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Thread: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

  1. #1
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    Linux Friendly Computer Repair? [UPDATE]

    I know this may sound kind of odd, but is there any central repository to keep track of computer repair shops that are kosher when it comes to Linux? I looked around town and noone advertises it at all. There's no information from any of the mom & pop shops. I called about ten of the local ones and each of them stated they would work on computer systems with Linux, no difference in cost.

    So here's my thought, shouldn't this be branded and slapped with a logo? Set up a web site to search for a repair center near you by country/zipcodes?
    Last edited by Spr0k3t; December 12th, 2010 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    It sounds like a good idea, the only suspicion i have of the mom/pop shops that will work on linux computers is that they probably don't know much about the software but are willing to work on the hardware. There is no difference in the hardware aspect.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    I did take a bit to look into that. One of the areas I staged was hypothetical support problems with the installation itself. Questions like "Error Grub 17" fix, or "unable to load broadcom wireless drivers on my laptop". Some of the hypothetical support questions were not far from what we see here on the forums. Only one shop out of the ten said they have never run into the problem but would be willing to give it a shot (no charge if they couldn't figure it out).

    My theory on this, people don't trust Linux as there's no "repair" or "support" readily available in their area. If this problem was branded, and brought to the attention of smaller "mom & pop" computer repair shops, the logic would readily reverse itself to a well supported environment. One of the top five misconceptions of Linux would be completely gone if something like this were set in motion. Most of the shop owners I've spoken to on this have all agreed that a branding would help drive revenue for them. Two of the ten shops I interviewed said there was no money to be made in free operating systems but would be interested in the PR for their shop.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    I manage the in-shop and network departments of a mom and pop shop. Both me and the VP are very fluent in Linux, and we do work on Linux software. We will sometimes hand out live CDs for people to get on Facebook with due to all the rogue ware some people are attracted to. We do not however advertise that we work on it, just as we don't advertise we work on Apple software issues. But if you request it we'll do it.

  5. #5
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by qalimas View Post
    We do not however advertise that we work on it, just as we don't advertise we work on Apple software issues.
    Just out of curiosity, why? The marginal cost of advertising Linux support is close to zero; I doubt you'd even have to pay to use the Tux logo in print or on the web. Do you think it would drive away the Windows users by making you look too geeky? Do the owners not want to sell machines with Linux installed and worry that they'll be asked to do so if they advertise Linux support?

    I'd think it would give you a competitive advantage compared to all the Windows/Apple-only shops. I realize that Linux users are a very small minority, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't take advantage of your services if they knew about them.

  6. #6
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why? The marginal cost of advertising Linux support is close to zero; I doubt you'd even have to pay to use the Tux logo in print or on the web. Do you think it would drive away the Windows users by making you look too geeky? Do the owners not want to sell machines with Linux installed and worry that they'll be asked to do so if they advertise Linux support?

    I'd think it would give you a competitive advantage compared to all the Windows/Apple-only shops. I realize that Linux users are a very small minority, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't take advantage of your services if they knew about them.
    Owner himself is weary of Linux due to FUD. He doesn't like the idea in general so we don't push it. However, we are getting him slowly closer to doing so. I built a ClearOS box for the shop to merge our internet connections, and he's been selling them to customers. Linux is in on the networking side, we're closer to having it sold as servers, but far from the desktop. His idea there is we make too much money fixing Windows. But again, if someone asks for it he won't say no.

    Besides, do you know how ignorant the average computer user is? They don't want to learn. I know people who have to call us to ask how to change their connection IP for a VNC system we setup...

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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by qalimas View Post
    His idea there is we make too much money fixing Windows.
    Ah, capitalism at its finest. It sounds like the "planned obsolescence" strategy that the auto companies were accused of the 1950's and 1960's.

  8. #8
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    Personally, I think Spr0k3t is on to something: To have a "Linux friendly service database" would give many not-so-technically-apt users a place to find local businesses that do support Linux. It would be of benefit, not only to it's users, but also the businesses involved. As a PC user, I would think that it would be in my best interest to take my computer to a business that supports it, as opposed to taking it to one that doesn't (e.g., an Apple store). Using that logic, wouldn't it be more appropriate to take my Linux PC to a business that supports Linux, as opposed to a business that supports just MS Windows, or Apple? I would venture to guess that a business who supports Linux would be able to address my Linux problem in a much more prompt and efficient fashion than a business who occasionally "dabbles" in Linux. As a computer & networking consultant who completely supports Linux, I would love to be on that list. Remember: Most FOSS-based businesses make their money from selling services, not software. To me, it directly relates to the computer repair industry, in that selling services is by far the most profitable part of doing business.

  9. #9
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    As a matter of fact in about a month I'll be working as a tech in a shop and plan on advertising Linux support. Not only Linux repair but Linux builds as well. As a Linux advocate I take the position to help anyone interested to learn about and use Linux. I'll let you know how this works out. I'll probably end up to my ears with Windows issues instead.
    It's okay, I'm a limo driver

  10. #10
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    Re: Linux Friendly Computer Repair?

    I'm sure there are several owners who wouldn't want to do any support for Linux due to the number people who wouldn't be repeat customers... of course. Windows problems are so easy to fix for the most part. The owner of one store I contract for is the one store who is hesitant to do any advertising as well for the reason of "no money in Linux". However, being able to charge the normal rate for an hours worth of resources on more computers is better than limiting it to just Windows.
    Last edited by Spr0k3t; November 20th, 2010 at 10:00 PM.

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