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gn2
October 21st, 2009, 05:51 PM
It seems that EfficientPC (http://www.efficientpc.co.uk/), a supplier of pre-installed Linux machines is to close. :(

Swagman
October 21st, 2009, 05:56 PM
Bummer

Sealbhach
October 21st, 2009, 06:08 PM
It's nice that they ended on a positive note:



With the widespread availability of pre-installed Linux computers from mainstream retailers, our goal of bringing Linux to the mainstream has succeeded, so we gracefully retire.

.

Niko Johnson
October 21st, 2009, 06:14 PM
That is sad news.. but at least they did leave on a good note

hoppipolla
October 21st, 2009, 06:33 PM
That's a shame ._.

Their reasons for going are good though, and yeah Linux is gradually becoming more mainstream! It truly is all up from here! ^_^

I hope they enjoy whatever they go on to do next :)

patrick field
October 23rd, 2009, 10:27 AM
The message on the Efficientpc website claims 'our goal of bringing
Linux to the mainstream has succeeded, so we gracefully retire'.


From my point of view - as a currently out-of-pocket customer of Dale
Jefferson(Efficientpc Ltd) – his exit seems less than graceful.

I bought a machine from him in November 2008. It has had persistent
hardware problems and was returned to his base in York twice for repair.
Each time it was sent back – with no explanation of the fault or what had
been done to correct it - then it worked for a few weeks only for intermittent
freezes to start again. I spent a lot of time trying to diagnose and
correct the fault – or faults - but eventually returned it for a third
time.

Machines fail, fail randomly, but for a well run business these problems
are a chance to show customers how efficient you are. My attempts at
cooperation, my patience and courtesy were met with late and curt
communication. I returned the machine for the last time on 13 of August
2009. As usual I received no word that it had arrived, only on 26 of
August a message explaining that the fault had been traced and could be
fixed, and would I like the machine returned or a refund?

I asked for the refund, suggesting that I take this credit as part
payment for a machine from Dale's current range.

Since then I have heard nothing from Dale Jefferson. I reminded him a
few times by email of my offer. Then told him I was buying a replacement
machine elsewhere and would like to accept his offer of a refund.

I repeated my request for a refund in a registered letter signed for at
his address in York on 7 of October; still no communication.

Dale is evidently alive and in at least a fair state of health, since he
has recently been active via the following media:

http://digg.com/users/dalejefferson
http://identi.ca/dalejefferson
http://twitter.com/dalejefferson
http://blog.dalejefferson.com/


The sum involved is relatively small. I'm surprised he would risk his
reputation over such an amount? Presumably he can pass a warranty claim,
up the supply chain, to the manufacturer of the defective machine?

When replacing the machine supplied by Efficientpc I tried to find one
with Ubuntu pre-loaded from a 'mainstream' supplier, with no success.
This and the unwillingness of Dale to communicate with me over a
relatively small sum of money, point to other reasons for the closure –
graceful or otherwise – of Efficientpc.

In a spirit of openness can Dale share with the free software community
the wider lessons of his time spent trading? What was the level of
customer satisfaction?

Are the problems I've experienced with slow responses and recurring hardware faults exceptional? Does he plan to
honour his commitments to make refunds? If not, will he admit that he has stopped trading because of financial and other
difficulties, and not really for the reasons stated on the website?

edin9
October 23rd, 2009, 11:09 AM
Not exactly a surprise. This guy had an MSN account that he used for enquiries which was basically on all day. But if you ever tried to get in contact with him it was virtually impossible. Even when I did manage to actually get a reply, it took forever for him to respond. And the responses were unhelpful at best. Hardly efficient.

earthpigg
October 23rd, 2009, 11:21 AM
based on the above two responses, it sounds like he tried to move into a niche market as the only supplier thus giving him a virtual monopoly within that given niche.

when you have a monopoly, you don't need good customer service to ensure a steady flow of customers.

when dell, et al, started selling Linux machines targeted at the home desktop, he lost his monopoly and quickly went out of business.

edin9
October 23rd, 2009, 11:32 AM
based on the above two responses, it sounds like he tried to move into a niche market as the only supplier thus giving him a virtual monopoly within that given niche.

when you have a monopoly, you don't need good customer service to ensure a steady flow of customers.

when dell, et al, started selling Linux machines targeted at the home desktop, he lost his monopoly and quickly went out of business.

