One thing I didn’t mention when I had my little sob session for the Inspiron, was that I was also sending the Pavilion out the door for the last time. My attachment to it was far weaker than to the Inspiron, mostly because I took it on board as a challenge, not a charity case or as a gift.
And since it was no longer a challenge, and since it had lost its last local fan (the neighbor who owned it for a year), I decided it should also go the way of all flesh. Ebay, that is.
But I sent both machines into the afterworld sporting fresh operating systems — the Pavilion with a split Windows XP-Ubuntu 9.04 on it, and the Inspiron with only 9.04. Having done that, I can only wonder if that’s a pro or a con — installing Linux, that is.
Both machines are Linux-friendly (if I can use that term loosely), the Inspiron moreso than the Pavilion. The zv6000 has a Broadcom-based wireless card in it, which used to be the kiss of death, but nowadays is as meek as a lamb.
The Inspiron, on the other hand, has little in it that doesn’t play well with the Penguin — so little that I can’t think of anything off hand. If anything, the Inspiron works better with Linux than it does with Windows, since the machine is only licensed to run ME, and we all know what a flaming bowl of pus that was.
I felt bad omitting ME on the grounds that ME would barf up an electronic gut if it tried to work with all the upgraded parts in the Inspiron. But it’s difficult to explain that to someone with only a passing knowledge of computers. And to be honest, with only 1Ghz processing power and half the memory it really needs, Ubuntu is a bit overwhelming too. Maybe something else, something equally accessible but “lighter” would have been more appealing.
But saying they work great with Linux isn’t going to make them any more appealing to Joe the Ebay Surfer, who buys a computer because he likes the sound of the model number (after all, “zee vee six thousand” just sounds cool). My experience reselling computers with Linux on them has been hit-or-miss, with some people buying specifically because I put Linux on it, and others pleading for refunds because they don’t know how to do anything but Windows.
Their loss, really. Either way, I guess I’ll see how it goes. Maybe this time offering a machine with Ubuntu on it will be a selling point, and not something that needs selling, in and of itself.