[conspire] No more GNU HP Minis

Ruben Safir ruben at mrbrklyn.com
Tue Nov 3 20:10:12 PST 2009

On Tue, Nov 03, 2009 at 04:27:16PM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):
> > On a Laptop it is a really big advantage, especially when depending on 
> > WiFi drivers.  If the machine comes preinstalled with GNU/Linux then at
> > least you know two things...
> > 
> > A) - I'm not paying a darn MS tax
> > B) - All the hardware works with Linux.
> On a laptop, I put a great deal more evidence on selected write-ups
> reached via e.g., Tuxmobil and linux-laptop.net than I do on the alleged
> existence of a manufacturer preload.  For one thing, experience suggests
> that said manufacturers' notion of "works with Linux" strongly tends to 
> revolve around buggy, fragile proprietary drivers that (in many cases) 
> will work only with ancient kernels.
> That syndrome regarding cruddy proprietary drivers for (often) abysmal
> WiFi chipsets (e.g., Broadcom) should be familiar:  It's (almost) the
> exact same idiocy as we saw occur in the 1990s happened with winmodems, 
> recycled for the new decade.
> In the 1990s, the smart thing to do was either plan to pull out and
> discard (or sell) the El Cruddo winmodem, or buy your machine with _no_ 
> modem and retrofit a good one.  In the 2000s, the smart thing to do is
> either to plan to pull out and discard the El Cruddo WiFi miniPCI card 
> (and favour models that confine the junk to such cards) or plan to buy
> your machine with _no_ WiFi card and retrofit a good one.
> When you buy bundles with manufacturer preloads and proprietary code the
> preload relies on, you are reinforcing said manufacturer behaviour.
> This you should not do.  Moreover, you really don't know very well
> _what_ else is and isn't in that preload, but you do know that
> manufacturers tend to screw around with the contents of preloads, to
> their benefit and that of their business partners, and not to yours.
> Loading the _real_ Linux distro of your choice eliminates those
> problems.
> Moreover, manufacturers often charge a _premium_ for their suspect Linux
> preloads, over the bundle with the proprietary OS (that, as Don points
> out, can be split off and re-sold).  Paying extra is saying "Yes, I'm a
> sucker; please deprive me of money."
> > For the first time in a decade I just shelled out a MS tax for a
> > computer and it really ticks me off.  Also, after 2 years of things
> > really looking up on the consumer end for GNU systems, we're back to
> > square one, or so it seems.
> Ruben, have you ever even bothered to understand how Microsoft Corp's
> co-op marketing deals with the OEMs work?
> Dude, stop railing at how the market happens to be set up, and deal with
> the realities.

There was a discount for the non-MS HP Minis on the website...when they
were available.

And yes - I know about the OEM deals in detail...worked on the topic ad
naseum with the Windows Refund website and movement..

Never the less, I have a laptop without eth0,wifi or sound at the moment
and need solutions.  Everything I saw with the HP Mini's had everything
working even with alien OS's on it like Umbuntu and Debian.


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"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt.  I guess you missed that one."

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