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Re: free software mini pc

Joe wrote at 2012-02-16 02:43 -0600:
> On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:14:50 -0600 green wrote:
> > The question is, how can I be reasonably sure before the purchase?
> > In many cases the information is unavailable or difficult to find.
> Because it mostly doesn't exist. If you were given one of these machines
> and an Internet connection, how much time would you expect to need
> before you were willing to issue a guarantee, on which other people
> would base purchasing decisions, that *everything* worked as expected?

You suggest that it would take an unreasonable amount of time, then later you 
suggest/request that I do for the sake of other Linux users.  Either way 
(read on)...

> For how long would you issue the guarantee, given the slight but
> non-zero chance that something is dependent on a bug which has security
> issues, which might therefore change even in Stable?

I understand that Linux is a moving target.  But is it really so difficult to 
just say that "yes, we tested this device with Linux kernel version whatever 
and tested the following items"?

There are several 100% free Linux distributions available (I have looked at 
Parabola and BLAG); just running one of those and testing would do the trick, 

> When you do settle on something, will you test it exhaustively and
> document the results on the Net?

If possible, I will do so.  Of course, one reason this discussion started is 
that I do not feel that I have extra time to deal with hardware troubles, but 
I will do my best to at least document what works, and more if possible.

> Because that's where the information comes from which you're looking for at 
> the moment, and you can help future Debian users if you do. We'll get no 
> help from manufacturers, until they get desperate enough to scratch around 
> for the last few percent of potential customers.
> Hardware compatibility happens in the MS world because the boot is on
> the other foot, in that manufacturers have no choice but to engineer
> their products to work with Windows, and modify them if problems are
> found. No such incentive exists (yet) for Linux compatibility.

So although niche markets exist and there are niche manufacturers to fill (at 
least some of) those markets, you suggest that none exists to fill this one.  
As I have said previously: I would be satisfied, but disappointed, to be told 
that no, there is no vendor providing a reasonable guarantee of mainline 
Linux support.  Your message has come closest so far to doing that; thanks.

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