Linspire the company

Linspire has broke a lot of ground when it comes to getting Linux into the main stream. I've been doing research on ISPs, and the few major providers that actually support Linux tend to only support Linspire. As a non-Linspire user, I find it a bit frustrating, yet I also find it very interesting.

Also under their belt:
The first to sell whitebox machines at Walmart
The first to come out with cheap Linux-powered tablet PCs
They also have a $500 laptop at Walmart which apparently sells so well that it is constantly out of stock.

There is a lot of criticism out there about Linspire's interaction with the Linux community at large, and also justifiable criticism of forcing newbies to run as root (are they still doing this?), but I don't think there has been a single other company that has pushed Linux harder into the world of the average consumer than Linspire. For better or for worse, they are the FACE of Linux to many.

Moderator's note - Moved from the Book section

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Moderator's note - This was originally posted by Clivesay when John posted this entry in the Book section by accident. I have moved the Blog entry, but unfortuantely, the comments did not follow, so I copied this by hand. Sorry if this offends anyone.

Netzero is one of the companies that has a version of their software for Linspire. The funny thing is that you can get the M$ version of their software to run the 10hrs/month free internet access but the Linux version is only available for the $9.95/month fee. I was hoping to get them to consider releasing the Linux version for me to use with my Not For Profit only to find that they did not support debian. I don't know if it is possible to get the Windows version running inder wine or not. Since it is ppp software it might be too tricky.
By clivesay at Mon, 2005-01-17 08:35

I loathe Linspire

Loathe may be to strong a word but I don't like the Wal-Martization of Linux. IMO Linspire is the equivalent of Windows in the respect that it dumbs down 'puters for the general masses. The way the economy is changing the public needs better understanding of computer science, not more GUI, mouse clicking, I-just-want-it-to-work stuff. I love DSL because it's a healthy mix that allows noobs (like me) to learn without being too daunting.

besides, Mepis owns it.

Remember that the average per

Remember that the average person does NOT want a computer.

They want a magic box that will play music, games, read email and browse the web.

And the average person is NOT smart enough to do much more than that. Point and click is complicated enough for these people. And Lindows/Linspire delivers what they want.

Would you rather them be running the latest version of Sindows(tm)?


Deep Thought was wrong. The Answer isn't 42, it's DSL!

Not for the masses...

The problem with Windows is that it doesnt encourage passive learning. If you use Linux for any length of time you will develop an understanding of the way things work, which comes in handy when things go wrong or when you want to extend past the default settings. Windows actively discourages this process by hiding things behind wizards and other magic.

It would be nice if DSL could somehow find some middle ground. Perhaps allow one-click style extensions but also somehow educate the user as to what actually changed on his system when he did it.

One-Click vs. Flexability

The problem with Linux is that the learning curve can be so steep that many people will be thrown off. If Linux is used for any length of time, then knowledge builds, but the time it takes to learn how to do all the things that you want Linux to do can be a long time and can be rather challenging. While its nice to have this power in Linux when something goes wrong to edit the system directly, it is hard to obtain that level of knowledge.

DSL has a great Linux background, but sometimes when something happens, the user is left in the dark. An expert may know what is going wrong, but an average user may just wait for the OS to tell them what is going wrong.

(And why don't forum usernames/passwords continue out to here?)

problem with Linux

I don't see that as a problem with linux. I don't see it as a problem at all. If a person doesn't want to learn the tiny bit it takes to run a user-friendly system like Mandrake or Suse, using something like KDE (which is not much different than the windows interface), then that person should probably stick with windows or mac. A few minor changes causing serious problems for a user only tells me that this user doesn't know crap about his computer and doesn't want to know. I don't see any reason to cater to uninterested people when there are already other systems which do that very well.

So many people say Linux has a problem just because it may not be suitable for Joe Average. I say why does it need to be? If someone is sick enough of the crap that comes with using windows they may be willing to put in some effort to learn how to use a computer rather than just learn how to click on a picture. I'm definitely not going to waste my time advocating Linux to most of the people I've met in my lifetime. After all, it's just a machine...most people use it for games and homework, and they don't care whether Linux is more secure or stable or faster.

(And why don't forum usernames/passwords continue out to here?)

forum usernames/passwords dont continue out here because the forums and the drupal (this section of the community) use different databases and backends. its possible for them both to use the same, however it requires a lot of recoding. another reason is that not everyone who has a forum account is going to need/want a drupal. and possibly vice versa, although we would like to encourage everyone to use the community and contribute =)

tronik @ #damnsmalllinux

Linux is for everyone

I "installed" SuSe 9.2 right from the box. It took twenty minutes and I was browsing the web and getting my email. The program did all the installing and all I had to do was fill in a few boxes (just like with windows) and the program found all the drives, drivers, and cdroms etc in a - one time - install with only one reboot. (Not like MSwindows 60 reboots to become operational.

If the general public cannot do that then they deserve MS.

Linux is NOT for everyone - well not really

Linux is for people who want to experiment, make mistakes, keep learning and have fun with the computer, rather than through it. If someone just wants to surf the net, send mail, play games and write a letter, linux is not for them. They could use an X-box like device with a TV.

But of course, linux can be made to look as dumb as anything and made to do just the above and no more. Lots of makeup to cover the real personality, the true beauty, the very soul - and you have the beautiful dumb blond to thrill! This is the Linspire way.

It is not surprising that it works with lots of people!