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Xtra-PC: A Scam for those with Little or No Computer Experience

- October 11, 2016

USB Sticks - Xtra-PC I’m not going to give the makers of Xtra-PC a free link to their website. Just do a search for “xtra-pc” and it should show up near the top.

Xtra-PC is a scam – a legal scam. It’s for people with little or no computer experience. Granted, those numbers are going down, but I’m willing to bet they’ll still make money from them for a few more years.

Xtra-PC Explained

I followed an advertisement that pointed to an “advertorial”, an editorial written solely to promote a product. While the advertorial gave a few details about it, I had to go to the product website to get the details I was looking for.

Unless they remove it, all you have to do is follow the link at the top of the page for “How It Works”.

It’s Linux on a USB stick and nothing more. Today, they charge $25 for the basic model, which is only an 8-gigabyte stick. They don’t say which Linux distribution they’re using – it could be something custom-made (but I doubt it).

How is this Legal?

Xtra-PC isn’t selling Linux on a stick. They’re selling the media and the support. Even so, I don’t think it’s worth $25 or more to be able to boot up Linux on a Windows PC. But then, that’s just me.

There are a lot of companies out there selling Linux on DVD media and other types of media. They sell it to people who have spotty or slow Internet connections and people who can’t figure out how to get it without any help.

People with Little or No Computer Experience

It’s unfortunate that I know people who are perfect targets for a company like Prairie IT (the makers of Extra-PC). Most are my age (mid-50s) or older. I’m sure I could find a few younger than my age group if I tried hard enough.

It’s pretty easy to download and burn a Linux Live CD/DVD to a USB stick, even if the instructions for doing so seem to vary from place to place on the web. Perhaps I’ll write something easier to read and understand than what’s now available (but not today).

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Martin Houston (2016)

Yes it is Linux that boots from a USB stick! This has been a method to trial and onwardly install Linux ever since USB has been a boot option. Xtra-PC is not however a scam - what they are doing is produce an environment that just that target audience that have been hanging onto their old PCs would like. Not too much of Linux is on display. What you get is a way of using an old PC, even one with a broken hard disk or scrambled Windows install (most common problems that render computers unusable) - it even plays DVDs without any complicated messing about!

RT Cunningham (2016)

Nice review but I'll stand by my statement. It's a scam, even though it's a targeted scam.

Franz (2016)

Hardly a scam. They are not lying nor saying things beyond the actual capabilities. They are not trying to take unfair advantage of nothing. It is like any other product: you do not need it because of your knowledge in the area then you do not buy it! Where is the scam?

As you said, they are not selling Linux but the media and support (and the knowledge that it can be done) to non-tech people. For me it is a good business-idea, one more utility in the field.

Stop complaining about nothing.

RT Cunningham (2016)

I call it a scam because they advertise it as something miraculous and they don't come right out and say what it is. When I have to visit the website and find a page that admits to it, it's a scam.

Pedro Bezunartea López (2016)

This is from their front page: "Transform your old computer with Xtra-PC. Don't buy a new PC - turn your old PC into a useful PC again.", and their how-it-works page: "Built on the proven foundation of Linux."

I don't see the scam either.

RT Cunningham (2016)

The scam isn't at the website. It's in their advertising. Their advertising blurbs never mention Linux or that they're replacing the exiting operating system at boot-up.

pauloz (2016)

Just go and buy a USB stick and live boot it with any of the lighter Linux distros e.g Linux Lite et voila! You get the same result. If you want to know how, there is plenty of info online...

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