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New project coming: Linuxpreloaded.com

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ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13

Hey all,

We are about to release a new website, a one-page listing of vendors pre-installing GNU/Linux on computers.

The project is almost completed and you can view the site from the SVN repository:

http://svn.gnulinuxmatters.org/linuxpreloaded

We don't intend to build a comprehensive list or database (there are two out already, 1 and 2), but simply a convenient listing that any average user would be willing to dig into. This means, that we selected vendors very carefully.

We have no commercial partner now, but we intend to generate a small revenue from this listing in the coming months. Ideally this would be on a pay-per-order basis (meaning, we would earn a small percentage on sales generated through the site). We will strictly never hide this from visitors - and the site already reflects this.
Once the site is up we will link to it from various places on GGL.o and GLM.o .

We would love to hear your feedback. As I am writing now the site needs a few code tunings for validation, as well as a contact page, but the content is not intended to change anymore. Because of the particular nature of the site (intended commercial activity) we are a little hesitant as to "opening" the development of the site (i.e. how much we should say about our intentions, to whom giving write access, etc...) but if you wish to get involved, by all means stand up ;-)

If you are asking yourself questions about GLM and money, we are shortly going to run a one-month fund drive, which should give more details about where we are and how much we want or need.

Thanks for your attention ;-). I'm looking forward to any comment you may have.

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Cool stuff, but how do I

Cool stuff, but how do I look at the index.htm in a way that will render it in a browser without downloading all files locally and running from there? On that svn link I just get the source in firefox so can't exactly comment on general looks and stuff like that. Eye

In any case it seems like a good idea and I wish you best of luck with it. We might be able to help a bit with publicity.

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
great idea

Very useful idea. I'd say to just make it a page on GGL, but let's keep GGL completely noncommercial.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
To actually browse the

To actually browse the files you need to download them on your computer through the SVN protocol. This requires the svn package installed on your computer (on Ubuntu, Synaptic does it easily) and typing some command-line code, which I forgot ;-) I use a GUI, RapidSVN, which makes it much easier (all you need to do is do a checkout of the repository at the url above). Another good GUI is KDEsvn.
HTH, sorry for the delay.

The website is now online, although this is not an official release. We are still testing things and setting up a Spanish translation. Thanks for your proposal - we'll attempt a digg later on and any publicity will be welcome.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
We thought about it but in

We thought about it but in the end we went for a separate website indeed.

StevenBrady's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-09
Site's looking pretty slick

Site's looking pretty slick already. I'm quite liking it.

I don't see any information on becoming a commercial partner. Am I missing something? Or is that something that needs to be privately messaged about?

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Indeed. We're quite open as

Indeed. We're quite open as to the commercial arrangements, and because it's a delicate situation we'd rather do the discussion privately. This should not be a problem however, since sadly PC vendors that don't do Windows primarily are to few and far in between.
If you want to become a commercial partner we're all ears Eye

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
It looks great. Nice work.

It looks great. Nice work. Smiling

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Just discovered a new

Just discovered a new vendor of PCs with GNU/Linux preinstalled: http://novatux.com/

(They also happen to sell Ankh 2: Heart of Osiris. That's how I found them. Eye )

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Nitpick

Is this pic http://linuxpreloaded.com/linux_computer.png more computer generated than based on an actual screen? A high quality digital pic of a real monitor, post modified to suit needs, should sport a much richer texture. As an example see: http://linuxpreloaded.com/zareason.png . Check these out in a magnified form (inside any paint program or through a screen magnifier). The difference is not huge, but there is a difference. Imperfections may not be good for producing compact vector graphics files, but they cost no extra space with pixel based files. Subconsciously, I think the added richness (imperfections) of the second pic makes it seem of slightly higher quality.

Sorry not to contribute an alternative example, but I am still very short on experience editing graphics and movies. I do think that this is a very important detail that makes some Windows-based professionally done promotions look "alive". The impression to a user might be of higher quality material because the images showcased look richer and more lifelike. The perception being that the computation is more advanced and better able to simulate reality. Also the impression is that it simply "tastes" better. Who doesn't prefer high resolution for example? It's not just to remove rough edges. It's because more detail appeals in many cases.

Call me crazy, but this is pure packaging and IMO a reason Microsoft gets much undue success.

[BTW, I am not criticizing the website appearance. I am expressing an untested opinion about how a relatively small change may add a few more points in the eyes of some or maybe many visitors. I may be wrong about the impact on people (but we can test it out) and I may be wrong about the level of detail present/absent in that first pic (though I did look under the magnifying glass).]

End of nitpick.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Hi KIAaze, Thanks for

Hi KIAaze,

Thanks for bringing this up. Novatux is actually listed on the French site; he is not on the English site because there is no English website (yet?).

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Hi Jose, you have good

Hi Jose,

you have good eysight ;-)
The "logo" image of the monitor with "free software" is indeed an SVG graphic I made based on an OpenClipart drawing.
The Zareason one is a (low-resolution) photo with some various modifications.

You are right that some high-quailty stock photography could be useful here; however it all costs... time.

Jose wrote:

Call me crazy, but this is pure packaging and IMO a reason Microsoft gets much undue success.

I certainly won't call you crazy, you are fully right here.

