't the best choice for running demanding action-packed games, it's a smart option for families who want to replace an outdated PC or buy a new one for the kids.

During a month of testing, the PC easily handled a variety of tasks — playing educational games, downloading pictures and music from the Internet, burning photo and music CDs, creating design projects and surfing the Web.

As with most any PC, though, this one has its share of annoying quirks. The button that opens the CD-RW drive, for example, blends in with the black trim, making it difficult to see. Likewise, even though it's great that two of the four Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports are in front, their placement near the bottom of the machine makes them difficult to reach and see when the unit is sitting on the floor next to a desk, rather than on top of it. Also, even though eMachines brags about this computer's quiet design, it seemed rather noisy. In fact, it's all but impossible to forget to turn off this model because the noise will remind you that it's on.

One nice touch, especially for first-time computer users, is the convenient placement of the machine's serial number and eMachine's customer support number on the front of the PC. Unlike some electronic companies that seem to go out of their way to hide their help lines, eMachines actually seems to want folks to call. And its one-year warranty for free parts, service and technical support calls is rather generous in this era of stingy service plans.

This model is loaded with the usual lineup of software, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition operating system, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Money and Encarta Online.

A monitor isn't included in the PC's price, which comes to $500 after a $75 manufacturer's rebate. The rebate increases to $175, however, if you also purchase an eMachine monitor; the eView 17s costs $219 while the eView 17f flat-tube monitor goes for $259.

Microsoft riddled with security flaws

Despite Microsoft's five-month push to exterminate security flaws, the software giant's operating system and Internet products continue to turn up riddled with security holes.

Microsoft has recently issued a flurry of security bulletins, keeping it on track to match or exceed 60 such advisories issued last year. This year, Microsoft has issued 30 advisories outlining fixes for 40 vulnerabilities — gaps in codes that hackers can exploit to steal data, shut down computer networks or launch rogue programs.

The latest discoveries: more holes in Windows XP and MSN Messenger, which are popular with consumers, and in Internet Information Server, Windows NT and Windows 2000, popular Microsoft business products.

In January, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates issued a memo calling for an end to Microsoft's longstanding practice of rushing feature-rich software to market without adequate testing for security flaws, so the spurt of discoveries since Gates' proclamation is not surprising given the intensified scrutiny, analysts said.