Non-Microsoft-taxable GNU/Linux works better
When Hewlett-Packard first announced that it had made SLED 10 its choice for a low-cost laptops, we were not very surprised because of the solidarity there is between Microsoft and H-P (Dell raises some doubts too). Perhaps it’s just that H-P wants to ensure Microsoft gets paid even if a
GNU/Linux Ballnux distribution is sold, without alternative choices being offered (not even a blank hard drive).
Reports from Australia, where software patents are seen as valid, indicate that the Asus Eee with Xandros (or a derivatives thereof) is more expensive than that which has Windows XP. Coincidence? Maybe. Kickbacks/incentives? Maybe. Memory costs? Sounds like an excuse. Maybe the retailers just want to pocket the difference. Nobody knows for sure. Such deals have always been back room deals, until antitrust action that exposed anti-competitive agreements.
Let’s get back to the H-P laptop. Some might try to say that only SLED would work for consumers, but that is simply not true. In fact, SLED is not quite as popular or as widely-known as Ubuntu for example. Not only that, in fact, but Ubuntu also works much better on the laptop based on the following new review.
I got a mini-note 2133. It came with SUSE. I tried, repeatedly to do the most simple operations (using the software updater to update packages that had critical patches, install JDK 1.5, install Skype, etc.) and it just sucked. ZMD (the package manger) would crash, corrupt its database requiring a complete re-install to fix. It was simply aweful. I don’t know what the folks at SUSE are thinking, but coming out with software that’s more fragile than WIndows 3.1 and the registry is plain stupid.
So, I found some pointers for installing Ubuntu 8.04 on the mini-note. I installed Ubuntu and the Mini-Note turned into a great machine. I’m totally loving it. I’ve got everything except the wireless drivers working (but I’m using an EVDO modem and that works just fine…
The reviewer is happy with Ubuntu on this laptop, but sadly enough, this reviewer has already paid the Microsoft tax when a SUSE-loaded laptop got purchased. Is this the future? It needn’t be. Just boycott Novell and its products. If you don’t, Microsoft will continue to be paid for every PC shipped, no matter what operating system it runs. █