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I went with my cousin about 10 years ago. I was a Mission Specialist and got to do the EVA. He was stuck in ground control. It was a tense plane ride home :-)

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MSRP is (super roughly) $40-80k depending on how it is tricked out (choice of modules, etc).

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Agreed that the base installs are rubbish.

But clean install of Windows 7 or 8 + ninite.com. Windows generally has the drivers you need out of box, or at least the NIC / wireless driver so Windows update can find the rest for you, automatically. I can't remember the last time I had to manually get a driver for something, with the single exception of a USB to serial adapter I need for work.

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In addition to ninite, pcdecrapifier[1] is also handy, even for cleaning machines that aren't brand new. Doesn't look like it supports windows 8 yet though.

[1] http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

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Windows 8 has a factory reset button... this would be a great option, except I expect that on retail systems it would reinstall the crapware. Or maybe not?

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A lot of laptops are different. The Lenovo T520 I'm using right now has an ethernet chip that the OEM version of Windows 7 couldn't figure out, and I had to track what the chip was before I could get on the internet.

So it isn't all roses in the Windows world with drivers. At least there was a driver, though.

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I'm still cracking up: They make you sign your name in Comic Sans on the invite page. :-)

Also, really neat concept overall. Can't wait to try it!

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