My little blather about Linux.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, I’ve been a Linux user for well over a decade now. I like it, I love it, I want more of it!

Currently my favorite is Ubuntu. If you have even a single synapse firing between your ears, you can install and use Ubuntu. If you don’t, you can still use it. It just takes longer.

What’s REALLY impressed me is that each release is getting better and better. 4.10 was my first impression. And it was a HELL of an impression. 5.04 was even better, with better hardware support. 6.06 was DAMN impressive, and guaranteed supported for 3 years?

Even so, my little Dell craptop had a few quirks in it. Switching between wireless networks was entirely manual. Edit the config file, kick the networking service and go.

6.10 was 6.06 plus a little more hardware support. A little unstable (it WAS a development branch..) but on the whole, not bad.

Now with 7.04 getting ready to push out in April, I’m stunned yet again. Hardware support is better still, and wireless. FLAWLESS. It’s every bit as easy as flipping back and forth between networks in Windows. Hell, even Beryl (SWEET 3D desktop manager) works right without major tweakage. And these are the PRE-FINAL “Herd” RELEASES I’m working on! If this keeps up, my PARENTS (who fear and hate computers) will be able to install Linux without worrying about configuration!

Okay, enough yapping and backing of “my horse”. Apparently our boys at Dell are finally pulling their heads out of…the sand…and finally taking notice of Mother Torvalds’ other child. And ABOUT *CENSORED* TIME TOO!

The long and the short. A while back, Dell put up their IdeaStorm site. Ostensibly to solicit feedback from the user community. Needless to say, they got inundated with requests for Linux like you wouldn’t believe. Initially, they tried just ignoring and removing anything Linux-related. But that just garnered MORE attention.

A short time ago, they put up a survey to gather information on what potential customers are looking for in terms of Linux offerings.

Now the possibilities here are worth noting. Imagine being able to buy a system from Dell. Even if it didn’t come pre-installed with Linux, you could grab an install disk from a supported distro, install, and be up and running IMMEDIATELY. No tweaking stuff till it likes your hardware. It just…works.

Now, even if it IS “just a Dell”, that’s worth a HELL of a lot to some people. And Dell themselves don’t even need to lead the development here. They simply need to release hardware specs to the Linux vendor of choice (and maybe a little cash that otherwise would have gone towards Windows development). Dell and a company like RedHat, Novell, or Canonical could do a brisk business in Linux (either pre-installed or after the fact) at that point.

So go ahead. If you’re considering Dell, and would welcome Linux offerings, go on over. Then stay and read some of the feedback.