I have filed a bug for it in our linuxpreloaded tracker (the first ticket! ;-)). Sadly I won't be able to work on it for a little while (it would not be reasonable). If anyone wants to tackle it, they're most welcome. We could even provide a small budget for possible stock photography if it makes sense.

Thanks very much for pointing this out... I love to see this kind of comments and criticisms, it's very productive...

Olivier.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Maybe we could do something

Maybe we could do something with Blender? Although I'm not a GFX-guy I think modelling a TFT shouldn't be too hard. This we could render in whichever resolution we like, and we could put on the TFT whatever we like, a screenshot, or prepared artwork, or a mix of both.

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Joined: 2007-09-10
I didn't say so before, but

I didn't say so before, but simple works, too. It depends. In that particular page, I think I would have liked that picture to have been a little more something. Maybe if all the pictures had been of the same style I wouldn't have noticed.

Anyway, it's nice you have a ticketing system, and I also wouldn't exactly call a user's quarter-gripe about a pic a showstopper. I took advantage of the opportunity to bring something up that I had been meaning to say for a bit. Among most of the FOSS crowd, there are many aspects of a website or presentation that are valuable beyond the glitz and polish, but many other users will judge quality and administer their time based on the "professional" look or lack of it above anything else (sell them Windows and they'd hardly notice or remember).

Volunteers are always in short supply and that is what most people contributing likely are. Once you have the meat of the site working (or maybe before) focus on how you gain the attention of people with skills you'd like to have contribute. OK, I am sure you are already doing this, in part by posting here. I would like the benefits of the FOSS way be shared more among artists. Appealing to them so that they come on board would really help Linux reach mainstream. And yes, there are artists among us. Supply is short however, and few of these focus principally on art.

Nothing new, just adding my 2 cents worth to the vote totals.

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Joined: 2007-09-10
.. and we could "skin"

.. and we could "skin" (with rich textures or not) various portions of it as needed.

There are some great blender tutorials. I would like to be able to spend more time to learn and practice modelling. I also hope we can tap more into the crowd that breathes doing this for a living. In this sense, I think wooing gamers is a great idea. [I am refering to the gamefest. Naturally, wooing gamers also brings in numbers and works toward eliminating what many still consider a weaker side of Linux.]

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Based on info from this

Based on info from this link http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/article.php/31771_3714986_3 , I made my way over to Zonbu and this page holding videos http://www.zonbu.com/software/demo.htm .

Ubuntu also has a nice video site.

Besides how great it is to have easy to follow useful demos for any website that wants to cater to ..almost anyone, I think it would help the potential of the site to raise revenue (which I belive is one of the goals).

***

As reptiler mentioned a few hours ago, 3d models would be a good (great) idea. I noticed Zonbu has some such renditions on their homepage: http://www.zonbu.com/home/index.htm

***

A testimonial section would also do wonders. A bunch of reviews out on review sites are probably completely planted by interested parties, but if so that would be because they likely work well when "done properly."

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Joined: 2007-09-10
Interesting article. Never

Interesting article.
Never heard about Zonbu, gOS or eeePC (What?! Asus selling a GNU/Linux PC?) before.

I really liked the Zonbu video. Never thought about this Matrix scene like this. Great idea to put it in there. Smiling

Only thing I didn't like about their site is how hard it was to find what OS they were using. Apparently it's a Gentoo based distro. The info is there, but hard to find.
But normal customers wouldn't be interested in that anyway, so it's not that bad. Smiling

For those interested:
Zonbu->Based on Gentoo
gOS->Based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian
eeePC->Uses Xandros, based on Corel Linux, based on Debian

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I attached a pic I am

I attached a pic I am currently working on in Blender. It's still not much more than a cube with a pic on it and a text, but I just wanted to give a first impression of what I'm playing with.

Next thing to do is putting on a stand and adding some buttons.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Honestly I really doubt

Honestly I really doubt that a Blender model will be better than the current graphic. Real-world texture and lighting are extremely difficult to reproduce; also, in this case a 3D model isn't really required since we only make use of one picture... hope this is not too pessimistic but I really believe we are better off with some stock photography if we want to bring a difference compared to the current graphic.

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Joined: 2007-09-10
The model is looking nice

The model is looking nice and we can layer it with any texture we want. It does seem like too much work for a single pic, but a project made out of this effort might lead down the line to more than just a logo for this or for related websites.

Maybe we can start a new forum thread on nuxified for those that want to help develop it.

The graphic and/or model can also serve as a nice contribution to FOSS. I am particularly interested in seeing move forward projects that provide this sort of material that can be used to help FOSS grab Joe/Jane's attention.

Consider posting to thetuxproject.com also: http://www.thetuxproject.com/forum/438

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Joined: 2006-03-28
Well, it's not like I'm

Well, it's not like I'm spending a lot of time on it. And as said, I'm no graphics-guy, so on one hand it's not so easy for me, on the other hand it's something I like to play around with and hope to improve.

So, although this might not be necessary I think I'll still continue, just to improve a bit with Blender, and then maybe we use it, or maybe not. Won't matter very much to me. I've rendered other things before, more complex stuff that even rendered for up to an hour or two, and it's just sleeping on my HD, without anybody else knowing of it's existence. ;-)

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