PDA

View Full Version : How to handle strain of Dell selling Ubuntu laptops?



Hendrixski
April 27th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Hey, this is actually a help question, believe it or not. Because community is just as big a part of using Ubuntu as the software, if not more so. How can I (through forums, loco teams, etc.) prepare for this wave of new users who will buy their computer From Dell (and eventually Best Buy, or Comp USA, or Office Max)?

If right now there are some 4 or 5 posts a minute on these forums, how will it work when next week I show up and there are 10, and the week after that there will be 20 per minute? I'm a little scared that it'll create stress on the forums. And that most peoples questions will go unanswered.

Another thing is IRC, I help out on #ubuntu about once a week and sometimes that channel is just bursting at the seams. I don't know how it can handle another user, let alone another thousand. What other avenues of help can I pursue that new users may be more willing to try and aren't as crowded yet? Perhaps defer them to someone doing an intro class, or to their loco team? (I mean, is the loco team the right avenue for that kind of a thing?)

I know that we as a community can handle it, I just want a little help knowing how the details of handling such a surge would work?

aysiu
April 27th, 2007, 04:52 PM
I'm more worried about the server going down because of the bandwidth than people's questions going unanswered.

The Ubuntu Forums are notoriously quick at answering easy-to-answer new user questions.

fanatik
April 27th, 2007, 04:52 PM
good point, how about making the forums more specific, and have more subsections.

just my 2 pennies (cents) worth!

:)

aysiu
April 27th, 2007, 04:53 PM
We've got plenty of subsections... some would say we have too many, actually.

Hendrixski
April 27th, 2007, 05:12 PM
I'm more worried about the server going down because of the bandwidth than people's questions going unanswered.

The Ubuntu Forums are notoriously quick at answering easy-to-answer new user questions.

I agree. We're lightning fast now because we have a good balance between the number of answerers and askers. What if suddenly we have todays number of answerers trying to handle tomorrows number of askers?

And I mean, more than just the forums (which rock btw) but the entire community, loco groups or irc. What are the protocols for overflow of support questions? How are we preparing for such a big event that will take even that much more dedication?

aysiu
April 27th, 2007, 05:16 PM
The answer's simple: I'll just call out more of my elves.

Honestly, though, if people buy Ubuntu preinstalled, half the questions we usually get won't be asked any more. The wireless card will have to work. The video card will have to work (maybe not the monitor, but that's an easy fix). The sound will work. Anyone who wanted a dual-boot would buy a Windows preinstalled computer (why would you buy a Ubuntu one and then pay for WIndows separately?). Even questions about "Should I install Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Xubuntu?" will be moot, since Ubuntu would be preinstalled.

I think that there may be an influx of forum activity (and other online activity), but there will also come a point where people will know enough people in real life that online support is relied on only for fringe problems, just as most Windows users now get support from more tech-savvy friends and relatives. If a lot of people are buying Ubuntu-preinstalled Dells, they'll help each other out in person.

By the way, I've moved this to the Cafe, since it seems a more discussion-oriented thread.

earobinson
April 27th, 2007, 05:18 PM
Im actualy not that worried. The forums seem to stay up fine during the release Feisty even when ubuntu.com went down.

+ Im sure dell will provide support also

KrazyPenguin
April 27th, 2007, 05:24 PM
I agree. We're lightning fast now because we have a good balance between the number of answerers and askers. What if suddenly we have todays number of answerers trying to handle tomorrows number of askers?

And I mean, more than just the forums (which rock btw) but the entire community, loco groups or irc. What are the protocols for overflow of support questions? How are we preparing for such a big event that will take even that much more dedication?


There are different levels of Answerers, just like there will be different levels of Askers.

As the Askers ask they will become the Answerers of the Future.

Also keep in mind that somebody purchasing a Dell w/ Ubuntu preloaded might actually be an experinced Linux user. They are purchasing the computer because they want all their components to work flawlessly OOTB.

Other users will purchase the Linux Computer and format it and install an illegal version of Windose, and save a couple of hundred bucks in the process.

Hardware problems should be less likely because the box is build for linux, resulting in less questions asked as far as hardware goes.

Better manuals, training videos, etc will also help solve this problem.

Maybe somebody should make a DVD and sell it on TV like that Windose dude does.
100% Free, just pay the $19.99 for shipping lol

and then we will send u a new linux dvd every other week for free, u just pay us $19.99 for shipping.

That's only $40 per month for the next 3 years!!!!

Hendrixski
April 27th, 2007, 05:32 PM
There are different levels of Answerers, just like there will be different levels of Askers.

As the Askers ask they will become the Answerers of the Future.

Also keep in mind that somebody purchasing a Dell w/ Ubuntu preloaded might actually be an experinced Linux user. They are purchasing the computer because they want all their components to work flawlessly OOTB.

Hardware problems should be less likely because the box is build for linux, resulting in less questions asked as far as hardware goes.

Better manuals, training videos, etc will also help solve this problem.

Maybe somebody should make a DVD and sell it on TV like that Windose dude does.
100% Free, just pay the $19.99 for shipping lol
and then we will send u a new linux dvd every other week for free, u just pay us $19.99 for shipping. That's only $40 per month for the next 3 years!!!!

