From LxA we have published quite a lot of news about the launches and movements that the Spanish company is doing Slimbook, as it has come to revolutionize the world of computing in our country and abroad, since they receive orders from other countries. It is one of the few alternatives that exist to acquire equipment without having to pay for a Microsoft Windows license, that is, clean equipment without a pre-installed Microsoft proprietary operating system. Failing that, you can choose if you don't want the OS installed or if you want a ready-to-use GNU / Linux distribution ...
Until the appearance of this type of manufacturers or assemblers of desktops and laptops, the alternatives that those who wanted a computer with a free operating system had were to acquire a computer with Microsoft Windows, for which you paid one Microsoft license, and then risk losing the warranty by removing this system to install the final operating system that user wanted. Now thanks to Slimbook's efforts we have teams with enviable hardware, quality and with the system that we please!
LinuxAddicts: How did Slimbook come about? I suppose it was quite a risky thing, because the market share of Linux is not as high as that of Windows unfortunately.
slim book: We are a Spanish SME, large companies are not interested in small market shares, in addition to the fact that they do not know how to do guerrilla marketing, or be in the trenches. We have never received angels who signed checks to launch a project, everything has been based on starting from scratch and putting in effort. What can go wrong when you do something with love? Everything? Maybe, but why did you write a book?… Well, the same but with another deck of cards.
LxW: Certainly there was a need, a gap in the market. Most of the computer equipment that is purchased comes with Windows pre-installed or with MacOS and that implies paying for the licenses of these systems yes or yes. Even if you are going to remove these systems later and install some GNU / Linux distro. Have you thought about exporting the commitment to open source and freedom to the world of hardware? For example with open firmware ...
SB: If you talk about Libreboot or Coreboot with firmware, comment that currently they do not support processors of the last generation of Intel, and less when we started that they were 2 generations behind.
We spoke to Richard Stallman about the Intel firmware and he told us that now we could do nothing, but he was confident that one day we would have the ability to exploit reverse engineering to release the hardware from that firmware.
We reinvest our profits in a free community and I hope we grow enough to be able to put our own cards on the table, until then, we continue on the right track or doing everything in our power.
LxW: You have also created the Linux Center project where I have had the great opportunity to collaborate with some tutorials on microprocessors and Linux, a good opportunity to share with the whole community part of what I have published in my C2GL course and my book encyclopedia Bitman's World. How did the idea of creating Linux Center come about?
SB: Linux is a community, and like many of us have had a blog to share knowledge, many of us have ever thought of spreading Linux to our friends or family, so that we could give them “specific classes”. But we are not unique, why don't we all do it? This is how Linux Center came about, and the idea was actually on my mind before creating Slimbook. This is what it means to be a linuxero at heart, you can't stop thanking the creators or the community for what they do and have done. And what better way to thank him than to be one of them.
And as the slogan of SLIMBOOK quotes: BE ONE OF US.
LxW: The truth is that I have loved collaborating in Linux Center and I hope to do it again soon, in addition to thanking the gift of the stickers that you have given me for the collaboration. But going back to Slimbook… do you assemble the equipment yourself or do you entrust it to a third party?
SB: How? In case some assembler lets you choose a screen within the same model? We have always said it, you can see our presentation at the University of Villa-Real (UNED) in 2015. Laptops are manufactured in China, like all brands. But we finished mounting them here with the keyboard, the configuration chosen by the customer.
LxW: The truth is that your range of laptops is wider. Are you planning to expand your desktop equipment offer beyond the AIO CURVE and the ONE? (Kymera had not been launched at the time of asking this question)
SB: Recently the Kymera Aqua and the Ventus came out, and when you asked me this question I couldn't answer you. Unfortunately, companies have to have plans for the future and little secrets so that the competition does not do the same before you. Because the competition knows a bit about copying itself.
LxW: Yes, I announced myself the Kymera range on two of our blogs… As you know, the world of Linux gaming is taking off at a fairly high speed. A few years ago there were practically no video games on Linux and now there are thousands of them and they are becoming better known and higher quality titles, even some AAA. Do you see potential in PC GAMING for GNU / Linux?
SB: Same as before, I couldn't answer you when you asked me this question.
Now you know that we have hit the table, launched the most powerful GAMING computer designed for GNU / Linux with custom liquid refigraicón.
We are small, but as a head of a large company told me: a large one looks at what you do and if after months it works for you, they evaluate doing the same.
LxW: How did the 2018 Open Expo award do you? Tell us…
SB: We are very happy, because we did not expect this award, in fact I already commented last year in an interview with an important media “the awards are for others, we pass” but I had to swallow my words, we had no interest and we won. I can only say thank you.
LxW: What is the most demanded distro?
LxW: You also offer the possibility of installing several operating systems, in dualboot. Do they ask you only for Windows-Linux or have they also asked you for a somewhat more exotic operating system like FreeBSD?
SB: We have been told “install all the lilnux you can, I want to try them. And I think 6 or 7 were sent to him. I didn't do it, but yeah, we do pretty much everything they ask us to do.
FreeBSD has been installed by Adriaan groot (If you don't know who he is, check him out on Wikiepdia), on a KDE / Katana and he has talked about us several times on his blog. But no, we didn't install it… yet.
LxW: And since we are with the demands ... do you notice an increase in the demand for computers with pre-installed Linux in the business sector or are most of your customers still users looking for home computers?
SB: The truth is that we sell both to companies and individuals. I could not tell you percentages right now, that data is taken by my partner, but there are no differences in demand in terms of configurations.
LxW: The truth is that your laptops have quite good quality and a quite good design. It is something that Apple has been able to do very well from the beginning and it seems that in the sector that the Cupertino firm does not dominate has come later- Why do you think that the rest of the manufacturers have not known / wanted to exploit quality design before? In fact, there are still some laptop manufacturers that opt for plastic materials and finishes that leave much to be desired ...
SB: I don't know what other readers think, but I want to give clients what I want for myself. And personally I don't want a Ferrari, but if they let me drive it for the same price as a Ford, maybe I would. I should not, nor should we be the only ones who think like that, right?
LxW: And I end with an almost obligatory question ... because it is asked by many people who admire or are fans of AMD. Are you planning to launch a model with AMD Ryzen (or Zen to come)?
SB: I can't give you confidential information….
LxW: Now there is also a lot of talk about ARM, which, led by Qualcomm, has been going strong and aims to displace the x86 market in the notebook sector. Would you consider an ultrabook with a Snapdragon 1000 or another model for the near future?
SB: They do not have the desired power, currently. And above all, keep in mind that Chinese manufacturers manufacture for large multinational laptop companies, depending on each factory, they produce 5.000 to 10.000 boards with processors, every month. Do you think that if I ask them for 500 a month with Snapdragon they will go for their production and start investigating how to do something new that nobody else asks of them?
In other words: you know that Linux is a minority sector and there is no exclusive factory that remains operational for Linux, and until the market grows and some company that supports free software, like SLIMBOOK, grows with the market, we will not be able to put factories to take out thousands of computers every month.
Until then, the changes that we ask of the factories cannot be backbones, such as changes to processors that are not yet mounted on laptops.
Many thanks to Slimbook for this interview… don't forget your comments.