Linux Computers - Feedback Wanted

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Linux Computers - Feedback Wanted

Postby disciple3d » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:19 pm

Hi There,

I just thought I'd put in a post about a company I am setting up called Marvin Computers, and see if there was any interest in the community. I've been working on some models, and Linux compatible hardware, with the aim of primarily building high quality, Linux systems in the UK and Europe. I will ship to any part of the world of course :)

I wanted to see if there was any interest in these systems in the Linux community, and get some feedback about products to develop, and what sort of specification and price ranges people would be interested in. I'd like to make sure I provide products people want, at fair prices, and so I hoped the Linux community would be a good place to start. Sorry if this is a shameless plug, or is not suitable for the forum it's in...

The website (not yet live) is at http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk. You won't be able to purchase anything yet, but you can take a look and let me know what you think, and I'd love to get feedback about what sort of hardware and software you'd like me to stock. The password for the site is testing. You'll need that to get onto the site until it launches.

A few ideas which I will be implementing, but might not be clear yet from the site:

- We'll be stocking a range of commercial software for Linux, including games.
- I'm planning a HTPC Mythbuntu/MythTV model in the future
- I'd like to add some AMD based models, and am presently researching that
- I'm interested in providing a Linux music recording (DAW) solution at some point
- I'd like to stock a range of lower end PCs too, which are cheaper, but keeping in with the same sort of high end designs.
- I'd like to include legal BluRay playback software, but none is yet available for Linux (at least that I am aware of).
- All the PCs will include Fluendo codecs licenses when sold with Linux.

I'm focussing on Ubuntu to start off with, but I hope to be able to add testing of more distributions in the future.

Anyway, sorry for going on! I hope there's some interest, and I'd love to hear your comments, good or bad, about the site and the products.

Oh by the way, if you provide me with any feedback I'd by happy to PM you a 15% discount code for the site when it launches - just ask :)

Thanks!
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

Technical Director
Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
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Postby guy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Are you aiming at big corporates, SOHO, and/or personal markets? Servers, desktops or mobile users?

And what level/s of support would you expect to offer with your high-quality systems? (remember the Google smartphone!)

Oh, and if you come up with a pocketable mini-netbook with touchscreen and high quality type-able keyboard I will love you for ever. So far I can only find them preloaded with Windows or Japanese.
Cheers,
Guy
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Postby disciple3d » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:56 pm

Thanks for your reply Guy.

To start off with I'm going for home and SOHO desktop markets, with a mind to looking at producing some server products too in the future. I'd like to produce laptops and netbooks as well, but at it's a difficult market to compete in, and as I'm just starting out, I don't think that will be possible in the short term. Perhaps later when I have built up supplier relationships :)

We're offering 3 year warranties on all the systems, and we will provide hardware support, for faults and getting hardware working correctly on Linux. I hope to provide Linux software support through a partner organisation (perhaps Canonical, but maybe someone local to the UK if I find a suitable organisation).

Let me know what you think of the models I've specced to start off with :)

I'd love to make a touchscreen netbook with Linux on it. I'll have a look at what's available and see if Marvin could provide something similar. In the meantime, the ASUS Eee PC T91 looks pretty good. Doesn't come with Linux pre installed, but it might be suitable for installing it on.
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

Technical Director
Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
disciple3d
 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Postby Rhakios » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:36 pm

I've had a little look around your site and I can only admire your ambition.
I am curious as to why the gaming PC isn't offered with an extra graphics card as a cost add on, but I suppose it is, as you say, a work in progress.
Best of luck to you anyway.
Bye, Rhakios
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Postby disciple3d » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:27 am

Thanks Rhakios, that's a good idea. I'll put it on as another option for the gaming one :)
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

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Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
disciple3d
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Postby Dutch_Master » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:26 am