I see what you're saying. So then the onslaught of new users doesn't in fact change the dynamic. And the finally getting rid of the hardware questions is a great point. I can't wait to not have to answer ATI questions anymore.

I'm also a little worried about that second part... Will people just assume that they have to go through the same things they did with Windows where they have to pay and the won't even realize there's a community? Because you know some bald dude on TV is gonna be like " just pay me money and I'll teach to use Linux". ... even though the screencasting team has dome some excellent howto videos.

Tomosaur
April 27th, 2007, 05:40 PM
But, you can't buy Dell computers in shops anyway, no worries. There isn't going to be some massive influx - people who don't already have computers are unlikely to buy Dell ones, and only those that know about Dell will buy one. I don't think Dell selling Linux is going to have a massive effect, it's just the first step on a long journey.

Hendrixski
April 27th, 2007, 05:46 PM
But, you can't buy Dell computers in shops anyway, no worries. There isn't going to be some massive influx - people who don't already have computers are unlikely to buy Dell ones, and only those that know about Dell will buy one. I don't think Dell selling Linux is going to have a massive effect, it's just the first step on a long journey.

Even for a long journey, it's a big step. Something about this sounds different, something that hasn't been done before.

Tomosaur
April 27th, 2007, 05:50 PM
Even for a long journey, it's a big step. Something about this sounds different, something that hasn't been done before.

Sure, no denying it, but even still, there's a long way to go before we should even concern ourselves with the tidal wave of interest. Dell simply won't provide it on its own.

tgalati4
April 27th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Hardware compatibility is key. With Dell doing testing at their labs, presumably they will put together a system that works out of the box. If they don't, then their reputation will suffer like Microsoft's. I don't think Mikey will allow that to happen.

With a solid, tested, hardware foundation that Dell can provide, I think the load on the forums will get easier. The numbers will increase, but the questions will be more streamlined. Just like the ATI graphics support as mentioned previously.

The beauty of Ubuntu, is once something is fixed, it tends to stay fixed. (Within a release that is!)

I think the real issue of support is release-creep. Does timed-releases still make sense? With Ubuntu increasing the longevity of current and older hardware, folks are less likely to purchase new.

We saw how MS's strategy worked--Add features (bloat)-->oops need new hardware to run. And on and on it goes. Businesses and individuals alike are making decisions daily--do I upgrade?

Unlike beauty cream, Ubuntu can really take years off of your computer. I see a bigger issue of new computers with poor-quality components--bad hard disks and optical drives. This will cause new users fits because those errors look exactly like OS problems. Ever see a CD reader hang? Makes you want to "control-alt-delete".

Everyone has hardware horror stories from the big manufacturers. That's where I think most of the posts will come from with additional traffic from Dell.

I'm not sure how scaleable the current Ubuntu forums are. But we'll find out soon.

Toadmund
April 27th, 2007, 06:05 PM
Can I assume we will be seeing the Penguin in the Dell flyers real soon?

So far all I see is, Vista this, Vista that, Vista gives you more! (of less)
All I see is M$ windows, never really bothered me before, but now it does. All the major electronics retailers carry nothing but windows pre-installed.
However, I am seeing powerful Macbooks comparable in price to PC's now (Future Shop), does this mean stores are starting to defy M$'s exclusive agreement? Never seen Macs advertised in Future shop flyers before.
Linux pre-installed everywhere, will it happen?
When enough people don't want and refuse Vista pre-installed it just might.

Naked, or Linux, or no buy!

reclusivemonkey
April 27th, 2007, 06:12 PM
It will be interesting to see what Dell's stance on support will be. Will they simply point people to the forum of whatever distro they choose, or take responsibility for their own hardware? Will they have a dedicated Linux forum?

aysiu
April 27th, 2007, 06:14 PM
It will be interesting to see what Dell's stance on support will be. Will they simply point people to the forum of whatever distro they choose, or take responsibility for their own hardware? Will they have a dedicated Linux forum?
From an official standpoint, do they currently support Windows? Or do they only support the hardware they sell?

In other words, if Windows gives you some weird ".dll file is missing" error, does Dell currently help you fix that problem?

jpatton
April 27th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Im actualy not that worried. The forums seem to stay up fine during the release Feisty even when ubuntu.com went down.

+ Im sure dell will provide support also

You might be right to a certain extent:

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8436091466.html

ronan001
April 27th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Hey, this is actually a help question, believe it or not. Because community is just as big a part of using Ubuntu as the software, if not more so. How can I (through forums, loco teams, etc.) prepare for this wave of new users who will buy their computer at Best Buy, or Comp USA, or Office Max, after Dell starts shipping it side by side with Windows computers?

If right now there are some 4 or 5 posts a minute on these forums, how will it work when next week I show up and there are 10, and the week after that there will be 20 per minute? I'm a little scared that it'll create stress on the forums. And that most peoples questions will go unanswered.

Another thing is IRC, I help out on #ubuntu about once a week and sometimes that channel is just bursting at the seams. I don't know how it can handle another user, let alone another thousand. What other avenues of help can I pursue that new users may be more willing to try and aren't as crowded yet? Perhaps defer them to someone doing an intro class, or to their loco team? (I mean, is the loco team the right avenue for that kind of a thing?)

