[conspire] Linux: hardware certified "vs." OS preloaded; OS install kiosks?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Nov 11 18:12:05 PST 2009

Quoting Michael Paoli (Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu):

> I don't really think it's an "either/or" situation.  I think hardware
> that's well certified to work would be the "best" option, but needn't be
> the only thing going on.

You speak as if someone were asking you (or for that matter me) about
what manufacturers should ship.  Clearly, not in this universe.

What we _were_ talking about was Ruben's contention that I should want
and agitate for what he says he wants:  manufacturer Linux preloads.

> If the hardware works well with open software, and is certified for
> such, that's good....

You seem to have missed my point that what Ruben says we should be
"asking" manufacturers for -- leaving aside the fact that asking
manufacturers for preloads doesn't work and is undignified, as well -- 
leads directly to the use of cruddy hardware reliant on proprietary
(and thus, in general, buggy and brittle) drivers.

> And ... consumer choices on OS loads ... kiosk?  No, not generally -
> certainly not for new systems - or even new hard drives.  These days,
> new hard drives have quite large capacities, and continue to be
> relatively inexpensive.  For new systems or hard drives, why not
> preload the hard drive with (compressed) images to offer a choice of
> OSes/distributions (at least a few to several free ones) - could
> already have a default one installed and set to run (or to install by
> default), but let the consumer choose if they want to install (or even
> reinstall) a different one.

I've already _answered_ this "why not" question.  Where were you?

The use of OS-loading systems whose OS payloads are _not_ tweaked by the
OEM (e.g., a kiosk provided and owned by the retailer, or by a separate
service), that is obliged to work with _standard_ OS loads with no 
special "secret sauce" drivers, ensures that cruddy hardware dependent
on proprietary drivers will not slide by invisbly to the purchaser.

Get it?  That was my point!  C'mon, Michael!  Read before responding,

My point about independent certification programs was parallel and of
similar purport and intention.  Which please see.

Rick Moen              "Use 'verbal' to compare words with some other form of 
rick at linuxmafia.com    communication ('poor verbal skills'), use 'oral' to be 
                       more popular."                      -- FakeAPStylebook

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