[geeks] FYI - Dell to start accepting orders for Ubuntu laptop/desktops
Geoffrey S. Mendelson
gsm at mendelson.com
Thu May 24 15:42:35 CDT 2007
On Thu, May 24, 2007 at 03:06:03PM -0500, Lionel Peterson wrote:
> Just curious if anyone here has an opinion (Ha!) about Dell actually
> offering Linux systems for consumers?
>From what I read, they are providing Ubuntu with a support contract.
This is a big win for the people providing the support contract as long
as people can figure out how to use it and their costs are not too high,
If anyone reading this still does not know me, I've been working with
Linux systems since 1995, back when you could get a CD with BSD/386
and several distributions of Linux on it. Over the years I've used
Slackware, Debian, Red Hat, Knopix, DSL, SuSE. Ubuntu, YellowDog, and a
few others I can't remember on PCs, SUNs, Macintosh, handheld devices
and so on.
A friend brought over a laptop she was given as a gift by a relative. It
had suffered a catastrophic event and was reconstructed. Before giving it
to her SuSE 10 was installed on it (as far as I can tell real SuSE, not
OpenSuSe). It was fairly old, a 600mHz PIII with 192M RAM.
When she brought it, it was almost unusable. It was loaded with KDE and lots
of eye candy. It was so slow it was almost unusable. It also was missing
a lot of functions she wanted, including being able to play DVDs.
It seems that SuSE 10 is long gone from any archive mirror I could find
and when I went to Novel's SuSE 10 archive mirror page, I was
redirected to markting propaganda for an newer relesase.
She also required a lot of handholding just to do anything on it.
Since the person who gave it to her was adamant about not having Windows
on it, before I wiped it and installed Windows so she could use it, I
decided to try Ubuntu.
I installed 7.04 (the latest release) on it and tweaked it. I added
Hebrew keyboard support, DVD decoding software and a whole bunch of
other things. It all went on smoothly. Someday I must figure out how
to use their package tool, I was using apt-get.
Her husband came and picked up the computer today, and she called tonight
to ask me her username and logon. In 5 minutes she was able to surf the
web, play DVDs and write documents with Open Office, most of which
she figured out herself.
Do I think they have a chance with Ubuntu? I think it is much more
user friendly than any other Linux I've used. It's an alternative
to Microsoft and I think that's wonderful. Will Dell's customers
think so? My expectation is the people who bought computers with Ububtu
because they hate Microsoft or love Linux will use it, but the
people who by it because it's cheaper (it's not, yet), or
because they want to try open software will be back on Windows
in a month.
I wonder if it comes with a Linux to Windows trade in?
BTW, Ubuntu is not all that wonderful. I have a problem with the PPC
version on a Wallstreet laptop. Someone reported the bug a month ago,
and there still is not an updated kernel to fix it. It seems to be
a problem with the kernel version Ubuntu picked, it has not been
reported against any other distribution.
The reported fixed the problem by going back to an older kernel, and
I'm not interested on doing it on that machine unless someone else
compiles it for me.
Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838
Visit my 'blog at http://geoffstechno.livejournal.com/
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