I know that we as a community can handle it, I just want a little help knowing how the details of handling such a surge would work?

I would suggest if things began to get very busy on the forums that a sort of expert system would be needed to sort users questions into the right sub forums.

E.g. rather than waves of new users asking question after question many times repeating the question, the user would answer a couple of questions to narrow down their problem, and then the forum would automatically navigate them to the correct sub forum.

A second idea then would be too analyze the question they are asking by using the already entered information and also the text the user enters in the posting and before the final posting of the users message, present the user with a list of postings previously answered that could match their query.

This approach could cut down on extra posts and also discourage posts in random sub-forums.

Hendrixski
April 27th, 2007, 06:30 PM
I would suggest if things began to get very busy on the forums that a sort of expert system would be needed to sort users questions into the right sub forums.

E.g. rather than waves of new users asking question after question many times repeating the question, the user would answer a couple of questions to narrow down their problem, and then the forum would automatically navigate them to the correct sub forum.

A second idea then would be too analyze the question they are asking by using the already entered information and also the text the user enters in the posting and before the final posting of the users message, present the user with a list of postings previously answered that could match their query.

This approach could cut down on extra posts and also discourage posts in random sub-forums.

THAT is an excelent idea. So we triage the questions, much the way that Launchpad triages bugs. Now i know that forum ops do a bit of moving around of posts (like mine was put into general help, because, well, it is a help question, but now it's in chat). But what you're talking about is something more, where make sure it goes to the right place to be answered instead of being lost in the muck.

I'd like to hear more.

ade234uk
April 27th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Hey, this is actually a help question, believe it or not. Because community is just as big a part of using Ubuntu as the software, if not more so. How can I (through forums, loco teams, etc.) prepare for this wave of new users who will buy their computer at Best Buy, or Comp USA, or Office Max, after Dell starts shipping it side by side with Windows computers?

If right now there are some 4 or 5 posts a minute on these forums, how will it work when next week I show up and there are 10, and the week after that there will be 20 per minute? I'm a little scared that it'll create stress on the forums. And that most peoples questions will go unanswered.

Another thing is IRC, I help out on #ubuntu about once a week and sometimes that channel is just bursting at the seams. I don't know how it can handle another user, let alone another thousand. What other avenues of help can I pursue that new users may be more willing to try and aren't as crowded yet? Perhaps defer them to someone doing an intro class, or to their loco team? (I mean, is the loco team the right avenue for that kind of a thing?)

I know that we as a community can handle it, I just want a little help knowing how the details of handling such a surge would work?

Just out of curiosity, what size is the database that runs this thing, MySQL must be bursting at the seems. I have been put in a position @ work with running an auction site. I wonder to myself how long the server is going to hang on before we need to upgrade it again. At the moment we are needing to get a bigger server every 4 months. I am worried what will happen when we exhaust the amount of servers our auction package can run on. I think looking after any website, that involves thousands of page views a day can get very very stressful and since every user is different you just dont know what they are going to enter in to forums or how well in my case they list an auction. Some users will copy and paste from Word, and since this html code is crap it just makes the list longer to download and more work poor old MYSQL on the auction.

Sometimes I think I am out of my depth. Proper planning is so essential. These companies like the money, but they dont like it when the site goes down and nothing is coming in.

reclusivemonkey
April 27th, 2007, 06:56 PM
From an official standpoint, do they currently support Windows? Or do they only support the hardware they sell?

In other words, if Windows gives you some weird ".dll file is missing" error, does Dell currently help you fix that problem?

No idea! Thankfully I have never bought a Dell! They use them at work, but we don't even get any support from the ICT Department, never mind Dell. I did once work for a music website that bought Dell laptops. One of them had an error on boot, so that it wouldn't P.O.S.T. and therefore installing Windows again wasn't an option. I spent several weeks trying to convince Dell Support that although I had the install disk, putting it in didn't do anything but they either didn't understand, or just didn't want to accept the return. After about a month of ringing almost every day, they eventually accepted that it had to be returned.

EdThaSlayer
April 27th, 2007, 07:24 PM
If that actually happens then maybe at first we will be overwhelmed but then later once the first wave has finished we would have more people to help us take on the second wave.

prizrak
April 27th, 2007, 07:31 PM
Hendrixski,
Don't worry too much.
1) Dell will provide support for Linux as they do for Windows
2) They are selling it to businesses not home users, individuals buying them will know exactly what Linux (Ubuntu) is.
3) They are unlikely to sell Ubuntu in the first place they are alot more likely to use SuSE especially since they already gone through the trouble of certifying their systems with them.
4) Home users who would buy from the likes of Dell wouldn't even know that there are forums

zubrug
April 27th, 2007, 07:49 PM
I have been considering upgrading my hardware for sometime now. I am holding off on this waiting for dell's offering.
I believe that this is a very important development for ubuntu and I will support it. The importance of this is already being marketed and understood within the community and Dell will be given the attention it deserves.
Aysiu's elve's will appear in force.

KrazyPenguin
April 28th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Is it true Dell started shipping XP again if requested, due to many problems with Vista???

I know I read that somewhere.

:shock:

aysiu
April 28th, 2007, 06:25 PM
It's true.

