I had given up hope on the possibility of buying a laptop or a netbook and having the freedom to install the OS of my choice.
I even went to "Gollo", which was formerly selling PCs with Ubuntu and, when I asked for a refund if I rejected the infamous Windows license, the clerk (who had not read the license, I can tell) said that "they would not sell the netbook" to me. Wonderful, isn't it? I wonder how people still fail to see discriminatory practices supported by Microsoft's monopoly.
Then, last week, I found the web page of a store that offered very attractive Dell netbooks, and curiously, there was no mentioning of any OS, so I sent them an email. To my distress, the answer was "Yes, they all come with Windows 7 Starter" (Starter! For crying out loud, what a poor choice!)
In another email, I told the Sales Representative that I did not want Windows 7 and asked if I could get a no OS system. The answer was "NO, but I can install Windows XP or any other, even Mac OS X." This seller was so clever that he even sent me pictures and videos of the netbook running Mac OS X!
Pushing my luck, I sent him another email telling him that I had no interest in Mac OS X and asked if he could install Mandriva Linux One instead. The answer was "I can install Ubuntu." (I counted that one as progress). I then sent him a reply telling him that I prefer to work with KDE and its tools and that, unfortunately, I had decided not to buy the computer from them.
I almost dropped dead when I got an email from the Sales Representative telling me that he had decided to remove Windows 7 Starter and lowered the price from 239.000 to 219.000, which, after checking Amazon, was an excellent deal. However, the best part was that he informed me that, if I decided to buy, he was READY TO INSTALL MANDRIVA LINUX ONE!
I, of course, bought it. And he did keep his word. Today, he brought me this little Dell beauty running Mandriva Linux One, just in time to replace my dear old Asus Eee PC 900, which introduced me to the Linux world with its version of Xandros.
Yes, I know that GNU enthusiasts are going to say that I still gave my money to Billy the Kid. Yet, I cannot express the sensation that this half-victory, won over an exchange of ten emails, produced in me.
So, if anyone in Costa Rica is interested, this is the store's page: