Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Tue Nov 22 07:21:17 CST 2005

On 11/21/05, Benj. Mako Hill <mako at> wrote:
> <quote who="Daniel Robitaille" date="Mon, Nov 14, 2005 at 07:52:06AM -0800">
> >
> >
> > In that article on the Newsforge, someone who gave away  8 sets of
> > Hoary CDs tries to track down the recipients 2 months later to see if
> > they actually tried to use Linux in that period.
> >
> > The conclusion:  "So my record, as it stands today, is two out of
> > five, with a couple of maybes"
> I doubt this sample is either scientific or representative. That said,
> I'd be willing to be that the type of person who tracks down their CD
> recipients a couple months later or (better yet) stays in touch over
> the entier period, is going to have a conversion rate of similar or
> better.

Suspect a words went missing (' do it all the time ;-).

A "conversion rate" of 1 in 5 seems EXTREMELY high. One in five people
barely have the computer savvy to be able to adequately self-support
Windows, let alone install, configure and maintain a Linux!

Of course, since the original author uses and likes Linux, his friends
are possibly more likely to be Linux-friendly.

In my circle of friends and family (real world, not on-line), I know
two who use Linux for servers (not counting myself), none who use
Linux on the desktop (including me _until_ I get around to picking up
my ShipIt CDs which arrived yesterday :-) :-) :-), two or three
additional ones who've *used* Linux on another computer (one who used
it in 1999/2000 for programming but hasn't touched it since), and a
whole slew of quite capable computer users who have _no_ interest in
using Linux and couldn't care one whit that Linux is "open" or "free"
(my partner finds GNOME  and KDE to be very annoying interfaces).

That said, I may have an opportunity in the near future to set up a
machine for a computer "user" with Linux  (user = doesn't have the
foggiest clue how to trouble shoot). Perfect for the situation. All
that is needed is an internet access terminal, possibly with some
OpenOffice.Org type software to allow a guest to write something up in
a Word-like environment. I also want to be able to _lock_ down the
whole system and I want to be able to control it from afar (since I'll
be the support for this computer).

> I suspect that giving 10 CDs away to people you are willing to invest
> a bit of time hand holding with is worth much more than several
> hundred CDs handed out like flyers on the street.

I like the other post's suggestion:

> I was thinking about those CDs at the Internet cafe. If they charged a
> token fee then
> a) They'd last longer
> b) People, having paid for them, might be more inclined to actually try
> them.

Especially point b!!!


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