Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Where's all the "Linux Compatible" Branded Stuff Sold at?

Typically, people who purchase computers systems will eventually purchase peripherals as well. However, with GNU/Linux - sometimes this whole purchasing process can become a bit tricky.

BEWARE! When selecting peripherals for the newly purchased GNU/Linux computer, one must use the "careful" and "researched" approach to get the parts that work (it's called supporting the sellers that support Linux).

Think of it, having to select a peripheral based on an unusual amount of prior research to ensure the equipment will work with your computer system, simply because there seems to be a "Gag order" on companies willingness to print "Works with Linux" on their packaging(even though the majority of hardware out there "Just Works" with GNU/Linux anyway).

Consider this - Mr. Ballmer has acknowledged Linux as a bigger threat to MSFT than Apple. And so here's proof that GNU/Linux is a competing Operating System to the market leader! It's time to acknowledge it. In other words, parts sellers - quit trying to act like GNU/Linux doesn't exist!!

C'mon now, major OEMs sell preloaded Linux on their machines: Asus' Eee Pc, HP's Mi, IBM's thinkpads, and Dell's desktops/notebooks/netbooks (to name a few). So somebody's not doing their job here, and it's the computer peripheral manufacturers and computer parts suppliers!

This is why it's time for us to DEMAND that these slackers start testing their products for, and printing "Linux Compatible" or "Works with Linux" on computer products they are selling!

Now of course you could always buy a machine that has some Linux-compatible peripherals included (e.g., from system76.com, or zareason.com, or others ), but what if you need to purchase a peripheral after the fact? This is why we must have computer parts makers raise "Linux Compatible" awareness.

Users everywhere are enabling themselves with technology by using GNU/Linux, so what's up with these computer parts makers?

I looked at the store the other day and I didn't see anything(I was looking for a webcam) that said "Linux Compatible" on the box. This is an outrage!

We're buying computers that are preloaded with GNU/Linux. Where the heck are the peripherals that go with them?!? Why are you shunning GNU/Linux?!

Here's something for the peripheral makers out there... Stop being lazy! Stop trying to force the "tax" on typical users! Fix this problem!

Despite my frustration, some online companies are actually starting to get the idea... Like http://3btech.net (google search term: linux site:3btech.net) and http://newegg.com (search term Linux Compatible) for instance, but there's still a lot of work to be done. To start, I would like to see a "Linux Compatible" link on the front pages of more computer parts stores.

Here's a challenge: make a USB web cam that's compatible with GNU/Linux, print it on the box, make it reasonably priced, and it will sell!

GNU/Linux is alive and kicking - it's time to make products that say "Linux Compatible" on the box.

If you know of a place that proudly displays a "Linux Compatible" category, let me know about it, leave a comment, and they will gain a new customer.

Congratulations on your Freedom! Go GNU/Linux!

Shannon VanWagner

Saturday, February 14, 2009

GNU/Linux As The Platform for the Future of Innovation and Gaming

Some weeks back, I wrote a blog entry entitled "Game Makers, Please Investigate the GNU/Linux Niche". The article was aimed at computer game developers and asked game makers to investigate whether porting many of their popular games to GNU/Linux might be profitable and successful venture.

I wrote the blog entry because time after time I see clues that indicate computer gaming can easily become a successful prospect on the GNU/Linux platform. Also, I wrote because I would like to see many more games ported to the GNU/Linux platform (well of course!).

The truth is, when I think of real excitement and action in the world of computing and technology, I think of GNU/Linux. Consider this: The GNU/Linux way of thinking has brought an un-compiled, basket case of mix-matched(yet very useful and powerful) parts together to create a Desktop Operating System that has creatively morphed into literally hundreds of specialized distributions, each with a more specific style and application. Think of getting all the parts for an F-22 Talon Fighter Jet from different sources located all over the world, and then having the team capable of doing so, put it all together right in front of your eyes, and then you getting to fly the new Jet wherever you want for FREE!! - that's how exciting GNU/Linux is!

The point here is that within just about 2 years, the parts and pieces of GNU/Linux for the Desktop(notice I have not mentioned Linux in the server role - as that's been popular longer) have come together to create a strong competitor to other major Desktop computer Operating Systems.

