Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Vote with your dollars


"Vote with your dollars," a phrase a co-worker said to me when we started discussing smoking vs. non-smoking dining options. It's an idea that has stuck with me ever since and I find myself applying it to anything I do these days. For example, I pay for a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription for my house even though I could run CentOS. Why do I do this? Because I want to support Red Hat, I want to vote with my dollars and let them know that I appreciate what they do for the open source software community at large with all of their endeavours.

This past weekend I found myself at a store, I won't say which one because I need not endorse them and they certainly don't need or want a mention in my measly little blog. At this store I was on a mission to purchase a portable mouse to go along with my new Asus EeePC 1001P (which I recently blogged about). The netbook is wonderful but when I've got it sitting on a desk I'd rather have a real mouse. As I was cruising for a perfect selection I found myself with two mice to decide between, both were capable and according to their boxes they had almost identical feature sets but one was cheaper. If I were a regular consumer, I would have grabbed the cheaper one and gone on with my life and not thought anything of it, but I am not a regular consumer. I'm a voter. There was another difference between these two devices and that was that the more expensive one had an image of Tux on the side and a listing for "Linux kernel 2.6+" in the system requirements field. I was sold. I voted with my dollars and gave my money to Logitech as they took the time and money to verify functionality on a Linux machine and to print the information on their labels. So kudos to you Logitech and I thank you for your help in the struggle to push the Linux movement. While many might find this victory small and meaningless, I think this is a big statement to the world. We came, we dominated, and now your peripherals wear our insignia. I happily paid the extra money to the company that was willing to give me some peace of mind that when I plugged that mouse in to my Fedora 13 Beta powered netbook that it would work and it did and I'm happy.

4 comments:

hadess said...

I'd agree with you if Logitech weren't complete idiots and did reply to e-mails asking for specs. Even if it was "no", or even "yes, but with NDA".

Alas, they use Linux' popularity, but don't give anything back. At least Apple and Microsoft (who sell such devices) don't pretend to support Linux.

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Joshua Purcell said...

The problem with "voting with your dollar" is that some people have a ton more of them than you or I. I'm not saying "voting with your dollar doesn't apply in some limited cases", but I wouldn't take that logic too far (and nowhere near the political realm).