Hendrixski
April 30th, 2007, 02:36 PM
Hendrixski,
Don't worry too much.
1) Dell will provide support for Linux as they do for Windows
2) They are selling it to businesses not home users, individuals buying them will know exactly what Linux (Ubuntu) is.
3) They are unlikely to sell Ubuntu in the first place they are alot more likely to use SuSE especially since they already gone through the trouble of certifying their systems with them.
4) Home users who would buy from the likes of Dell wouldn't even know that there are forums

prizrak.
I'm troubled by your fourth point. That essentially the new business users who buy from Dell will not be joining the Ubuntu Community, that they won't know about all of the documentation, support, forums, IRC, etc. etc. that we have worked so hard to build, as we were preparing for them to join us (albeit gradually).

It makes me think that it's not enough for us to just offer the help and community that we normally do, but that we do a fair amount of outreach and advertising, to inform people of (for example) the screencasts, the Windows Migration guide, the forums, IRC, the LoCo teams, and all the wonderful things that Ubuntu has to offer asside from just software.

forrestcupp
April 30th, 2007, 05:05 PM
We don't even know if Ubuntu powered Dells will even be available in Wal-mart and Best Buy, etc. I think that probably most of Dell's sales are from their website. They may only have them on their website, and not even put them in stores. If that is the case, the majority of people who buy an Ubuntu powered Dell may be people who are already Linux users.

macogw
April 30th, 2007, 05:12 PM
Dells aren't sold in Best Buy and CompUSA. They're only sold by phone or online at dell.com, and occasionally you'll see a Dell kiosk in the mall where you can place an order for one.

Wait, has Ubuntu been picked for Dell computers? Last I heard they were still tossing ideas around about which distros to offer.

Anyway, I like the idea of making more #ubuntu-* channels. There's already #ubuntu-effects. If we could direct users to different branches of IRC for different problems (and just send sound ones straight to #alsa), that would probablyhelp. I doubt freenode would go down from it, though a netsplit might not be surprising.

forrestcupp
April 30th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Dells aren't sold in Best Buy and CompUSA. They're only sold by phone or online at dell.com, and occasionally you'll see a Dell kiosk in the mall where you can place an order for one.

That's right. I was thinking that Best Buy sells them, but it is Gateway that they sell. So that makes what I said earlier even more true. More than likely, most people who buy one will be Linux users who want to support what they are doing.

Sunflower1970
April 30th, 2007, 06:27 PM
Dells aren't sold in Best Buy and CompUSA. They're only sold by phone or online at dell.com, and occasionally you'll see a Dell kiosk in the mall where you can place an order for one.

I read an article not too long ago. This might be changing with Dell. They are testing Dell stores. I believe there's one in Dallas, and there is supposed to be coming to Austin, too. Kind of like the Apple stores.

dca
April 30th, 2007, 08:23 PM
Nope. I'm playing Karnac the Magnificent with this one but Dell will only sell RHEL and/or SLED because of their limited release cycles... I'm leaning more towards SLED because of the polish. The real kicker is whether it will be Gnome or KDE?

Sweet Spot
April 30th, 2007, 08:37 PM
Which ever distro is going to make it, I just hope that Dell utilizes enough of their budget for advertising and education. This whole thing can totally backfire in the Linux communities face, if people who are thinking about migrating from Windows to Linux don't know that they won't be able to do the same type of gaming which they've been used to on their Windows box.

Sure the forums will help a small percentage of very enthusiastic immigrants, but for the most part, I can see people asking why they bothered (see:average Joe whom likes to play all the new Direct X necessary games).

And how about a bit of a pre-emptive education for already dissatisfied Windows or Mac users, that were always curious about Linux, but thought it was too much of a hassle to bother with ? A long road ahead for sure, but I'm just afraid that without the right tools and resources ($$$), this project may be over before it ever had a fair shot.

AlexC_
April 30th, 2007, 08:39 PM
Wait, what huh? Dell are now selling Ubuntu laptops? cool!

aysiu
April 30th, 2007, 08:44 PM
While education and advertising would be good, most people do not play the kinds of games that are Windows-only. (http://www.psychocats.net/essays/gamingperspective)

And I don't see Apple advertising a lot that you can't play a lot of the latest commercial games on Mac OS X, but people still seem to get that picture okay, and it doesn't turn Mac users off from switching to Mac.

I think a great way to advertise it would be as the "average person's PC"--no frills and no extra hardware requirements; perfect for checking email, surfing the web, managing photos, listening to music, and working with documents... and avoiding viruses and spyware.

If people think that's all it's good for (and that it's good at those things), you'll attract the proverbial "Joe sixpack" and "grandma," and if others find out quickly that you can do some sophisticated photo editing, vector graphics, programming, and web design, those will only be bonuses thrown in.

It's much better to undersell a relatively unknown product than to oversell it. Ubuntu and/or Linux evangelists tend to oversell the advantages of the OS, making it sound as if it does everything Windows does and is more secure, free of cost, and free of restrictions. If new users come in with those kinds of expectations, they're bound to be disappointed... and leave.

Swab
April 30th, 2007, 08:52 PM
I see a lot of you are talking as if Dell has announced they will be shipping machines with Ubuntu. Is this the case? It's been asked a couple of times in this thread without answer.

prizrak
April 30th, 2007, 08:52 PM
prizrak.
I'm troubled by your fourth point. That essentially the new business users who buy from Dell will not be joining the Ubuntu Community, that they won't know about all of the documentation, support, forums, IRC, etc. etc. that we have worked so hard to build, as we were preparing for them to join us (albeit gradually).