So now when I think of computer gaming, and I throw in the inertia and excitement of the GNU/Linux Desktop OS development model, I see a WHOLE NEW world of computer gaming spreading out before the world, and I see so much potential, and it's AWESOME!!

The model for proprietary Operating Systems is dead. Like software license keys, and proprietary document formats, proprietary Operating Systems are just so 1980s. It's 2009. Look around, you'll see that Openness is everywhere - desktop computers, servers, network devices, embedded devices, and even cell phones are either already running Open Operating Systems, or are moving towards using them. As pointed out in the recent linuxplanet.com article: "How Many Linux Users Are There (Really)?", everyone in the modernized, computer using world uses Linux every single day. So now it's time to get gaming on GNU/Linux and on the Desktop computer - no problem, that's what I say.

Why is this, you might ask? Because the Open Operating System allows utmost amount of innovation to grow from the base of it. When an Operating System is Open, it allows for the most state of the art changes to be made to the core of it easily, which allows the Open Operating System to remain in the forefront of technology. The Open model also allows for the maximum amount of advancement because it allows input from a whole planet of humans seeking to be enable themselves with technology versus the relatively small number of employees at a specific company. The Open Operating System creates the solid foundation upon which all other types of good software should be built upon.

But don't take my word for it. There are others out there that want to embrace GNU/Linux, the ones who have the intestinal fortitude that it takes to be a great company. As Ken Starks says in "Linux Gets Gooey for Friday the 13th" We now get the chance to do what we say we are going to do. It's been coming for a long time...now it's here. The "big boys" won't give us games...the little guys will. It's time to say thank you.: . One such example is 2D Boy(Kyle Gabler and Ron Carmel), whom just ported their very popular(Wii game of the year 2008) game "World of Goo" over to Linux and are selling it for $20 a copy.

So there it is. Now you know why I'm pushing for GNU/Linux to be the premiere gaming/computing platform. It's all about Openness, the future of computing, about people getting the most from their computer systems, and most of all it's about humans being enabled with technology.

If you haven't tried GNU/Linux, you just don't know what you're missing (get started by clicking here). Use GNU/Linux, and start on your journey of the phenomenal combination of Freedom and Excitement that computer technology yearns to offer you in the world today.

Shannon VanWagner

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Updated Open Letter to Joost.com: Thanks for Changing To Work With GNU/Linux!

About a year ago, I wrote a letter to Joost.com asking them to update their website to allow access from GNU/Linux. The old Joost.com used a special process to watch the content that didn't work with GNU/Linux.

Well this day is monumental. Because just as good eventually wins over evil, night turns into day, and humans advance with technology, today(02-11-2009) - I see that Joost.com has changed its website and is now accessible using GNU/Linux. Note: Joost.com may have been accessible from GNU/Linux for some time, I simply hadn't checked back until today.

I really appreciate that Joost.com has changed it's original setup. By allowing GNU/Linux access, Joost.com helps to reduce the monopoly of Operating Systems, and more importantly has made a statement to the world that they endorse the use of Open Web Standards, and the advancement of the Internet and technology.

Nice Job Joost.com. Way to play fair. Your actions are an endorsement to Open Web Standards, are a boost to fair competition, and a symbol of human ingenuity. Joost.com, you have now joined the ranks of reputable companies that share the sandbox with others(instead of throwing sand in others' faces) and plays fair. This action is commendable beyond words.

Many people, including those who may have recently purchased a GNU/Linux-based computer from any of the major OEMs, will now truly be able to appreciate all your hard work on Joost.com. This is a beautiful thing.

Joost.com, I look forward to enjoying the content and the advertisements on your site. Thank You!

Congratulations on your Freedom!!

As for my fellow users and evangelists of GNU/Linux:When you find something that doesn't work with GNU/Linux, keep up the writing, the posting, the raising of the awareness. It really does work!!

GO GNU/Linux!! Go Freedom!! Go Open Web Standards!!

Enable Humans with Technology!!

Shannon VanWagner

--Previous Open Letter to Joost.com Rescinded--