[ubuntu-uk] pre installed ubuntu laptops?

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Wed Jun 10 00:42:22 BST 2009

Alan Bell wrote:
> alan c wrote:
>> It is a situation in the shallow end of a probably a much deeper
>> populist swing away from Windows. The customer is a friend of an
>> elderly non technical friend of mine. My friend found that their
>> existing old laptop was grinding to a halt with XP, was happy to try
>> Ubuntu in earnest.
>> This was a remarkable success, and Ubuntu 8.04.2 ran the machine
>> reasonably fast. It looked like a different machine. A very great
>> difference from the XP experience which was previously moving the
>> person helplessly towards a purchase of a completely new laptop.
>> Seeing the newfound joy of a reincarnated laptop, a friend of the
>> friend found that their own fear of failure with Windows was not valid
>> with Ubuntu, so that friend is now happily seeking to purchase their
>> own and very first computer - laptop.
>> However, it has to be Ubuntu, not Windows.
>> I would gladly install Ubuntu on a new laptop for the friend as long
>> as I could be sure that it would all work after the money was spent.
>> Although there is a strong resistance to paying for a useless Windows
>> tax, and also there is an attraction in supporting  the good guys, the
>> main factor is simply lack of information about hardware and its
>> compatibility with - say - ubuntu 9.04. So just nakedness in a laptop
>> is not sufficient for my needs here.
> I quite agree, nakedcomputers.org doesn't quite fill your need of 
> compatibility assurance with our favorite operating system. The 
> advantage of the naked computers site is that it is an easy concept to 
> communicate and doesn't introduce things people haven't heard of. 
> Imagine the following protest chants:
> What do we want?
>     Ubuntu Linux pre-installed on documented hardware with Free and Open 
> drivers for all components!
> When do we want it?
>     Now!
> erm, ok, maybe 10% of people understood that, and 2% agree with it. Lets 
> try again.
> What do we want?
>     Naked Computers!
> When do we want it?
>     Now!
> With that you have won the hearts and minds of 90% of the population 
> before you have got to the second word.
>  It is a much more campaign-able subject than pure software freedom 
> advocacy.
> Alan
Through my business I sell PCs and servers built to spec, they can be 
naked, have Linux (or Solaris, *BSD etc) installed on them, hey I'd even 
put FreeDOS on if thats what the customer wanted, or I'd even put 
Windows on there if the customer was willing to pay the extra for the 
Windows license.  I'd love to do a range of Linux compatible notebooks 
but unfortunately the margins on notebooks are so low and I just don't 
have the funds in the business to buy in a couple of notebooks to 
confirm if they work or not.  It's a shame really as I think it's 
something the community seem to want.

What I do though when I'm fixing PCs and laptops for customers, I 
generally use an Ubuntu disc to backup any data (one recent one was 
infected with that god awful XPAntiVirus).  I find doing this it's at 
least possible to find out what does work and what does with regards to 
hardware and which models are compatible, problem is though half of the 
machines I get through are maybe 2 or 3 years old.

I guess all we can do is keep plugging away.  Whenever I sell a PC I let 
the customer know exactly how much they're paying for Windows if they 
require/want it, I just wish that other computer manufacturers did this 
so customers could see that the Windows licence costs a fair chuck (IIRC 
a recent quote I did for some PCs with Windows XP Pro, the Windows 
license was about a third of the cost of the PC, if they'd gone for 
Ubuntu they could have either saved themselves a whole wad of cash, or 
updated the spec).


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