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Good Products are hard to find

I work in IT Support and am often on call. As it's a real pain having to cart around a heavy laptop/notebook everywhere I go, I decided to get a mini-laptop/netbook such as the ASUS Eee PC ( http://wikipedia.org/ ). These are great little laptops that weight approximately 1 Kilogram (depending on the model) and measuring somewhere around 225mm x 165mm x 30mm making them hightly portable.

I originally purchased the 701 as they were suitable enough and the only real model that was available at the time. The Linux versions were the most common, which suited me fine as I am a Linux only user anyway (I don't run Windows on any of my machines). I found the screen size a little small however and when the 901 was released, I sold the 701 and decided on a 901.

I checked out many different suppliers but could only find the Windows version. It would seem no matter where I looked, only Windows. I even tried JB Hifi ( http://jbhifi.com.au/ ) but no luck there either. No suppliers would even order one in. It took months of monitoring and contacting various suppliers, and frequent visits to the most excellent price comparison website StaticIce ( http://staticice.com.au/ ). In the end I luckily managed to find one supplier that had a 901 with Linux!

More recently I wanted to purchase a new phone and decided I wanted to combine my PDA and phone into one. I naturally figured that since I'm moving from a Palm ( http://www.palm.com/ ) PDA to an all in one solution, I should investigate a Palm made phone.

Turns out they make them but unfortunately the more recent ones run the horrible Windows Mobile OS - something that I have used in the past and had terrible experiences with.

In fact, there was only one phone still on the market that ran the Palm OS, and it was exclusively sold by Telstra ( http://telstra.com.au/ ) and only as a pre-paid phone, namely the Palm Centro ( http://www.palm.com/au/ ).

So, my search began. I went to approximately 20 phone stores in the Melbourne CBD without success, 5 of which were "Telstra dealers" (I was not aware of the exclusivity at that point), but all had the same reply: "Don't have any, but we do have these ones running Microsoft Windows Mobile". I even tried to order one in without success. In the end I had no choice but to buy a Palm Treo 780 off eBay from America.

What's my point? I had good money to spend on good products yet it was near impossible to do so. Had I have not been so persistant, I might have simply purchased a Windows based Eee PC (installing Linux on myself) and bought a Windows Mobile running phone.

Poses the question, how many people are "settling" for things and ultimately counting to market statistics. No matter how good a product is, if it's not available people cannot buy it (or even see it for that matter) :(

Permalink 01/04/09 04:36:13 am, by Todd Harbour Email , 504 words, Categories: Linux, Rant, Marketing , 4 comments »Send a trackback »

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Comment from: Andy Botting [Visitor] · http://www.andybotting.com
I know how you feel. I found a Linux Eee PC 901 no problem, but then a workmate wanted one, and couldn't find one.

Apparently MSY have them. They're on the price list, but if you ask them about the Linux one, they freak out.

With the phone.. I got an Android developer phone. A little pricey with the AU$ right now, but worth it. It's a really nice device, and fully supported in Linux (if you use the Google stuff though)
06/04/09 @ 11:21
Comment from: Todd Harbour [Member] Email · http://www.quadronyx.com.au/blogs/fallen/
Andy: My main reason for not getting the Android phone is I was disappointed to discover the whole thing is Java! For me that's an issue - I'm not a fan of Java as a development language and I don't much like how it runs either.

Oh well, I can always hope for the OpenMoko ( http://openmoko.org/ ) guys to get sorted.
06/04/09 @ 16:48
Comment from: Mike Garcia [Visitor] Email · http://mgarcia.org
I got a MSI wind with 2gig o' ram and over clocked to 1.9ghz.. biatches!

running XP!!!! it's ok tho, because it looks like win95! and runs like a bitch on heat! - that's freedom ;)

ha.. you purist make me sick.. nah not really.. i admire it.. somewhat.. what a burden to bare!

and phones.. my skype phone on 3 kicks ass! it's a Facking phone!!!
10/07/09 @ 12:30
Comment from: Todd Harbour [Member] Email · http://www.quadronyx.com.au/blogs/fallen/
Mike: The MSI's aren't too bad true. Most of these "netbooks" at this point are more or less the same from what I've seen. I think most of the other brands are like the EeePC 1000 series though, 10" screen, HDD and HEAVY - too big for me :P

As for XP... eh... it doesn't seem to run too bad on my girlfriend's 1000 series - though Ubuntu runs better on it ;)
22/07/09 @ 01:49

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