Factory Ubuntu 8.04 (was Re: Inspiron 1525N notebook ...)

JP Vossen jp at jpsdomain.org
Thu Jul 10 13:38:31 CDT 2008

 > Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 09:17:09 -0400
 > From: "Art Alexion" <art at RHD.ORG>

 > It was released in April (that's the .04 in 8.04).  9.10 will be
 > released in October.

I think he meant the Dell factory/official CD release, not Hardy itself.

> Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 00:12:53 -0700
> From: Brian Lavender <brian at brie.com>
> Subject: Re: Inspiron 1525N notebook not sold in the US anymore?
> I see no reason why Dell should rush to push 8.04. It is already
> supported. It just doesn't come preinstalled. And when it is released, I
> am sure you can download the whole ISO image. 

<soap box>
Would you accept getting XP instead of Vista on a new Windows laptop? 
Office 2003 instead of 2007?  (OK, stupid questions, those'd be 
features, not bugs. :-)  Would you accept Tiger instead of Leopard on a 
new Mac?

Why is it acceptable to ship an old product and expect the user to have 
to go to the trouble of upgrading it, then sorting out any bugs that 
crop up?  Sure, I know that the general Linux community is capable of 
dealing with this, but we shouldn't have to.  It's this kind of mind-set 
that helps keep Linux the third-class citizen it is.  (Granted there are 
other real (H/W & driver) and perceived (apps & support, & "The Mighty 
Microsoft Marketing Machine") issues too.)

There's an interesting book and some vids on Youtube by a guy named 
David S. Platt.  The book is _Why Software SUCKS...and what you can do 
about it_ and the funniest clip is "Why Software Sucks: Geeks Drive 
Stick Shift Cars" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAOTTLQ0rlY.  (For 
the record, I insist on a stick shift (TL 6-speed), and am bitterly 
disappointed that a) we now own a minivan *at all* and b) they aren't 
available with a stick. :)

If you can even ask that question, I encourage you to check both out, 
but the summary is, "we are not our users."  If we want Linux to become 
more main-stream, usable, and accessible to "normal" people, we have to 
change our mind-set a bit.  I believe Canonical understands this very 
well.  They aren't there yet, but they've made more progress in the last 
couple of years than I'd have believed possible.

 > Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 16:28:42 +0100
 > From: "Tom Chiverton" <tom.chiverton at gmail.com>
 > My 1525n poped up a dialogue during my first X session offering to
 > update to 8.04, online, which it did fine.
 > So why should Dell expand effort there, when they can be fixing things
 > like the MemoryStick device drivers (doesn't work at all with MS,
 > despite claiming to) ?

That's a good point, but I stand by my argument above.  Shipping an 
"obsolete" OS affects *all* users of the device.  (Yes, I know it's 
supported and yes I know the upgrade is not that big a deal.  For us.) 
The MemoryStick issue only affects a sub-set of users.

There's another couple of minor points too.

1) This creates more work for those corporate users who don't just 
re-image a new device, IOW, small/med business admins who are already 
overworked.  Next time, are they going to buy a device they know won't 
"work" out-of-the-box?

2) I prefer the proverbial "one neck to choke".  If I have a problem 
with a Dell factory install, I know exactly who to go to.  If I've had 
to upgrade, there are more variables and potential pass-the-buck games.

3) How many users will get one and *not* bother upgrading?

4) And perhaps most importantly to me, I've got better things to do than 
mess around with this.  If I wanted to have to install the OS and mess 
around with it for a day I wouldn't buy an N-series in the first place. 
  I want to pull it out of the box, aptitude install a bunch of stuff 
and go.  Period.

</soap box>

So, anyone from Dell, what's up?!?

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|      http://www.jpsdomain.org/
"Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.

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