"A few months ago, super-sized discount store Wal-Mart made the
headlines in the Linux world by becoming the first major U.S.
retailer to offer PCs without Windows preloaded. At this writing,
the Walmart.com Web site lists no less than 14 PCs available
without an operating system.
"While this was widely hailed in the Open Source community as a
victory over the 'Microsoft tax,' which usually afflicts buyers of
Linux PCs, one major question remained unanswered: How well do
these machines support Linux? Some PCs produced today are crammed
with 'value-added' (otherwise known as 'brain dead') hardware that
only works with specific drivers -- drivers that are frequently
available under Windows alone.
"So, in order to get the straight scoop, we went off to the
Wal-Mart Web site to purchase a system and load Linux on it..."