[svlug] Linux preinstalled laptops...

Larry Cafiero larry.cafiero at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 15:32:43 PDT 2015

Steve said:

"I'm willing to 'take one for the team', but at a 50% to 100% price
premium? And, given their pricing, are they really on my team?"

Well, let's see . . . since they're not mass-producing computers, you
have to expect that, unlike Dell or Asus, they're going to be a little
more expensive. And being a smaller company than, oh, let's say Dell
or Asus, their equipment is going to cost more because of the higher

The Malmroses -- Earl and Cathy -- who run ZaReason live pretty
modestly in Berkeley. They're not in mansions like Michael Dell or
Jerry Shen. Unlike Dell or Shen, the Malmroses' company doesn't sell
thousands of pieces of hardware of varying quality, but Earl and Cathy
are keeping the lights on, paying their bills, and putting their kids
through school just like everyone else.

However, they ARE providing hardware that is specifically designed for
Linux and FOSS, to say nothing of great service to go with their
exceptional hardware. The only piece of "new" hardware I've ever
purchased is a ZaReason Alto 3880 laptop which is no longer being sold
but it is still running (and my daughter has claimed it by eminent
domain in my household for gaming. Yes, gaming). The only service it
has needed was a fan replacement under warranty.

Sure, I could have gotten two pretty good used ThinkPads for what I
paid for the 3880, but I decided to, as you put it, "take one for the
team." I decided that, yeah, when I buy a new computer, I'm not going
to allow this one to count in the Microsoft Windows column when it
comes to tallying sales. I took one for the team because it's a matter
of walking the walk and supporting hardware makers specifically making
Linux hardware, even at a price that was a real stretch to make. I
also got to choose my distribution, unlike System76, which will give
you anything you want as long as it's Ubuntu.

So yeah, ZaReason is on MY team, Steve. Maybe you and I aren't on the
same team, though.

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