foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


More GNU/Linux pre-installed options: Acer notebook at Dick Smith

, posted: 16-Jan-2008 06:21

Yesterday someone told me about Dick Smith selling an Acer notebook with pre-loaded GNU/Linux. I didn't get around to blog about it on that day, so today I wake up to find that Mauricio beat me to the punch with the announcement. Oh well...

This is of course an interesting timing, considering that just yesterday I had talked about Lenovo offering pre-loaded GNU/Linux on Thinkpads, and it also contrasts with an observation I made some time ago, about missing choices in the New Zealand market, when it comes to pre-loaded GNU/Linux offerings.

It's good to see more movement in the market, and more choicses like this becoming available to consumers.

Like others have commented, this is not available in a lot of DSE stores. I walked into one on the North Shore yesterday, looking for the laptop, but no luck. They had another Acer model, which looked somewhat similar, but didn't have GNU/Linux installed.

The product description on the DSE web-site doesn't mention it, but the laptop does come with WiFi. Apparently, the box contains a two-page, double-sided 'cheat sheet' of sorts, to assist new GNU/Linux users. It explains how to setup the system, create user accounts, how to set up wireless. It also discusses Automatix and how to install DVD codecs.

Only a few shortcomings are reported: Out of the box, the microphone seems to be disabled, but can be brought to life by adjusting some settings. The wireless key on the keyboard is disabled, and so is the 'Acer E' key and the dial-up modem.

All in all, though, a very good development. I hope we will see more of that.

Other related posts:
Munich already saved millions by switching to Linux
Smooth sailing with the Karmic Koala
A Linux distro for Cuba








Comment by greg, on 20-Feb-2008 08:14

I bought the mentioned ubuntu acer laptop two weeks ago from the dick smith online store.

It connected to my wifi internet straight out of the box and it took a quick software download to get dvd playback working. It comes already installed with open office, gimp, firefox, etc and anything else is easily found using the software package managers.

Absolutely no hassles. It is quite satisfying buying and using a $600 laptop ($100 cashback).

Any nagging doubt I should have spent $1500 on a new Dell is long gone!


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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
  • Where I have been: Here and there, all over the place.




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