Readers' Choice Awards 2009
ASUS Eee PC (24%)
Android G1 (22%)
Last year, we admittedly were dorks for having the category Favorite Linux Handheld Device, which left so many cool Linux gadgets out in the cold. The Nokia N800 won that one. This year, however, we've taken our smart pills and expanded the category, calling it Favorite Linux-Based Gadget. Not surprisingly, one of the most well-known devices, the ASUS Eee PC won the category with 24% of the vote, followed by the Android G1, which achieved Honorable Mention status with 22%. After the G1, the field was so crowded, making it impossible, unfortunately, for any other device to crack the 10% barrier. The Nokia N810 Tablet, Acer Aspire One, TomTom Navigation System, OpenMoko FreeRunner, Amazon Kindle, the Palm Pre and several write-ins all received a fair share of your vote, which shows how sophisticated, interesting and crowded the Linux device space has become.
ASUS Eee PC (32%)
Lenovo T61p (16%)
Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (12%)
Acer Aspire One (10%)
There is something oddly liberating about the “big guys” pre-installing Linux on their PCs. At long last, when we go to buy a PC, a device so central to our identities and livelihoods, we find the well-thought-out preference for Linux taken seriously by the companies we want to buy from. After being shut out so long for being too smart, it sure feels good, doesn't it? Your vote for the ASUS Eee PC as Favorite Linux Laptop (with 32% of the vote) tells us how much you appreciate the opportunity to buy a laptop designed with Linux in mind and not just a feature-handicapped afterthought to placate the pesky geeks. The group of Honorable Mentions includes not only the returning Lenovo T61p (16%) but also the newcomers Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (12%) and Acer Aspire One (10%). Despite such euphoria over the big guys, you didn't forget our Linux-specialist friends like Linux Certified, EmperorLinux and R Cubed who kept us motoring during darker times. They fared well as a group if you add up all the votes for their various models.
Let's start with the official results for Favorite Linux Desktop Workstation. Dell won the category with 41% of your votes, and Hewlett-Packard earned Honorable Mention with 16%. Unfortunately, the official results fail to appreciate the “roll-your-own” spirit that is so vital to our community. Because we didn't include a choice like “I configure my own desktop PCs”, you told us as much in your own words. In a classic survey creator's nightmare, the responses “I do. :)” and “I do, as in self-built” and “Home-brewed” all registered as separate votes worth 0.05% each even though they mean the same thing. Allow me put on my Katherine Harris hat and have a look at these “hanging chads”, Florida-election-style, to shed some light on your roll-your-own tendencies. Hours of investigative sleuthing revealed that roughly 12% of you configure your own desktop PCs. Therefore, the honorary Honorable Mention award in this category goes to the roll-your-own spirit of the Linux Community.
While the roll-your-own philosophy is alive and well when it comes to servers, you tend to feel more comfortable giving this business to the big guys. Dell is the winner of the Favorite Linux Server category with 32% of your votes. Your Honorable Mention winners, IBM and HP, trailed Dell with 16% and 15%, respectively.
PowerTOP Tool (16%)
Last year, VMware took top honors as Favorite “Green” Linux Product or Solution partly because of how we phrased the question. This year, to be more fair, we grouped virtualization solutions together, and they won the category with 45% of your votes. The win makes sense given the technology's impressive improvement in the efficiency of servers. The PowerTOP tool for finding energy wasters on your systems also is popular and won Honorable Mention with 16%. We failed to list the recent (kernel 2.6.21) innovation of the tickless idle on Linux, which takes advantage of low power states in modern processors. Are you taking advantage of this feature? Next year, we'll ask you directly. Finally, this author wishes to express his dismay at the significant number of disparaging remarks in this survey toward green solutions. Although the vast majority of respondents are positive to neutral in this category, responses such as “Don't drink the green Kool-Aid” and “I don't care!” were plentiful. Will our progeny admire our arrogant proclivity to waste natural resources and do little to change our ways? I doubt it.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.
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