Dell, Again

Every now and then I visit Dell.ca to check on the progress of Freedom. It’s getting better, but just a little. Just choose “For Work” and “Desktops and workstations”. You can get exactly 1 choice in “desktops and workstations” if you look for GNU/Linux but at $1K a box with no monitor or keyboard is a bit pricey. Same goes for “notebooks and tablets”, well over $1K. Of course, you have to pretend to be a business and buy three years of phone support… I guess they charge extra for freedom. “For Home” gives little choice except Android/Linux and that other OS. No GNU/Linux at all. I guess they just don’t want you to get anything done with FLOSS.

There’s no such problem at Walmart.com.br. It just doesn’t seem like Dell want to sell GNU/Linux because they’re not trying very hard. Perhaps they’re just trying to avoid being sued for anti-competitive actions.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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26 Responses to Dell, Again

  1. dougman says:

    Window trolls always bring the “Doesn’t have X” argument to the table, when in fact X is ONLY used by a very tiny percentage of people.

    It doesn’t take a $3K computer and/or $1K software to edit graphics, nor does it require Adobe and M$.

  2. Finalzone says:

    “Gimp doesn’t have the filter of Photoshop or CMYK support, etcetera.”
    Pogson already covered about the CMYK part. In addition, CMYK results vary from printing because of the type of inks. Extension like separate+ does the jobs for the conversion.
    Most Photoshop filters are available in Gimp via extension or are nothing more than a shortcut for several basic tools.

  3. dougman says:

    if one wants Dell and Linux, you gotta ask for it.

    http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/555/linux-solutions

    Of course, HP and IBM offer Linux solutions as well, but M$ ID10Ts well try to prove that they do not.

    Diving deeper, there is nothing stopping M$ from building Linux OS’s, Android devices or Linux software and selling them, the ONLY thing stopping them is pride age-old practices that are rather irrelevant these days, as their market dries up.

  4. oiaohm says:

    To be truthful the difference between NX 9 and Autocad is equal to the difference between Photoshop and Gimp.

    In cad Linux has access to the best in breed. Linux is lacking super well known entry level CAD. So if you cannot get good CAD work out of Linux its that you are not spending the money to achieve it.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson my statement on autocad might sound a little extream. But that is normally to people who have never used NX 9 or its prior relations.

    NX 9 as a cad costs quite a bit. The support level on NX 9 is insane. You report a bug you will have a answer in 24 hours you will have at least a proto patch to the fault in 7 days. Autocad report a issue you might be waiting years for it to be fixed. You get what you pay for. If you are too cheep to pay for something like NX 9 you end up with lacking support. Even with open source it pays to acquire contracts to developer teams to fix issues.

    Robert Pogson just because something is widely used does not mean its not a entry level tool with entry level support. With a CAD entry level support can cost you Millions in disasters.

  6. ram says:

    oiaohm wrote, “Autocad is the poor mans entry level tool not extended based on what production hardware can do.”

    I agree. Autocad was damaging to many companies that tried to use it. It had (and may still have) subtle bugs that only showed up when you tried to use a model in Finite Element Analysis or similar. These days open source CAD (as in Computer Aided Design (not just Drawing) tools walk over Autodesk’s toys. Open source is important to most CAD users as it allows them to code in their own rules and solvers appropriate to their business.

  7. oiaohm wrote, “Autocad is the poor mans entry level tool not extended based on what production hardware can do.”

    That’s a bit extreme. It’s a widely used programme but it’s still a niche for engineers and technicians, not grandpa designing a bird-house. I do mine free-form. The wood speaks to me and I drill a hole that suits the birds I like… This guarantees every bird-house is different and I never get bored. The little woman just took the car out. I feel like making another one.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Siemens acquired unigraphics that is NX 9. Siemens is not a junk dealer. The simple reality Autocad lacks many key features Siemens and other big makers require so they acquired cad companies so they could directly order the features they wanted in their cad.

    Reality here Autocad failed to service particular markets and those markets are rich enough to code their own solution. Autocad is the poor mans entry level tool not extended based on what production hardware can do.

    Yes autocad will let you design anything but knowing if the item you produce from it is make able and suitable for a production line Autocad has none of the tools to work that out. Yes autocad depends on operator being skilled enough to work a lot of things out themselves. Dud production lines can cost millions. This is why there is a level above Autocad there are things it truly sux at.

