2003 Readers' Choice Awards

Thank you to everyone who participated in the voting—now, on to the results.
Favorite Development Tool
  1. GCC

  2. KDevelop

  3. Emacs

Like The GIMP, GCC wins its category every year and always by a sizable lead. You feel almost sorry for their competitors. Although Emacs is in third place again, last year's second-place winner, Kylix, slipped to sixth place this year as KDevelop returns to the top three. Anjuta, which combines Glade, text-editing tools and a simulator in a single IDE, is the favorite write-in this year.

Favorite Linux Training
  1. SuSE Linux Training

  2. Linux Lunacy Cruise

  3. Sun Wah-Pearl Linux OpenLDAP Workshop

We know official Linux training is anathema to some of you (like reading a manual for just about anything), but now more training classes and programs are available than ever before. SuSE's is the most popular distribution-related training, followed by the RHCE program. The write-ins covered everything from man pages and users to self-study and Usenet. We're glad to see so many of you are finding the Linux Cruise useful as well as fun.

Favorite Linux Web Site
  1. Slashdot

  2. LinuxFR

  3. Freshmeat

In the closest race this category has seen in years, Slashdot beat LinuxFR by only 343 votes—pretty impressive when you consider 6,588 people voted. It's nice to see the rampant silliness of this year's freedom fries and freedom toast didn't extend to Da Linux French Page. Still, Slashdot is the first choice for updates on supercomputers, candidates for governor of California and two-hour Cadillac commercials—I mean Matrix sequels.

Favorite Web-Hosting Service
  1. Rackspace

  2. Hurricane Electric

  3. eZ Publish CMS

Perhaps this category is too new for regular Linux users to have developed a consensus. Only 893 people voted in this category, and 637 of those votes were write-ins. Rackspace is the only service to garner more than 10% of the vote. Or, perhaps people felt like one voter who said he found it hard to name his favorite because “I love/hate my host!” As usual, many of you take the DIY approach to Web hosting as well.

Favorite Desktop Environment
  1. KDE

  2. GNOME

  3. Window Maker

This category received the most votes of any except Favorite Distribution, which makes sense given the push for Linux on the desktop. With 44% of the votes, KDE is the winner for the sixth consecutive year. GNOME holds on to second place with 23% of the votes. Ion is the new favorite write-in vote, as last year's favorite, fluxbox, comes in fourth in its first year on the official list. Oh good, I was beginning to think I wouldn't see this write-in comment this year, but you didn't disappoint: “None, they all suck!”

Heather Mead is senior editor of Linux Journal.

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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?

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