February 26, 2004

LinuxCertified keeps expanding its range of services

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

Not long ago, it seemed all LinuxCertified did was run "Linux Boot Camps" that helped new users master the operating system's basics in a few days of intense instruction. Now the company is moving into more online Linux training and general Linux migration consulting, and is pushing hard to position itself as a major vendor of laptops preloaded with Linux.The boot camps aren't cheap -- according to LinuxCertified marketing director Morgan Lim, tuitions run as high as $1,900 -- but students get to keep the refurbished IBM ThinkPads they are issued as learning tools, which makes these intense learning sessions' high prices more palatable, especially since they are aimed primarily at corporate-sponsored students who need to get a rapid injection of Linux knowledge, not at hobbyists or casual users trying to improve their Linux skills.

The "camps" are also a fast way to cram for the RHCE or LPI exams. While Lim says only about 20% of all LinuxCertified graduates -- as far as he knows -- go on to take those exams, he believes the vast majority pass without any problems. "So far we have heard of hardly anyone failing," he says, "so the percentage is very high. In our marketing docs, we say 95%."

LinuxCertified also offers onsite training for groups of four or more, where they send an instructor to your company instead of you sending students to one of their class locations. And for people on tight budgets, they offer distance learning classes ranging from a very basic Manager's introduction to Linux for under $30 up to a Linux System Administration Distance Learning Program for $349 that includes direct preparation for the LPI exam, as well as for the CompTIA Linux+ or Sair Linux and GNU certificates.

And now, Linux laptops

LinuxCertified's newest laptop offerings, as of this writing, are two models that come equipped with Xandros Desktop OS. Either one costs just under $1,400. Other offerings, with different model numbers, can be ordered with Debian, Red Hat, or Lindows.

For those who don't have $1,000+ to spend on a laptop, LinuxCertified also offers refurbished IBM ThinkPad 600E and 600X models for, respectively, $529 and $749. These venerable stalwarts run 400 MHz (600E) and 500 MHz (600X) microprocessors and have more than enough RAM to run most Linux applications at a pleasant pace, although they certainly wouldn't satisfy Windows XP's hardware hunger.

(NewsForge and/or Linux.com will review both new and refurbished LinuxCertified laptops before long, and we invite other Linux laptop and desktop PC vendors to contact us and arrange product review. Reviews are among our most widely-read articles. IBM, Dell, HP, and other major PC distributors may not believe there's much of a market for Linux PCs, but our readers certainly seem hungry for them.)

Unabashed boosterism and proud of it

This article shamelessly promotes a private, for-profit company that helps people learn about Linux, helps companies migrate to Linux, and sells computers preloaded with Linux. We believe there is more Linux-based small business activity than most people realize. If you know of a small company that's doing good things for Linux and Open Source but isn't getting much attention, please let us know. We love to write about commercial Linux and Open Source success, and we believe that, in the greater scheme of things, spreading the word that Linux and Open Source can be good business is as important as reporting on technical advances.


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