Site review: Linux users go to L


Author: Tina Gasperson

It’s a play on words. It sounds like a trip that should be anything but pleasant. But each day more people are finding out L is a good place to be — L, as in Linux. At you can track the adoption of the Linspire flavor of Linux all around the world with a high-tech version of a pin map. Little points of light illuminate areas where people have installed Linspire, formerly known as Lindows.Each day there’s a new map with pretty lights on it. Mind you, it’s not clear exactly what numbers the lights represent. There’s a legend that shows the color red means 0-5 adoptions, all the way up to the color yellow, which indicates adoptions on the level of anywhere from 100 to 1,000. But the points of light are white, a color that is not accounted for on the legend. However, if you click through to the maps that show total adoptions for the past week and the past month, the numbers are easier to see.

The maps are nice, but they kept me amused for a total of 60 seconds or so. The more interesting part of the site is the list of official “L-raisers.” These are people who have influenced others to install Linspire or even helped them to get set up with one of those $199 desktop PCs with Linspire already installed.

The list has more than 800 names on it, but the first 11 or so have accompanying photographs and testimonies. It is always “inspiring” to read about how others have made the switch from another OS to Linux, and these little tales are no different. Like the student at the San Francisco Adult School who started flashing the Linspire demo CD around in his A+ repair class and convinced several of his classmates to try it. Or the computer repair technician in Hollywood who gave a speech about Linspire at his Toastmaster’s meeting and “inspired” a flurry of interest, giving out 10 demo CDs and actually convincing three people to get rid of Windows and run solely on Linux.

You don’t hear stories like this enough. I don’t agree with everything Linspire CEO Michael Robertson does, but he and his team are doing a great job of introducing Linux to the general public, making it accessible, and telling the world about the success stories.


  • Migration