You may have a point. I found this post.



To explain.. Initially I set up EfficientPC to help out the community in my spare time, but found most interest from companies. it seemed the community could build their own pc's. I tried to make myself look as big as possible and registered the company as a limited company. (It seems to have worked!) I had success from software development companies and the like, over 90% of sales. Lately after the Dell Ubuntu deal almost all of my business sales have gone leaving just the community. Since the Linux format review I have had a massive response from the community, Thanks Wink BUT I have struggled to handle the large number of sales emails and questions. My image as a large company does not help. EfficientPC does not pay a full time wage yet, so I don't advertise my number. I work with trading standards to make sure everything is legit, but I will double check I don't have to legally advertise a phone number. I've setup a launchpad account for bugs and questions, so i'm not answering the same questions over and over again. I will spend more time making sure your questions are answered, please resend them if I have not got back to you. I will be releasing the python script I use for setting up the systems as GPL on launchpad. https://launchpad.net/efficientpc I am launching a new product range next week because the Pundit P1-AH2 has gone end of life Sad , I have a few left, then it will be taken off the website. So to make it clear, EfficientPC is one person (me), trying to help the community by providing quality custom hardware with Ubuntu preinstalled. Your support and kind words have always made me feel it is a worthwhile project. I will try to sort out a blog so you can see what im upto and feel more involved. Any feedback or advice is always welcome..

coldReactive
October 23rd, 2009, 12:43 PM
It's nice that they ended on a positive note:


With the widespread availability of pre-installed Linux computers from mainstream retailers, our goal of bringing Linux to the mainstream has succeeded, so we gracefully retire.

.

Best Buy doesn't carry linux machines, neither do office max, circuit city, office depot, etc.

Dell is a manufacturer, not a retailer.

ukripper
October 23rd, 2009, 01:13 PM
Sad! We need something like System76 in UK - http://system76.com/index.php?cPath=27

pwnst*r
October 23rd, 2009, 02:10 PM
Best Buy doesn't carry linux machines, neither do office max, circuit city, office depot, etc.

Dell is a manufacturer, not a retailer.

they sell direct from their website via storefront. that's not a retailer?

coldReactive
October 23rd, 2009, 02:43 PM
they sell direct from their website via storefront. that's not a retailer?

A manufacturer sells their product to retailers so that the retailers can sell their product.

A manufacturer that sells their product through their own direct means us buying direct from the manufacturer.

gn2
October 23rd, 2009, 04:36 PM
Best Buy doesn't carry linux machines, neither do office max, circuit city, office depot, etc.

Dell is a manufacturer, not a retailer.

Manufacturer is one thing Dell definitely isn't.
Dell hardware is manufactured by ODMs like Clevo, Quanta, Compal etc.

macogw
October 23rd, 2009, 04:46 PM
Manufacturer is one thing Dell definitely isn't.
Dell hardware is manufactured by ODMs like Clevo, Quanta, Compal etc.

They're a system-builder. So are System76 and ZaReason. It's just that Dell is mainstream...

patrick field
October 26th, 2009, 11:32 AM
I'm pleased to report that following my posting here around 10:30 on Friday (23/10/09) I received confirmation of the refund mentioned at 11:23, very efficient.



'Mainstream' suppliers don't appear to provide a widespread or continuous supply of hardware with Ubuntu pre-loaded
.

One truth behind the claimed crash in demand for Efficientpc's products may be that downloading and installing the distribution is so straightforward that anyone, with the confidence to experiment with it, can do it for themselves?


Which is good news.