It makes me think that it's not enough for us to just offer the help and community that we normally do, but that we do a fair amount of outreach and advertising, to inform people of (for example) the screencasts, the Windows Migration guide, the forums, IRC, the LoCo teams, and all the wonderful things that Ubuntu has to offer asside from just software.

The thing is that Dell is basically the beginning, once business start switching home users will start switching. The home users are the ones who will eventually find out about the forums and the community. Ubuntu help system does link to the forums so the community will keep growing. There is also a pretty large number of IT professionals that are still tied to the Windows platform for one reason or another. Not all Ubuntu users will be part of the community but it will still grow. After all we only want those who want to be here in the first place :)

prizrak
April 30th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Which ever distro is going to make it, I just hope that Dell utilizes enough of their budget for advertising and education. This whole thing can totally backfire in the Linux communities face, if people who are thinking about migrating from Windows to Linux don't know that they won't be able to do the same type of gaming which they've been used to on their Windows box.

Sure the forums will help a small percentage of very enthusiastic immigrants, but for the most part, I can see people asking why they bothered (see:average Joe whom likes to play all the new Direct X necessary games).

And how about a bit of a pre-emptive education for already dissatisfied Windows or Mac users, that were always curious about Linux, but thought it was too much of a hassle to bother with ? A long road ahead for sure, but I'm just afraid that without the right tools and resources ($$$), this project may be over before it ever had a fair shot.

For like a millionths time, Dell is only THINKING of pre loading Linux on BUSINESS desktops and laptops. Far as I know right now they will offer a SLED certified system with FreeDOS rather than support any distro. You won't have J6P picking up leeenooks on the Inspiron it's gonna be IT purchasing departments of companies.

ThinkBuntu
April 30th, 2007, 09:07 PM
We could make it really hard to register. Then fewer people would come.

IDEA: We could ask some "newbie" style questions at the registration process. If they get these wrong, they're turned away to a page linked to an Ubuntu Wiki article that clearly answers each question.

Oh, and I'm just kidding.

Note: Dell will probably upsell (or require) support with Linux computer purchases.

Sunflower1970
April 30th, 2007, 09:14 PM
I see a lot of you are talking as if Dell has announced they will be shipping machines with Ubuntu. Is this the case? It's been asked a couple of times in this thread without answer.

No, not yet. I think it's basically speculation since Mark Shuttleworth said there'd be a big announcement of some sort this week, as to what it is it's anyone's guess...

Swab
April 30th, 2007, 09:17 PM
No, not yet. I think it's basically speculation since Mark Shuttleworth said there'd be a big announcement this week...

Ah, ok. Where did he say this? Can't see anything on his blog.

Sunflower1970
April 30th, 2007, 09:20 PM
I read it from a link given here in the Café. I believe it was from an IRC interview he was giving...?

Sweet Spot
April 30th, 2007, 09:21 PM
For like a millionths time, Dell is only THINKING of pre loading Linux on BUSINESS desktops and laptops. Far as I know right now they will offer a SLED certified system with FreeDOS rather than support any distro. You won't have J6P picking up leeenooks on the Inspiron it's gonna be IT purchasing departments of companies.

Sorry mister. I don't sift through the hundreds of threads here on a daily basis, nor would I think to 'search' for something related to whether or not the distro of choice is being implemented on a business level only. I go to school Mon-Thurs and then work Fri-Sun, which leaves me some very sparse time to soak in new info pertaining to Linux, or anything related, in general.

So thanks, for reiterating the information to such an uninformed drek such as myself. :rolleyes:

aysiu
April 30th, 2007, 09:23 PM
I've retitled the thread until we get a definite announcement from Dell and/or Ubuntu about this.

aysiu
April 30th, 2007, 09:26 PM
For like a millionths time, Dell is only THINKING of pre loading Linux on BUSINESS desktops and laptops. Far as I know right now they will offer a SLED certified system with FreeDOS rather than support any distro. You won't have J6P picking up leeenooks on the Inspiron it's gonna be IT purchasing departments of companies. This is from Dell's Ideas in Action page (http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/ideastorm/ideasinaction?c=us&l=en&s=gen):
Dell has heard you and we will expand our Linux support beyond our existing servers and Precision workstation line. Our first step in this effort is offering Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems. We will provide an update in the coming weeks that includes detailed information on which systems we will offer, our testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution(s) that will be available. The countdown begins today.

prizrak
May 1st, 2007, 01:03 AM
Sorry mister. I don't sift through the hundreds of threads here on a daily basis, nor would I think to 'search' for something related to whether or not the distro of choice is being implemented on a business level only. I go to school Mon-Thurs and then work Fri-Sun, which leaves me some very sparse time to soak in new info pertaining to Linux, or anything related, in general.

