Linux is bad for business, bad for America and bad for mankind

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

In November 2005 I bought a Dell Inspiron XPS M170 with all the bells and whistles. I spent over $3000 on it, and about six months later I unloaded it on ebay for about $2000. I enjoy telling people that for a while I had a top-of-the-line, cutting-edge laptop and it only cost me a grand.

Part of the reason I sold it was the advent of dual core machines and knowing it was fast becoming obsolete. The other reason was Linux, which I started using regularly on New Year’s Day, 2006.

Within a few months, I realized that the $3000 laptop was no longer necessary, and that all the things I wanted to do with a computer I could do with Linux on an older, cheaper machine. My monstrous XPS M170 had been obsoleted by a 1Ghz machine built almost six years earlier.

I wouldn’t ever buy another $3000 computer, because I know now that the hardware I kept pushing for is unnecessary. I don’t need 2Gb of RAM, or a 7800GTX, or a 2.26Ghz Pentium M. For me, those “requirements” just aren’t required any more.

So long as I can play the games I like, watch the movies I like and surf the Web sites I like, a new machine is pointless. Moore’s law only affects me as a consumer if I can’t get things done with the technology that falls beyond its limit. Otherwise, I’m fine. And maybe another Linux user is also fine without a fancy new computer. And another. And another.

That’s bad for Dell, and bad for business in general. If we can’t be coerced to buy the newest, most expensive computer available, then we’re looking at an industry slump, and a weak market for computer sales.

And that could have repercussions for the chip industry. And since tech stocks are a heavy influence on the overall market picture, a weakness in that area could spell an economic downturn nationwide. Joblessness. Unemployment. A slip in the national standard of living.

And when America is depressed, the rest of the world feels it. America is the moody, crabby bellwether cow for the rest of the planet, and if the U.S. of A. gets grumpy, it casts a sour funk worldwide.

And that is bad for humanity, period. The human race is doomed if it can’t work itself out of a bad day and do something to improve itself.

That’s why, for the sake of industry, the sake of America and the sake of mankind, I call on everyone to do the good thing, the right thing and the patriotic thing by buying yourself a new, expensive computer. Linux is just bad for business, for the economy, for America and for every human being on the planet. Buy a new computer and take part in the Windows evolution. Make the world a better place. Like I have.

Er, wait. Sorry. Wrong screenshot. That’s my 300Mhz Pentium II running Ubuntu 6.10 with LookXP set to the Vista theme. My mistake.

P.S.: Heh, dugg. πŸ˜€


21 thoughts on “Linux is bad for business, bad for America and bad for mankind

  1. Kurt

    Great post. I installed Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) yesterday and I also installed Beryl. A Ubuntu machine running Beryl is basically a Windows Vista machine for free! I love the cool 3D effects. Ubuntu linux is a great alternative to Windows and would recommend to anyone who wants to do the real “switch”.

  2. John Campbell

    Sorry, but I have to completely disagree with you. Linux will still offer jobs and big company’s like Dell will have little side effects. Linux is better for mankind especially since it is free. In few years I believe that a great amount of people will run Ubuntu or PCliniuxOS. There will not be all of the thousand distro’s that exist but for a few major ones. It seems like a mess now but it will only get better.


  3. sam64

    Just because Linux is better for memory, and runs perfectly good on a below average computer doesn’t mean I don’t want a computer I can brag about. If I can run programs super fast and stable with an average machine, imagine what I could do with an above average machine!

  4. Harald

    In french, we say that’s “du second degrΓ©”. That’s means that you are asserting by telling the contrary that Linux is a great tool.
    That’s right. For general purpose (mail, internet, word processing, musique and dvd) we don’t need the last big dual core machine.
    It was fun to read your article.
    Do you know that your version of Vista (see the screenshoot) is able to run on a 64 mo of Ram ?

    Sorry fo my poor english.

  5. Anonymous

    A great post indeed. πŸ™‚ You forgot to mention how considering the environment and reducing production of waste and pollution is also extremely bad for business, for America and for mankind. “Those darn communist hippies!” πŸ˜‰

  6. K.Mandla Post author

    Thanks, everybody!

    @John Campbell: I was being sarcastic. πŸ˜‰

    @syahid ali: it’s the Setswana translation of the ubuntu principle. There’s more on the About page.

    @Anonymous: Nuts! I knew there was something I forgot! πŸ˜€

  7. sam64

    No matter how obvious the sarcasm, there will still be people who believe it. Theres nothing you can do about those kinds of people.

  8. Garam Chai

    Good to see one more Ubuntu user. While I am all for prolonging an old PC’s life with Linux, I am sure there are folks whose jobs absolutely require latest/greatest Windows/Mac machines…Adobe Photoshop/Publisher professionals come to my mind. The rest of us mere mortals who just use PCs for browsing, email, blogging, etc., can save money/time using our old machines…without worrying about new hardware and commercial software. Now whether all of us have the skills to learn/install/run/maintain Linux on our machines is an entirely different discussion.

  9. Rod

    Another Shelley the Republican Wannabe heh? πŸ™‚
    God Forbid that we stop filling up landfills with e-waste, the garbage men and woman will be out of a job. Go Vista, you need a new machine in 18 months, now that is good for business and we all know the bottom line is what counts in this world.

