[IoMLUG] Linux advocacy today - not the desktop, but the Smartphone and Tablet are relevant

Dan Wood mr.dan.wood at gmail.com
Thu Jan 15 15:55:03 UTC 2015

Hi Chris,

Welcome to the list!

I think you're right that advocacy is never 'done' and needs to be an
ongoing process. Although Linux is used heavily in infrastructure and
embedded systems, it still doesn't get the exposure on the desktop
that I think it deserves.

I've often reflected on some of the Saturday sessions at Code Club.
Often people are tinkering with Linux on a Raspberry Pi, learning
Python, programming a robot and yet the default OS for most of the
laptops I see around is either Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X.
Linux is 'naturally' more suited to these kinds of tasks in my opinion.

It's odd that lots of people at Code Club bemoan the user interface of
Windows 8/8.1, and they say that they don't like the changes Microsoft
made. Yet they all still use it. The problem starts with the purchase
of a machine, and the OS it comes bundled with. Even very techie
people seem reluctant to change that.

Until we can buy computers easily without an OS installed, or with a
wider choice (including Linux) then I don't think the desktop problem
will be solved.

So, keep up the advocacy and help as many people as you can to try
Linux on the desktop. Wherever possible, when purchasing a new machine
make sure you get one with Linux pre-installed if you can. My Dell XPS
13 came with Ubuntu. It was hellishly overpriced, but I wanted to
support a manufacturer who was prepared to break with the norm!


On 14 January 2015 at 07:10, Chris Kohlhepp <chrisk at manx.net> wrote:
> Dear All,
> Recently I read an article that questioned if Linux advocacy was still
> relevant today. The article suggested that the goal of Linux advocacy had
> been attained: an open platform for computing that enjoys preeminence. Linux
> is everywhere, on the desktop and in the corporation. The article can be
> viewed at this link:
>     http://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/need-for-linux-advocacy/1697
> You can read my reply at the bottom of that page  - or here.
> What is forgotten perhaps, like any other freedom, the democratic freedom
> afforded by Linux is preserved only by vigilance. Witness the erosion of
> freedom attained by Linux on the now dominant computing platform: the
> smartphone. Is your iPhone locked in what software you can run? Is your
> iPad?
> More about this topic can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/qmolelinux
> QMole – A Linux Distribution for the IPad
> The IPhone and IPad have become a commodity that has subsumed the common
> Personal Computer of yesteryear. Look around any train, subway, airport or
> even any restaurant. Commuters and diners used to read newspapers. Today
> their gaze is solidly fixed on what is predominantly an "i-device."
> Computers used to be "personal." Now they are in your pocket. Yet, the
> freedom to operate your PC with software of your choice, that made it
> "personal" has all but disappeared from this new computer in your pocket. Do
> you feel restricted in what software you can run on your IPad? Do you like
> Linux but cannot run your favorite Linux software on your IPad? Do you feel
> that established and free Linux software is better than IOS software sold
> for a fee? Or perhaps you are a Linux software vendor and would like sell to
> IPad users free of development costs. Maybe you are just a hacker who loves
> Linux for the breeding ground of ideas that it is. If you would like to see
> Linux and personal choice return to your computer tomorrow, we need your
> help today!
> https://www.facebook.com/qmolelinux
> The Free Software Foundation also has a write-up on this topic here:
> http://www.defectivebydesign.org/ipad
> Chris Kohlhepp
> chrisk at manx.net
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