    Wolfgang the coral I pointed to was a program called bibble before it came aftershot pro. Bibble was UX hell but its engine and processing power was great. If Aftershot pro can perform the task the exact same task as photoshop there is not a single task that photoshop can perform as fast as Aftershot pro in processing.

    Aftershot pro is if you need performance so a very strong competitor.

    Basically coral has two image programs. One that is more photoshop class than the other. Paint shop pro is not that pro class its also a slow compared to aftershot pro.

    Basically get the demo and try it Wolfgang. Yes aftershot pro is the Linux worlds photoshop.

  9. ssorbom says:

    Dell Sells the XPS 13 Developer Laptop in the US, Canada and elsewhere. It has Ubuntu by default:
    http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/555/campaigns/xps-linux-laptop

  10. wolfgang says:

    …artist…

    sorry, not artist like Michelangelo, but artist who work for magazine or create brochure or menu for restaurant.

  11. lpbbear says:

    Trolls trolls trolls trolls, lovely trolls wonderful trolls……….
    Or maybe that was spam…no matter…same thing.

  12. wolfgang wrote, “everybody working in artist business use photoshop”

    Some artists do print. That makes sense for them.“The issues presented in this entry only apply to Gimp up to and including version 2.8.x. Starting with 2.9.x (and future 2.10.x) these considerations are rendered moot because Gimp switched to a 32bit floating-point core.” Many artists distribute their work otherwise. It makes little sense for them to pay huge fees for the privilege of doing what they can do with GIMP and other tools. The 8-bit limit is something artists may hate but that is being addressed.

  13. wolfgang says:

    …commercial use without a license…

    well maybe you smart cookie lawyer and smarter than dell lawyer. give them a call. maybe you can scare them off. international call though, to UK, so careful with how many minutes you on hold.

  14. wolfgang wrote, “dell only identify product by name, not using mark. maybe that legal. I bet their lawyers on the case.”

    Pay attention. The trademark logo is in the binaries Dell is installing. That constitutes commercial use without a licence. Mozilla does give permission to use the logo if it is distributed gratis.

    Besides that, Dell is over-charging. The actual cost to them of the re-imaging is a binary choice and a bit of storage on a hard drive. That’s probably less than 1 cent a copy spread over hundreds of thousands of machines and they are charging ~$20. This is an outlier even for Dell. It could be a sign that Dell is diversifying their income-stream but they have to be careful to do it legally. I’m sure if they agreed to contribute some of the take to Mozilla the problem would be solved and Dell would have the added benefit as being seen to contribute back to the world of FLOSS. A complication could be their agreement with Canonical for Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Why isn’t FireFox just along for that ride? Why is it a separate item at all?

  15. kurkosdr says:

    This is good for Mozilla anyway. Anyone ignorant enough to not know Mozilla is free or thinks installing it is an endeavour worthy of a 25 bucks fee, probably wouldn’t install it him/herself and stick with IE, so it helps Mozilla build customer base.

  16. wolfgang says:

    …Mozilla trademarks…
    maybe not if you slice hairs. trademarks registered with government. for Mozilla I find this
    http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/foundation/trademarks/list/
    dell only identify product by name, not using mark. maybe that legal. I bet their lawyers on the case.

  17. wolfgang says:

    …photoshop…

    I look around and everybody working in artist business use photoshop. use it on mac, though, not pc. they can afford it. people playing around like me use gimp or corel which was paint shop pro. I have both of them myself. got cheap a while back from corel. got free from gimp. use both on windows 8 now.

  18. I missed something… Dell is charging folks extra to buy a PC with FireFox installed. There’s nothing illegal about that except that they are including Mozilla’s trademarks and Mozilla insists they can’t charge for the binaries. Dell says it’s charging for the service…

  19. wolfgang says:

    …autocad bad example…

    used to work in that industry. autodesk come and steal all the cheese in house. Intergraph, computervision, unigraphics, all gone now, pieces gobbled up by junk dealers. dassault still in business but selling autodesk. pc killed gravy train for unix cad/cam and ibm, too.

  20. kurkosdr wrote, “Photoshop, AutoCAD, CoreDraw, Office, Pinnacle Studio etc doesn’t help efforts to lure the 99%”

    There aren’t 80% who use all of those apps. There probably aren’t 50% who use any two of them. 80% can do without M$’s office suite.

  21. kurkosdr wrote, “GIMP doesn’t have the filter of Photoshop or CMYK support, etcetera.”

