There hasn't been much discussion about vendors yet, please make suggestions here!
Some vendors like Dell have been removed since they appear to make it almost impossible to buy systems with anything other than Windows, even if they sell such systems. Until companies like that actually make it easy to buy systems running GNU/Linux, they don't really belong in the list, in my opinion. -- pboddie 2012-01-08 18:07:34
Feel free to update their entry on the page! They are already listed, but maybe some more information would be helpful. I intend to make the table sortable in the near future for easier comparison of the vendors. -- pboddie 2012-02-25 19:59:28
You are right, they were already listed, sorry. Anyway I added some info. Would Rockbox make sense to be listed on that page as well? It's a free replacement firmware for digital music players. Here's my small review. -- netgeek 2012-03-02 20:39:16
Thanks for the update! Rockbox is also already there, but maybe we can make a page with more information about such initiatives, especially if you have experience with it. I see that there's an Evaluating gadgets page, which talks about initiatives and projects rather than vendors, and I've tried to incorporate both kinds of things into the vendors page, but I can see topics like Rockbox and OpenMoko outgrowing the vendors page. Anyway, any information is really welcome! -- pboddie 2012-03-03 00:48:16
It might be useful to grade vendors according to a scale indicating whether...
- They offer systems without any OS.
- They actually offer such systems at a lower price than those which bundle a proprietary OS.
- They offer Free Software distributions pre-installed, and if so, whether the pricing doesn't look as if you're still paying for Windows.
- They offer distributions without proprietary drivers.
- They support Free Software projects in some way, perhaps through donations of funds or equipment or through sponsorship.
- They provide complete control over the hardware and reject mechanisms (Trusted Computing, Secure Boot) that restrict the range of software that can be installed by the customer.
Some vendors just happen to sell systems without an OS. This is very welcome, given that the big names insist on bundling Windows and advertising Windows on their sites, but for anyone wanting to support Free Software more actively, or for those wanting a reliable solution that officially supports a Free Software distribution, it might be better to choose vendors offering pre-installed distributions. -- pboddie 2012-01-30 14:03:33