High-end server suggestion:
  • housing:Antec 3U25EPS650XR (recommended, I have one!)
  • mainboard: Asus Z8NA-D6
  • processor: Intel® Xeon® E5506 (twice, mainboard has dual-proc onboard)
  • memory: Kingston ValueRAM 2 GB ECC DDR3-1066 Kit (3 kits, 6 GB)
  • system disk: OCZ OCZSSD2-2SLD30G (SSD, screamingly fast)
  • data disk: Samsung HD203WI (2 TB each, 3 disks in RAID 5)
My local, quite expensive, Dutch webshop totals at approx 1850 Euro. But you'd have to put it together yourself, and load an OS (Ubuntu Server, LTS version)

I bet even Future doesn't run a server this fast ;) (or cheap :P)

Oh I wish I could configure such a beast... 8)
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Postby LeeNukes » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:49 am

Good luck with this, I hope you are successful. Maybe read up on stories of places like Linux Emporium and see how they have done what they do.

I'd try and avoid spending all your capital on high cost hardware unless you have a buyer for it :wink:
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Postby guy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:46 pm

Had a quick look. Can't really comment on current prices/specs but the site looks cool and focused. A couple of small things though, on the Products page. I'd like to see a minimal descriptor for some of them before bothering to click through - it's hard to tell whether the Cubed is a PC or a NAS or maybe a scanner/copier/printer. And why does the sysadmin kit show just one monitor? Even if retouching one behind the other is beyond you, perhaps you could show one-and-a-bit?

Also, from experience, have you figured how to promote your web site (e.g. lend LXF some review kit, etc)?
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Guy
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Re Marvin Systems

Postby hilly » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:11 pm

Had a tour of your site and have to say it appears clean and your gear does look very smart. I can't say I have noticed anything similar that appears of the quality you seem to be putting together over here in Western Australia.

I hope you do really well with this and I will make a point of checking in as you progress as your prices appear reasonable and who knows - if the Aussie dollar is right against the Pound and there is something I am after..

Good Luck
Phil
Perth - Western Australia
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Thanks!

Postby disciple3d » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:55 pm

Thanks Phil, I appreciate the feedback :)

Let me know if you have any ideas of products that I could stock and so on. I am hoping to prepare some discounts for the Linux format readers when we launch in May!

I've put in an AMD system now, and will be adding a similar customisable Intel system, so you can choose a base model, and add upgrades and options to tweak the price and performance to your needs.

The testing on Ubuntu 10.04 is going pretty well so far, and I've not had any major problems. The systems will play multimedia out of the box, and have things like Flash and Java preinstalled. I hope to be able to offer other distributions in the future, and more information about device compatibility and so on.

To answer the earlier question about promotion, I've been looking into advertising with LXF and other magazines which I think might be worthwhile. I'm also going to see if I can hit the expos and trade shows, and advertise on Google and Linux websites.


Many thanks,

Chris Gilbert
Marvin Computers
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

Technical Director
Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
disciple3d
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Postby ollie » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:31 am

Can't even access the site now - it's just asking for a password :?
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Postby disciple3d » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:56 am

Hi Ollie,

Sorry - password is 'testing'

thanks,

Chris
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

Technical Director
Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
disciple3d
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Postby towy71 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:58 am

ollie wrote:Can't even access the site now - it's just asking for a password :?
from the original post :roll:
disciple3d wrote:The password for the site is testing. You'll need that to get onto the site until it launches.
still looking for that door into summer
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Postby ollie » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:10 am

I'm getting old - not enough alcohol in the system :roll:
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Launch!

Postby disciple3d » Fri May 14, 2010 11:33 pm

Hello All,

Thanks for your feedback! I'd like to offer you an initial 10% your total order with the code MARVIN1.

Please take a look and see if there's anything of interest to you. I will be adding further products and payment methods over the coming weeks.

Thanks!

Chris Gilbert

http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
--------------------
Chris Gilbert

Technical Director
Marvin Computers
http://www.marvincomputers.co.uk
disciple3d
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK


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