How not to sell computers running linux.

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About a month ago, a friend of mine, a first time computer buyer bought a budget computer with an Intel Atom chip and Linux on my recommendation. I haven't heard from him since, either he doesn't have any complaints and is deliriously happy or he is not talking to me anymore.

Recently, one of Sri Lanka's best established companies (Browns PLC) started selling Intel Atom based PCs powered by Linux. The very first day they started operations, a friend of mine from one of the most remote and backward parts of Sri Lanka (yes I do have such friends) bought one of those machines (the Ezy Slim Top). The other alternatives were to buy a branded box with a dual core chip or to get one from Unity Plaza. Most of the vendors in Unity Plaza are not to be trusted (sure there are a few good ones but it's darned hard to tell the difference). To make matters to make a warranty claim you need to bring your computer to Colombo (not very easy when you are living in the middle of no where and don't have your own car) and argue with them till the cows come home. What convinced him was seeing a girl who was about 12 years old, lugging her computer into one of the shops to get it repaired.

The other option is just pay a lot of extra money for a powerful CPU which you will never utilize to the full (just check now how much of your processor you are using, bet it's less than 10%). The second problem is that most of the branded machines ship with Vista or XP, I simply cannot understand why people pay so much money for garbage. Since money was at a premium it wasn't hard to convince him on this point either.

Having read so far, you might wonder what all this has to do with the topic of the post ; 'how not to sell computers running linux', well the trouble started the second time I recommended this same computer to a friend. This time it's someone who's been using one for years to do word processing. I can see you roll your eyes in your head but I got such friends too. But this is enough today, check back tomorrow for the next episode

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