  10. kuriharu

    What are you talking about? Linux is GREAT for the American economy! The money saved on the laptops and software gets re-channelled to therapists who counsel Linux users! People who get frustrated with their drivers no longer working on the first install have to spend hours in therapy! Those who don’t seek therapy spend more time drinking and smoking, which provides a great subsidy for 7-elevens, bars and liqour stores. Linux alone has added 10% to this entire economic sector!

    Think of all the extra electricity that gets used spending HOURS getting your computer to work or install software! With Windows, this happened in mere minutes. Just click on “Setup.exe” and hit next a few times. I much prefer doing things in apt-get and chase down file after file that prevents me from running my desired software. Think of the electricity I save when I just run setup.exe in Windows! Those union guys NEED me to leave my computer on for hours upon hours just getting it to work.

    As you can read, I’ve not had the greatest experience with Desktop Linux. It’s a great server platform, but it’s more fragile than Paris Hilton when you make changes.

  11. sam64

    Rod: Not to mention sending it to repair shops when your windows burns down, or spending time at the therapists when your drivers and games don’t run on it!

    Kuriharu: setup.exe is a program made by the creator of the program you want to install.. If you have troubles download .deb files, then if it doesn’t work, get the proper drivers or programs. Linux is a great all around choice, since it can do anything windows can and more, but it still isn’t supported by many companies other than HP. After getting it all set up nicely you can do things unimaginable with windows.

  12. Danny

    I don’t think we have anything to worry about. There are just enough people out there who don’t know about Linux, don’t care about Mac, and participate on other forms of extreme overconsumption. America is the land of overconsumption, and I doubt that will change soon. Besides, the parts for most computers are made elsewhere.

    Even if hardware development did slow down, or stop,…doesn’t necessarily mean progress would also stall. That progress simply went into another area – getting old stuff to work perfectly.

    Excellent sarcasm and satire thought.

  13. analogtek

    If you put linux on a new cutting edge box. It run’s like when a SC-FI spaceship when makes the jump to light drive.

  14. anonymous

    He is serious, no doubt

    >And that could have repercussions for the chip >industry. And since tech stocks are a heavy >influence

    This normal tendency of human, laziness even to think, it is like that God is ready to give you lot of money (I mean power) and you will say no, I am not able to spend it, please take it back.

    This normal tendency of human… here lot of people in my place, very much capable.
    Planning to put their money to purchase a big lodge and rent it out and even outsource the collection of rent, and so many others here passing their life like that.

    Actually it is good for America, and rest of world if here are peoples who can spent/utilize this power.

    This is inevitable, happenning with people even countries they from their early age performing well forced to do so (from parent) for competion with their peer, not for good utilization or enjoyment,
    at some extent they perform well in lifetime, but after a long time when they are at top, they don’t want to perform like before as it won’t have any emotion, enjoyment associated, only driving force was competion but that was left long behind, now no enemy is here (it is like you alone in your class to compete.) Now they want they should stop, and dialeema is that others those long behind, will not not stop (as their driving force is also competion.)

    So this person on top, want to stop at this point, and do not want to see others going ahead from him.
    So what is the way to do so, do some thing to stop those who are lagging….. Now comes obnoxious way to stop for some time, here is no way to stop for forever.

    Please note this not communist or capitalistic thought, it applies to individuals, group of individuals every where equally.

  15. Mister Underhill

    Loose translation of above text:

    He is serious, no doubt.

    “And that could have repercussions for the chip industry. And since tech stocks are a heavy influence”

    It is very typical of most people to be too lazy to even think, and ultimately waste potential. For example, it’s as if God is ready to give you lots of money (or power), but you say “No, I can’t to spend it. Please, take it back!”

    Where I am from, people ultimately have the potential to make something of themselves. For example, they may buy a large rental property (lodge, hotel, apartnment, etc.) and even hire collection agencies to deal with the rent. There are many people getting through life this way.

    Ultimately, it would be good for America and the rest of the world if they could learn to harness and fully utilize this power, properly allocating funds, etc.

    It is inevitable – there will always be people who, because of their upbringing, are taught to always try to be better than their peers, but ultimately not for their own benefit or enjoyment. At some point they will eventually perform well, but after a while they get sick of it because all their hard work seems in vain. Their only driving force was competition, which is now long gone so there are no true enemies anymore.

    But they still want to stay at the top and don’t want to see others whiz by. So how do they deal with this? They try to crookedly throw off any potential future competition that may be lagging behind them. But they can only get away with this for so long.

    Please note, this is not communist or capitalist thought. It applies to individuals and groups of individuals equally across the board.

  16. msh

    now it’s 2010 .

    today ubuntu changed so much . I think that is very better than past . i like it , because it’s free and it has many free software by itself .

    3 years later i installed it and i removed it , but now it’s very better . i’m very relax when i work whit it .

    i offer you to test Ubuntu 10.04 and OpenSuSE 11.2 …

    maybe changed your opinion .

    * migration from windows to linux at the first step is a little hard . it’s natural !


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