[conspire] No more GNU HP Minis

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Nov 10 20:00:28 PST 2009

Quoting Tony Godshall (tony at of.net):

> Rick:
> Linux preloads are all fine and well for the "Case # 1" people who will
> never update or upgrade or learn or care that they have sucky drivers
> or whatever.

I honestly don't think that they are, Tony.  Lots of reasons.

We've seen before that people need, over a life of a machine, to have
substantive upgrades for security reasons, or to enjoy some compelling
new software, and that sometimes necessitates a major kernel upgrade.
That includes cases such as Libranet's sponsoring company going bankrupt
and leaving users in the lurch, and the similar situation of Corel Linux
OS when that firm terminated the product:  Both firm's users pretty soon
found themselves following various recipes to migrate to other distros.
However handled, that tends to break (some) proprietary hardware drivers. 
(The word "some", here, acknowledges that a few exceptions such as 
Nvidia with its video drivers, have managed a good record of ongoing 

Now, you're certainly correct that these users you speak of will
probably seldom be _aware_ that they've been shot in the foot -- so the 
damage they suffer will be "all well and fine" from the perspective of
customer dissatisfaction.  However, the question was not whether the
people in the situation would complain, but rather whether this is 
a situation to wish for, much less agitate for.

> But for newbies who will learn or even for "Case # 2" folks who want a
> quick easy entry (which includes almost everyone I know), yes, I agree
> with you Rick that lobbying for more of the same kind of crappy OEM
> preloads is stupid and pointless.

It's not just new users willing to learn who could benefit from an
alternative, but also those who aren't.  I'll mention again one such 
alternative:  credible certification programs that the manufacturers
can use but not control -- such as the hardware certification program
that Linuxcare ran.

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