04-14-2012 03:47 PM
This is just a report. I don't expect much, if anything for responses but I wanted to at least report my experience as a high-end customer.
I am a software developer and use my machines to write Java based N-Tier website applications. This means at least 3 big servers (think MySQL, and perhaps 2 application servers) on one machine plus a powerful application for writing code called an IDE. So yeah, I need juice. I also need prefer Linux but will settle for Windows. Yes, I know Linux is not supported by Best Buy and I'm OK with that. Hardware not supported by Linux I am not OK with. Under those circumstances, this power customer will be required to purchase hardware elsewhere. Usually though, this is not a problem.
I bought a Sony Viao model VPCF115FM and later discovered that the nVidia graphics drivers although present, didn't work at all. OK, no problem. That happens on Linux sometimes and you just have to suck it up. I made that machine a Windows only machine for which use it is halfway decent although franky I don't use it much. Mostly I watch Netflix on it since Netflix is not a standards compliant website and doesn't work on Linux as a consequence.
Six months later I bought an ASUS model G73JH. These problems happened on Windows. It BSOD's (Blue Screen Of Death for the layman) due to a known bug in the USB drivers that no one has ever fixed. No, cusotmers don't care who is responsible for fixing it, we just want it fixed. Also, due to a known bug in the graphics drivers, it locks up. Also never fixed. Now for something that actually crashes the machine, you would think they would push an update. I shouldn't have to scour the network for something like that, but I did and trust me, I was thurough. No fixes.
Sorry, Best Buy but if you won't sell stuff that works on either Windows or Linux, I have to shop somewhere else. Since there usually isn't much worry about a PC being able to run Windows, my newest machine was purchased from System76 and is Ubuntu Linux certified. I'll re-configure it with a Windows partition when it arrives. I no longer buy ASUS, Sony or hardware from Best Buy. It's just not practical.
04-14-2012 03:57 PM
Well hopefully Best Buy will manufacture those models better next time........oh wait!
04-14-2012 04:08 PM
04-14-2012 06:18 PM
I feel you. As a Linux user (currently using Lubuntu as I am typing this) on an old desktop computer with an nVidia card, I have no love for nVidia. Their graphics cards and drivers outright blow for Linux. If I ever decide to splurge and get a nice desktop computer from TD with no OS and stop being a cheapskate, the computer WILL NOT have an nVidia card in it.
04-16-2012 10:26 AM
Regarding the Sony... It's a little silly to call the laptop a lemon because the linux drivers are crappy. It runs fine on Windows, you said... Most laptops are designed that way, hence why the manufacturer's don't release linux drivers.. or drivers other than for the supplied OS in most cases.
It's one reason why I don't like laptops, really. Driver availability not non-standard OSes is usually horrible. Maybe there is a company, such as Sager or something, that will be able to guarantee linux drivers are avilable for the hardware.. Just a thought for the future..
04-16-2012 10:28 AM
Should I consider my Dodge Intrepid a Lemon because it's particularly bad at Mud Riding? Yes, I know that it wasn't made for Mud Riding, but I want to do that with my car and it won't do it well so it must be a Lemon, right? Right???
04-16-2012 12:26 PM
04-16-2012 12:45 PM
OK but I don't see what good it will do.
1. I've already ordered my latest gear from somebody else.
2. Best Buy is not about to start supporting Linux but IMHO they should consider it and they should also consider supporting your local Linux User Group (LUG) as those guys buy a ton of tech. and not just Linux stuff. Cells, pads, etc. You name it. Guys who go to LUG meetings are hardened technophiles. Really, Best Buy needs to pay more attention to the social aspects of marketing and I don't just mean online. You could leverage such groups, for example, to test Linux on various Best Buy machines for you and post the results and in that way you could get better customer satisfaction by having answers available when they ask, "Does this run on Linux? If not, what can I do to fix it so that it does?"
3. ASUS hasn't recalled anything to my knowledge so unless you have a really big "stick" to beat em with... ;-)
04-16-2012 12:58 PM
If Best Buy gets a machine and has someone test it with Linux, they can't sell that unit as new anymore. Every device they let someone test for linux compatibility will be a loss for them.. With so many different models of laptop and models being discontinued in such short periods, it'd be a very.. unwise.. business decision. Then, whose responsibility is it to cover those losses? That's something that the manufacturer would be more able to do.
Even then, just because one linux distro runs on the machine, doesn't mean they all will, from my understanding. That means that they'd need someone to test different distros of linux on that machine. I don't know many people who will volunteer to do that...
Throw in the fact that the individual, non-commercial/non-business linux userbase is still fairly small and it makes it even less of a priority. And, let's face it, 99.9% of people that buy laptops from Best Buy will never even consider putting linux on it, and of those 99.9%, I'd say that less than 50% even know what Linux is.