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With some companies, your computing experiences aren't worth what you paid for shipping...

A crap computer. The term "craputer" has been coined to describe the onslaught of cut-every-corner, coddle-the-user, manufacturer-knows-best, pre-loaded-full-of-crap consumer-grade PCs made by eMachines, Compaq and others. Some earmarks of the "craputer" include:

But don't take our word for it. A longtime computer guru on's newsgroups writes, in response to a complaint about a craputer's non-working RESET button:
>>For those who don't know, when you hit reset, your hardware
>>resets, and man, that's it.

>Unless it doesn't.  I have an Emachines 433i (marginally less
>crappy than my mom's Compaq Presario), and I've had it lock up
>to the point where the reset button no longer functions.

You're scarin' me.  I've been wondering when some clueless
know-best-for-you craputer maker would try to make "reset" into a software
function.  Could it be - ?

Speaking of e-machines, I've just been thru the hoops with a client's
brand-new "emonster 800."

I was absolutely appalled.  The whole damned thing is one huge marketing
operation.  Ad banners on the desktop at startup.  Custom keyboard with
buttons for every kind of shopping, but no real utilities.  Phone-home
"registration" widgets.  Pop-up e-marketing survey.  Free Special Offers,
demos, commercial website links, etc., are everywhere; about a dozen
sponsors' icons are on the desktop, with confusing and unclear labels,
begging for the clueless to be taken in with a double-click.

I was removing junk for an hour, and I'm still not at all sure it's gone.
The start menu still needs a final once-over, or else somebody's going to
click on a "free demo" installer or some other machine-altering and
intrusive gremlin, and I'll be back there for another hour of cleanup.

It's a commercial tour-de-force, but the system sure as hell isn't meant to
belong to its user.  Those manipulative bastards have sold out their
customers.  It's a mediocre system, sold at a low, low price that's really
just about right for a comparable generic system, hyped as a really-great
deal.  Which would be no big deal, but the damned thing isn't sold on the
basis that it's actually a seething mass of intrusive commercialism.  The
buyer is ambushed when he turns it on.

A while back, I saw some e-machines which, while definitely low-end and a
bit _too_ cheap, were structurally standard and weren't too bad for the
money.  Since then I told a couple of people who asked directly, that they
might be OK to buy.  Never again.  I hereby formally withdraw any such
recommendation.  These creeps have earned my lasting contempt.

The wost widely known craputer manufacturers: eMachines, Compaq, (more?)

I recently had my own run-in with a craputer, a Compaq Presario 7000Z owned by a close friend. (Close enough that he trusted ME of all people to reformat his hard drive and set up his craputer to meet the stability and performance I currently enjoy on my older, cheaper, homebuilt Athlon system. Mission failed, BTW...)

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