View Full Version : In-store hardware compatibility testing with Live CD?

October 26th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Hey everyone. Just wanted to know if anyone's gone computer shopping and taken a Live CD (not necessarily Ubuntu) along to test the demo models for Linux compatibility? Any interesting or unexpected technical results? Did the salespeople give you a hard time, or did they actually have a clue?

October 26th, 2007, 01:09 AM
I don't know if they'll yet you do that, Though you can tell them that's a MAJOR factor in the purchase of that computer.

Nano Geek
October 26th, 2007, 01:13 AM
Recently we went to Best Buy and, surprisingly, they let us run the Ubuntu live CD on their laptops.

Unfortunately, the disk that I brought was scratched. :(

October 26th, 2007, 01:15 AM
I tried it once when a salesman wasn't looking, and when he came back did basically that. He wasn't happy but I just played snotty customer and he backed off. "You want me to buy this computer or not?" Maybe he was on commission. ... :-k

October 26th, 2007, 03:56 AM
I've done it. Depending on what store you're in, be prepared for some "resistance" once they are onto you though. May not happen, but be prepared.

Nevertheless, an open-minded salesperson in a not-busy store will probably let you explore till your hearts content once you explain the LiveCD concept. Pick and choose where and when you go, and you stand a better chance than you would at Best Buy on Sat or Sun afternoon.

Its a great way to check hardware compatibility and show others the Linux Way, just be prepared :)

October 26th, 2007, 05:41 AM
Thanks for the good responses so far. Pretty much what I was expecting. I mean, I don't want to be a jerk to some kid at Future Shop who's just trying to earn a paycheque, but on the other hand, I'm not dropping hundreds of dollars on a laptop that I can't do my job with.

I need to see hands-on that it works or else I'm walking out the door with my money. I think if you encountered a salesperson who's there because they're into computers, you'd be alright. If you encounter a salesperson who's there because they're a salesperson, maybe not so much. I'd imagine somewhere in their training, they're told to watch out for people trying to screw around with and/or load software onto their demo systems, probably with no room for exception, however legitimate.

October 26th, 2007, 12:34 PM
I once tried every laptop I woud consider buying with the Ubuntu Live CD, or a bootable USB. The sales people didn't mind, and actually were interested in Linux.

They even called other people over to help, when I had a problem with one distro.

October 26th, 2007, 01:19 PM
I've never tried it, but I can imagine it might work better if you have an official (shipit or bought) Ubuntu cd, rather than something you've burned.

I might try it next time I need to buy a laptop.

October 26th, 2007, 01:37 PM
I did it twice in different stores (chains, even). Both time I asked politely. In both cases salespeople did know the term 'Linux' and not much more but were interested to have a look. They were also a bit nervous in case I damaged the OS on the disk in any way. It seems they are not equipped to renew the factory-installed Windows if it is overwritten.

It might have helped a bit that I am of a 'mature' age and can convey the impression that I know what I talk about.

In case one (Acer travelmate 1290, I believe) all went fine, even the WLAN. I bought it. The live CD was Knoppix if I remember it correctly. I did not regret buying that machine even though the technology and the design are both less than thrilling. However, at that time I had had enough thrills from the laptop which had just died on me.

In case two I just wanted to test one of the shiny new hp laptops with a dazzling display. In that case, Ubuntu got stuck somewhere and never finished starting. No sale.