So thanks, for reiterating the information to such an uninformed drek such as myself. :rolleyes:

Actually it was mentioned in this thread a couple of times.

prizrak
May 1st, 2007, 01:04 AM
This is from Dell's Ideas in Action page (http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/ideastorm/ideasinaction?c=us&l=en&s=gen):

So like I saind thinking ;)

brim4brim
May 1st, 2007, 01:27 AM
Hope they do. I like Dell machines because of the customisation you can do when buying laptops from them. With full hardware support for Linux, you could just buy one without waiting for drivers for Linux like I had to when I got my current Dell (ATI drivers).

I don't think it will be Ubuntu, it should be but they'll want a more corporate partner such as Novell IMO.

Compucore
May 1st, 2007, 01:45 AM
What about i we went geographically by groups. And sub divided it that way by province or by state with people who know or are more specialized in handling specific needs to certain areas that they know what they are talking about. Like one person may know know more about configuring modems more than another. And we might have someone else who might be really handy in configuring video cards that are using ati, Nvidia, or X brand of chipset. Right now I know this is just speculation with ubuntu and dell. I am just tossing out some idea technician wise since some area's are more complexe in configuring than others. So its just a matter of finding out on how to deal with that as well. I used to be good in cinfiguring both external and internal modems when it came to using dos. ANd how to set them up and optimise them for a specific telecommunication application for example.

Compucore

Tundro Walker
May 1st, 2007, 02:19 AM
1) If Ubuntu is the chosen distro, I'd think they'd work with Ubuntu dev's to make sure the next distro is fully compatible with all hardware Dell would use in whatever systems they're going to roll it out on. (This might have the added benefit of Dell pressuing hardware manufacturers to create Linux drivers.)

2) A lot of the support questions in the "Beginners" area focus on Ubuntu not working with hardware. If Dell takes care of #1 above, they'll limit a large portion of support requests

3) Another large part are from folks having trouble installing. If Dell pre-installs on compatible hardware, well, again, doing #1 will alleviate a large portion of these support-type questions.

4) If there is a huge influx of Dell / Ubuntu users, and it seems to crowd out other non-Dell users, I'm sure the Forum Admins would open up a "Dell Only" support area. It's not like the issues would be different than the "Beginners" area...IE: folks that provide support to others would just see it as another forum where they could provide tips, advice, etc. But, from the Dell-User's perspective, it would probably get their attention, and they'd focus their questions and search for support there over other places. (This is not me saying a "caste" system should start, IE: Dell users get better or worse treatment. I'm just saying, if you have Dell users, making a Dell forum section would instantly grab their attention and they'd likely hang out there more, helping to corral their questions to that area. And, folks wanting to help them would at least immediately know those folks are using Dells.)

prizrak
May 1st, 2007, 03:06 AM
4) If there is a huge influx of Dell / Ubuntu users, and it seems to crowd out other non-Dell users, I'm sure the Forum Admins would open up a "Dell Only" support area. It's not like the issues would be different than the "Beginners" area...IE: folks that provide support to others would just see it as another forum where they could provide tips, advice, etc. But, from the Dell-User's perspective, it would probably get their attention, and they'd focus their questions and search for support there over other places. (This is not me saying a "caste" system should start, IE: Dell users get better or worse treatment. I'm just saying, if you have Dell users, making a Dell forum section would instantly grab their attention and they'd likely hang out there more, helping to corral their questions to that area. And, folks wanting to help them would at least immediately know those folks are using Dells.)
Reply With Quote
Haven't thought about it but it does make quite a bit of sense. After all we have System 76 forum so why not a Dell one ;)

What I really hope the by product of Dell's Linux adoption is services like Vongo offering Linux clients as well as Windows. Right now that's my biggest issue with building an HTPC, while DVD playing and DVR functions are great being able to watch on demand movies would be great.

Hendrixski
May 2nd, 2007, 03:12 AM
So now that it's official can we change the title of this thread to not say "speculation"

oh yeah, and let's get more people in on the discussion

aysiu
May 2nd, 2007, 03:15 AM
So now that it's official can we change the title of this thread to not say "speculation"

oh yeah, and let's get more people in on the discussion
I've changed the title back

haricharan
May 2nd, 2007, 03:20 AM
I guess ubuntuforums should be hosting on multiple servers...the newbie sections shud be given more priority (in bandwidth) since there wud be more of those questions.....

Hendrixski
May 2nd, 2007, 03:21 AM
Which ever distro is going to make it, I just hope that Dell utilizes enough of their budget for advertising and education. This whole thing can totally backfire in the Linux communities face, if people who are thinking about migrating from Windows to Linux don't know that they won't be able to do the same type of gaming which they've been used to on their Windows box.

Sure the forums will help a small percentage of very enthusiastic immigrants, but for the most part, I can see people asking why they bothered (see:average Joe whom likes to play all the new Direct X necessary games).

And how about a bit of a pre-emptive education for already dissatisfied Windows or Mac users, that were always curious about Linux, but thought it was too much of a hassle to bother with ? A long road ahead for sure, but I'm just afraid that without the right tools and resources ($$$), this project may be over before it ever had a fair shot.

That's a very, very good point. what if this backfires? Aysiu pointed out how we tend to oversell Linux, which is (as far as the market is conerned) a relatively unknown product. The hype may not meet peoples' expectations.

Will we as a community change out tone to become better, more aware, marketing professionals. Each of us? Because that would be awesome.

Hendrixski
May 2nd, 2007, 03:22 AM
I've changed the title back

Thank you.

