Most of you probably saw my earlier rant at Dell for removing Linux laptops from their UK website last week. The post caused quite a bit of interest it seems which is always nice and I’m grateful people read and enjoyed it. There’s still quite an active discussion going on in the comments which you’re quite welcome to join in with if you like. My reason for posting this quick follow up article is to address a couple of points that came out of the discussion.
Firstly, a lot of people said I should be supporting smaller companies like System76 who really promote Linux rather then large corporations like Dell who just pay lip service to open source. This is a fair point and I do try to support smaller companies whenever I can, I’ve said many times over the last 18 months or so that I’d love a System76 machine but they don’t ship to the UK. They make really stylish computers and fully support Linux, so if you do live in the US I’d urge you to give them a look before purchasing from Dell. There’s also other US sellers like Emperor Linux who do a great job. It seems as though there are far more options available to Linux fans in America than this side of the pond and I hope people check them out rather than just going to the big boys first. In the UK we only have a couple of companies I know of who specialise in Linux hardware, Efficient PC and the Linux Emporium. I met Dale from Efficient PC at LugRadio Live 08 and he’s a lovely guy who works really hard, however there aren’t any laptops on the company’s website at the moment so I don’t know what the situation is. They do still sell great netbooks with Ubuntu installed and MythTV boxes with multimedia remotes that make great PVR solutions out of the box. Well worth a look I’d say. The Linux Emporium has a nice range of Linux laptops and netbooks, I’ve just been having a look through their site and the range seems to have expanded dramatically since I bought this Dell machine. The last time I properly looked at them must have been Christmas 2007 so I was well out of touch. I’ll be sure to rectify this situation and recommend the company to any other UK Linux lovers I know, if you’re in the UK check them out!
The other thing I wanted to mention was a change to the Dell UK website since my original post, the Ubuntu m1330n laptop has reappeared! Thanks to eagle eyed reader Grant for his comment informing me of this, I hadn’t noticed. I’m observant as ever so it’s a good job there’s somebody around to point these things out to me. It looks as though the Ubuntu Mini 12 has had to make way to accommodate the change though. This is what you can see on the Linux section (and I hesitate to call it a section) of the Dell UK site:
I thought I should let everyone know the machine was available again in the interests of fairness but according to many people who’ve written to me in the wake of the first article, the actual Linux models for sale at Dell UK change more often than a set of hyperactive traffic lights. It makes me wonder if they only list the machines they have in stock prebuilt and installed with Ubuntu already? This goes against the company’s business model as far as I understood it, they always promote themselves as bespoke PC builders. I’ll see what I can find out but for now I just wanted to let everyone know the Ubuntu m1330 is back, for how long though I can’t say. This is correct as of 12/02/09
Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the first article and also everyone who emailed me, your input is always greatly valued 🙂