2003 Readers' Choice Awards

Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting—now, on to the results.
Favorite Programming Language
  1. C++

  2. C

  3. PHP

Quick, everyone to your keyboard: the flame war begins in 5, 4, 3, 2....In a reversal of last year's winner and runner-up, C++ moved into first place in 2003 by a mere 23 votes. Perl, meanwhile, got kicked out of the top three for the first time in the history of our awards. Continuing the C theme, C# is the favorite write-in vote.

Favorite Office Program
  1. OpenOffice.org

  2. AbiWord

  3. KOffice

For 2003, we combined Office Suite and Word Processor into a general Favorite Office Program category, which was won handily by OpenOffice.org. Out of 6,650 votes, 4,317 went to OpenOffice.org, followed by 477 for AbiWord. Free, featureful office programs are a good thing. And kudos on the significantly fewer write-ins for MS Office—have you made the switch or are you not talking about it anymore?

Favorite Processor Architecture
  1. AMD Athlon

  2. Intel Pentiums

  3. AMD Opteron

The frenzy of all things Opteron extends to this year's Readers' Choice Awards, where it premieres as your third-favorite architecture. Last year's third-place choice, AMD Duron, slips down to fifth place, with fourth place going to PowerPC. For the third year in a row, though, Athlon is the top choice.

Favorite Portable Workstation
  1. QLi 15" AMD Notebooks

  2. QLi Pentium 4 Notebooks

  3. QLi Centrino Notebooks

Another category new to this year's awards, Favorite Portable Workstation didn't receive nearly as many votes as other categories. And most of the votes we did receive came as write-ins. Almost everyone selected a laptop as their favorite, although the Zaurus picked up a handful of votes. Other popular write-ins were laptops by Dell and IBM, as well as Apple PowerBooks.

Favorite Network or Server Appliance
  1. Cyclades AlterPath ACS

  2. CommuniGate Pro

  3. SnapGear SME 550

We added this category to the awards for 2003 because of the sheer multitude of offerings on the market. The winners plus the many write-in votes demonstrate the variety of products that can fall under this heading. It seems a lot of you are using Cyclades AlterPath ACS (advanced consoler server) to manage networks remotely. And Linksys routers are near and dear to many voters' hearts.

Favorite Server
  1. SGI Altix 3000

  2. IBM DB2 OLAP Server

  3. Tyan Thunder K8S

It was our snazzy February 2003 Altix cover story, wasn't it? Or, did voters stumble across the big Altix machines on display at LinuxWorld New York 2003 last January? Either way, the love affair with the Altix 3000 is officially underway. Dell, HP, Sun and Compaq split the write-in votes, while some wonder why you'd buy a server when you can build one yourself—homemade was the first choice of the write-in voters.

Favorite System Administration Tool
  1. Webmin

  2. YaST

  3. Ximian Red Carpet

With the plethora of sysadmin tools now available, we figured it was time to give them their own category. Automatic updating tools had the most mentions. Capturing more than 30% of all votes, Perl-based Webmin is the winner. Coming in at a distant second is SuSE's YaST. Many voters, of course, said they need only a command line and vi or vim in some combination to handle their sysadmin tasks.

Favorite Text Editor
  1. Vim

  2. vi and clones

  3. GNU Emacs

Last year, Vim beat vi by twice as many votes; this year it received three times as many. The rest of the top three holds steady this year as the Emacs folks find more and more things they can do with it. But where's the love for Elvis? A mere 14 votes this year is the best we can do? As for Kate, having made the move to the official list this year, it winds up in fourth place.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re: 2003 Readers' Choice Awards

Anonymous's picture

I was pretty fond of my QLI laptop until I tried to get it repaired.

In September, 2003, the power regulator on my QLI Emperor Laptop went belly-up. I emailed QLI and they recommended that I send it to them for a repair estimate. On September 20th I did. I haven't seen the laptop since. It's now February, 2004.

At the end of September I wrote in to ask if they'd received the laptop, and they replied "your system is being evaluated, and we should have a repair estimate in the next 5-7 days." Three weeks later I wrote to ask about the estimate and was told "give us a day or two and with all luck we will have your estimate, and possibly even the parts needed."

Ten days after that (now we're at the end of October), they respond to my increasingly worried email: "The best info we've been able to gather on that unit so far is 'No Problem Found'... We will keep you posted as soon as we hear word."

This is starting to look bad. Over a month after receiving my laptop, they've gone from saying they're on the verge of having the parts needed to repair it to saying that they haven't found any problem. I call QLI and talk to a representative there who tells me that the motherboard will have to be replaced because the power regulator is part of the motherboard and can't be replaced seperately. I ask them to send me a repair estimate for the motherboard replacement.

On November 11th, they finally send me an estimate: "The repair estimate is $475.00 to completely fix the system, as there is a motherboard/power connector problem." I decide to go ahead with the repairs and I PayPal the $475 to QLI the same day. I ask QLI: "Do you have any estimate for when the repairs will be complete?"

The response: "We ask, and get back to you later today or tomorrow. Our rough guess would be about a week."

They did not get back to me "later today or tomorrow" so on November 28th I asked again: "Do you have an estimate as to when the repair work will be done and I'll have my laptop back?"

On December 2nd they replied "Your system is at the manufacturers facility in China/Hong Kong. We have been charged for the replacement part, however that is their standard policy for any out of warranty service. We can drop a note to them and see how things are progressing.... As we are updated, we will pass information along to you."

I thanked them for the update, and waited until January before emailing again to ask if there was any change in status. My January 5th letter wasn't answered. Ditto January 16th, January 20th and January 23rd. I called the QLI toll-free number - it was down (and was still down a month later when I called again).

So I sleuthed around and found the owner's cell and home phone numbers and left messages for him there. That finally got a response: "We had to put in another call to the manufacturer. The word we have is the power board is not the cause of the problem, and they are now claiming it is the motherboard. We are waiting for a price estimate, and there is currently an amount on deposit, as you were charged a deposit fee from our records. The manufacturer was shut down for the chinese new year, we've just been getting caught up from the holiday rush, please excuse the delay."

Naturally, I was flabbergasted, and wrote back explaining that the $475 was not a deposit, that the motherboard had always been the problem, and that they'd had my laptop more than long enough to fix it and return it to me. It's mid-February. My laptop has been missing for almost five months now. I've put in a complaint to the Better Business Bureau (and that's when I found out I wasn't the first one).

Could you give an update?

Anonymous's picture

Could you give an update? How this worked out? Did you get your machine back?