Did anyone ever tell you that you rock?!!

aysiu
May 2nd, 2007, 03:25 AM
Thank you.

Did anyone ever tell you that you rock?!!
Yes. Surely not as much as Hendrix, though!

As for the overselling--particularly with Dell already selling Ubuntu and (hopefully) doing some advertising of it as well--it would behoove the community to be as honest with people as possible about what to expect with Ubuntu... both the benefits and the limitations.

Hendrixski
May 2nd, 2007, 03:28 AM
The thing is that Dell is basically the beginning, once business start switching home users will start switching. The home users are the ones who will eventually find out about the forums and the community. Ubuntu help system does link to the forums so the community will keep growing. There is also a pretty large number of IT professionals that are still tied to the Windows platform for one reason or another. Not all Ubuntu users will be part of the community but it will still grow. After all we only want those who want to be here in the first place :)

You have made yet another excellent point (why didn't we have these types of discussions in college instead of talking about how there weren't any hot girls and all the parties sucked???).

The pattern of Linux migration started with the backoffice (i.e. Servers) so it should be totally apparent that they would then move to the front office, before finally moving to users home users. I just hadn't quite thought of it that way before, but you made it apparent.

Note: there was an intermediary step ... embedded systems, where Linux has made a HUGE impact.

prizrak
May 2nd, 2007, 02:18 PM
You have made yet another excellent point (why didn't we have these types of discussions in college instead of talking about how there weren't any hot girls and all the parties sucked???).

The pattern of Linux migration started with the backoffice (i.e. Servers) so it should be totally apparent that they would then move to the front office, before finally moving to users home users. I just hadn't quite thought of it that way before, but you made it apparent.

Note: there was an intermediary step ... embedded systems, where Linux has made a HUGE impact.

I dunno why we didn't talk about cool stuff like that in college, I blame Simone ;)

Sweet Spot
May 2nd, 2007, 02:55 PM
It's going to be harder than I think a lot of us may want it to be though, this whole 'fine tuning of the publics' perception'. First we have to be honest with our selves, and not be swayed by the cloud of our own experiences. What we have to do is realize what it is which makes people whom aren't even aware of a product (let alone care about anything outside of the average person's daily routine) that can ultimately be to their benefit, see that they shouldn't be discouraged by trying something new.

Apple has been on the warpath in trying to turn Windows users into Mac heads with their TV campaign for quite a while now, and as we all know, Apple has the $$ with which to continue these operations. They also have quite brilliant advertising schemes, which do seem to suck people in. Part of the irony here, is that the Linux community needs to employ (IMO) these same types of tactics to work for them, and then try to convince average users that they can be as productive on their workstations/desktops whatever, as they were with Windows or a Mac, yet NOT PAY FOR IT ?

Therein lies a big part of the problem, believe it or not. My professor said that the weakest part of my speech draft (which was based on an argument to persuade people to use Linux vs. Win) was that Linux distributions can be had for free, and distributed without the same repercussions as one would face if they pirated a Win OS CD, that it seems too good to be true. Then you have the whole argument of how can free software be better than that which you've paid for. But please, I'm not the one who needs convincing. I'm not exactly your average Joe whom doesn't like to explore the outer boundaries of his surroundings.

But the bulk of people out there, which we SHOULD be targeting eventually, are. What WE also have to realize, is that this project is going to rely mostly on the passion and fervor with which the Linux , Ubuntu and Dell uppers are capable of dishing out. As far as this particular community is concerned, I've no doubt that everyone here is going to have at this with nothing but good intentions, but it's crucial to understand that our own agendas, as well as passion for what goes on here, aren't always shown in a very clear manner. That is to say, (to a point) that a lot of people here are too passionate for their own good, and tend to even scare away people whom ARE enthusiastic about getting into Linux/Ubuntu.

I'm kind of going off in different directions here, but I feel that there are more than a couple issues that need to be addressed. So I'll try and get back at this later. And for the record prizrak, even if Dells intentions are to ship Ubuntu with business class laptops/desktops, that honestly doesn't make a difference in terms of what I had said. True, hardcore gamers will not look for a business class lappy when they shop around, but that's not taking into consideration the balanced laptop/desktop user. Besides, that's also like trying to say that Ubuntu its self, couldn't run an Open GL game on a new Dell laptop, which it had been running on some old crappy computer for years now...

My point was that all bases should be covered. You take the bull by the horns and attack head on. A lot of people probably feel like this should start small. Take baby steps, test the market, and see where it goes from there, right ? But do you guys think that Microsoft is going to just sit still, and allow people to be swayed by any of this ? Not likely. I'm betting that there will be a bunch of things going on under the cover of darkness over at the Redmond camp in order to either keep the Linux project under wraps, or something even more aggressive. Nothing from those bastards would surprise me, really. Ok, sorry. Now I'm just getting edgy and nervous.

(psst, also for the record. I probably should have, but didn't read every post in this thread. So I missed the 'mention' those times too.)

Doug

Hendrixski
May 2nd, 2007, 03:02 PM
I dunno why we didn't talk about cool stuff like that in college, I blame Simone ;)

LOL. He's retiring at the end of this year you know. So all of a sudden people are starting to have many nice things to say about him.

