Smoke and Mirrors

Get involved with any community and before long you’ll see the statistic rocks hurled back and forth.

Get involved with any community and before long you’ll see the statistic rocks hurled back and forth.

Recently it was announced that most Netbooks are purchased with Windows installed. As you would expect there has been the usual rumblings of “Rhubarb rhubarb” heightened by the revelation that the statistics have been gathered via general High Street PC outlets which in turn gained the response “Huh that’s not a true representation, what about the on-line stuff like Dell?”.

This is the thing with statistics and forecasts you can pretty much make them say whatever you want the fact of the matter is Microsoft is not going to include any sources that may diminish the desired result. Of course you may be thinking “Well what’s the point?” the ‘point’ is those charts and graphs are read by the general public even open source users read them so which ever way you slice it Microsoft is getting a result and possibly winning the propaganda war, the only group that can smell a rat is the OSS people.

Given that there is still a large number of people who are totally unaware of Linux and OSS the Smoke and Mirror trick works well as the general public do not know any difference, what is even more worrying is that large portion are probably not aware of the OS community have no access or contact to information that could discredit or at the very least reduce the supposed market share results.

Rather than standing around shouting “Ya Boo” every time we hear “MS sells more copies than…” we should start getting our own statistics out there.

Netbook Remix

My daughters are proud owners of EeePC’s with the default Xandros install. They are very happy with them and don’t really mess about just ‘use them’, as you can imagine daddy is only allowed near them when there is a problem so I have no real hands on experience with Netbooks even though I’ve sold hundreds of makes and models at work.

My daughters are proud owners of EeePC’s with the default Xandros install. They are very happy with them and don’t really mess about just ‘use them’, as you can imagine daddy is only allowed near them when there is a problem so I have no real hands on experience with Netbooks even though I’ve sold hundreds of makes and models at work.

imagewriterI decided to have a look at Ubuntu Netbook Remix to see if the girls would like it and downloaded the iso and the Win32Disk Imager as I was at work and my main system is unfortunately Windows. You will need at least a 1GB USB pendrive which was not a problem, writing the image to the USB stick was dead easy. The only thing I was unsure of was how to boot the thing, IRC came to the rescue as usual, basically with the Netbook switched off insert the pendrive press the power button and at the boot screen press ‘Esc’. This presents you with (On the EeePC) a blue menu use the arrow keys to scroll down to your device, in my case it was a Kingston pen drive, and press ‘Enter’.

UNRUbuntu Netbook Remix then boots just like any normal live CD I have to say I was pretty impressed at how quickly the desktop was displayed and the general layout for this customised version of Ubuntu. Wifi was detected and connected straight away (After giving the passphrase) typically the girls first port of call was the games section with sounds of “Ooh its got loads more games dad”.

I think the overall impression was they really liked it but for the minute they are a little reticent to install it just in case their beloved EeePC gets broken, mind you I know this bloke who does a podcast that can fix it. 😉