    Don’t compare apples and oranges. Gimp is great for lots of other tasks, like web authouring. You don’t need CMYK for on-screen stuff. Screens are RGB. You don’t need PS to paint a moustache or to make the fish larger.

  22. oiaohm says:

    Autocad is a bad example and you should not have used it. kurkosdr The big industrial cads above Autocad in fact run either fully on Linux or part on Linux but with the other part running in wine perfectly supported by the developer. So if you want to go to the level above Autocad it is Linux. Most alternative sites are only showing the open source stuff not the great closed source stuff on Linux.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DraftSight is basically Autocad direct match. Closed source and most likely was not on your list at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_%28Unigraphics%29 Like the overkills like NX 9 that is basically does all of soildworks and autocad in one application then includes tools to go from final device backwards into production line. This also runs on Linux. Sorry CAD is not a Linux weakness. Video card driver will have to be Nvidia to run NX 9.

    Then you have like CATIA that is nice and odd. http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=28516

    The front end application of CATIA is windows only but runs in wine without issues(yes Dassault Systèmes the maker of CATIA supported). The server side of it that does all the heavy lifting in fact to cluster requires Linux. This is basically what you find with all the CAD’s larger than Autocad. They either work in wine or have Linux versions or are half half. Autocad is the odd ball with nasty copy-protection that makes it insanely hard to run in wine. So your windows alternatives of autocad apply equally to Linux. Linux is well supplied for cads.

    CorelDraw pick a true alternative on Windows. Reality CorelDraw is very light on for competition.

    Funny enough photoshop alterative on Linux is another closed source. http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=4945 From coral of all parties. AfterShot Pro. There is not a feature missing compare to photoshop and it runs natively on Linux.

    kurkosdr you only force todo less on Linux if you are not willing to spend money in most fields. Yes price tags for Linux software can be scary like in the 10s of thousands of dollars. But you get what you pay for.

    Most of the Linux issue for lots of Apps is the poor state of drivers and its graphical stack. Not the lack of applications for Linux.

    Sorry the idea that big applications are all windows is false. Big applications are either all Linux or Windows Linux hybrids except for the odd one or two.

    kurkosdr yes comparing to gimp and saying that is photoediting on Linux is being a twit. Gimp is only 1 of the open source offerings but its only comparing to open source offerings and disregarding the fact Linux has a closed source software ecosystem.

  23. kurkosdr says:

    Also, does Linux even have software that matches AutoCAD, CorelDraw and Photoshop? Sure, there are “alternatives”, but soon you find out they are not really alternatives. The alternative CAD software doesn’t give the results of AutoCAD and doesn’t have the features of, the alternative draw software doesn’t have the features of CorelDraw, GIMP doesn’t have the filter of Photoshop or CMYK support, etcetera.

    So, you are asking people to learn a new OS to do less. Linux make have an audience in the 3rd world, where many people don’t have technical jobs and use computers to slack around and write the occasional document, but when heavyweight proprietary apps are needed for technical jobs, it’s all Windows.

    As long as Windows is the gatekeeper to the apps I mentioned above, Linux doesn’t have a chance even if they fix the GPU driver breakages.

  24. kurkosdr says:

    “It just doesn’t seem like Dell want to sell GNU/Linu”

    Then, why do you bother checking an OEM that has no real interest in selling GNU/Linux, when there are other OEMs out there that want to sell you Linux?

    The cold truth is that if there was significant demand for Linux in the western world, all those “Linux OEMs” would be drowning in dollars and euros. But, there isn’t. Be it inertia (aka people have their collection of proprietary software and don’t want to learn new software), broken upgrades (aka broken proprietary GPU drivers with every upgrade), or the fact Windows is what people know and what their friends have, this is what the 99% wants.

    I never got why Linux fans whaaaa about the “microsoft tax”, when Linux OEMs do exist. Face it, Windows won the microcomputer market in the 90s (when Linux was stll taking it’s baby steps) an the fact Linux breaks proprietary drivers and doesn’t have proprietary apps like Photoshop, AutoCAD, CoreDraw, Office, Pinnacle Studio etc doesn’t help efforts to lure the 99%. And no, people don’t want to learn new software or gamble with WINE. And don’t want to have broken GPU drivers either.

  25. Bob Parker says:

    In Chiang Mai Thailand Dell are selling laptops/notebooks with Ubuntu installed only.

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