I would also blame the world, it just wasn't ready for us. Linux was just a nerd toy then, now it's becoming the trendy new thing thanks to Ubuntu. We are in the middle of an open source revolution where YouTube, Wikipedia, and mySpace are dominating the headlines, so the world is finally ready for a user generated operating system, and for the oppinions of people like us. So now we can talk about this stuff freely.

:-) So when Hordes of Dell users start showing up on our forums we'll be the embassadors of the the "YouTube generation" to business.

inigmatus
May 2nd, 2007, 04:02 PM
I would certainly hope that help documenation for 7.04 would be available on help.ubuntu.com by the time Dell starts shipping.

Does anyone know what the hold up is?

prizrak
May 2nd, 2007, 08:58 PM
And for the record prizrak, even if Dells intentions are to ship Ubuntu with business class laptops/desktops, that honestly doesn't make a difference in terms of what I had said. True, hardcore gamers will not look for a business class lappy when they shop around, but that's not taking into consideration the balanced laptop/desktop user. Besides, that's also like trying to say that Ubuntu its self, couldn't run an Open GL game on a new Dell laptop, which it had been running on some old crappy computer for years now...

Don't see how one has anything to do with another. However I will explain myself in further detail.

Business users don't go on a forum to get help they call their IT departments. Business users purchase support contracts from Canonical. Business users do not try running the XGL/Compiz/Beryl on their systems. Also business users will not be buying a Linux desktop/laptop without knowing what it is.

Most users who go on the forums are home users and those tend to have hardware compatibility problems. Like my Bluetooth not working out of the box or the special keys (my own experience). A balanced user will not bother to pick up an OS he/she never heard of. Moreover they will be calling Dell not these forums.

prizrak
May 2nd, 2007, 09:05 PM
LOL. He's retiring at the end of this year you know. So all of a sudden people are starting to have many nice things to say about him.

I would also blame the world, it just wasn't ready for us. Linux was just a nerd toy then, now it's becoming the trendy new thing thanks to Ubuntu. We are in the middle of an open source revolution where YouTube, Wikipedia, and mySpace are dominating the headlines, so the world is finally ready for a user generated operating system, and for the oppinions of people like us. So now we can talk about this stuff freely.

:-) So when Hordes of Dell users start showing up on our forums we'll be the embassadors of the the "YouTube generation" to business.

Hehe yeah I heard. I actually had RedHat installed back then but it wasn't viable as my only OS on the desktop. You are right open source has reached critical mass.

deanlinkous
May 2nd, 2007, 09:49 PM
I just want a little help knowing how the details of handling such a surge would work?

Lets see. A thousand ubuntu users go buy a dell. How does that create a surge?:confused:

macogw
May 3rd, 2007, 12:13 AM
So like I saind thinking ;)
Read the 4th row under the Pre-Installed Linux heading

Hendrixski
May 3rd, 2007, 03:32 PM
Lets see. A thousand ubuntu users go buy a dell. How does that create a surge?:confused:

*sigh. There's always a pessimist. What if it's 1,000 ex-windows users buy a Dell with Linux? each month. ON TOP of the few thousand people who discover Ubuntu every day. That's a surge. And so far we've learned a lot from this thread.

Hendrixski
May 3rd, 2007, 03:37 PM
Business users don't go on a forum to get help they call their IT departments. Business users purchase support contracts from Canonical. Business users do not try running the XGL/Compiz/Beryl on their systems. Also business users will not be buying a Linux desktop/laptop without knowing what it is.


My understanding is that Canonical Support pushes low-level questions down to the LoCo teams, or IRC, etc. Because they don't want to deal with "where's the start menu". No. They want to deal with "I get a kernel panic when doing a certain task, it's been a registered bug since 1998, could you fix it please" because that actually improves the OS.

So we (the forums and LoCo teams) ARE Ubuntu support for the small stuff. We scale better than traditional tech support, but I still wonder how we'll work out the kinks as we scale.

sanderella
May 3rd, 2007, 03:43 PM
Dell has its own Linux forum now!!!

http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board?board.id=sw_linux

People are already posting questions to that forum. I did and got a good answer for my ongoing wireless problems :) :) :)

Hendrixski
May 3rd, 2007, 04:10 PM
Dell has its own Linux forum now!!!

http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board?board.id=sw_linux

People are already posting questions to that forum. I did and got a good answer for my ongoing wireless problems :) :) :)

SWEET. yeah, those forums look pretty positive
So Dell has a community support model now as well. Rock on!

prizrak
May 3rd, 2007, 04:16 PM
My understanding is that Canonical Support pushes low-level questions down to the LoCo teams, or IRC, etc. Because they don't want to deal with "where's the start menu". No. They want to deal with "I get a kernel panic when doing a certain task, it's been a registered bug since 1998, could you fix it please" because that actually improves the OS.

So we (the forums and LoCo teams) ARE Ubuntu support for the small stuff. We scale better than traditional tech support, but I still wonder how we'll work out the kinks as we scale.

Well business users will most likely not have simple questions like that, they got IT departments to handle it ;)

Hendrixski
May 3rd, 2007, 04:35 PM
Well business users will most likely not have simple questions like that, they got IT departments to handle it ;)

IT staff use forums for help as well.