I've had it! I've been locked in for the last time. No longer will I sit idle and allow choices to be made FOR me. I make the choices around here. When I'm in the market for a printer, I don't want to have to think about which one to get. I want to be able to just go out, browse, pick one, and bring it home. Everything should just work right out of the box right? Wrong! You have to check the Linuxprinting.org Printer Database just to list out printers that you're allowed to buy...that is, if you want them to work with Linux. I say this is a crock. I say it is a sham. There are more than one operating system on the market, and it is high time that companies...large companies...start to understand this.
You've heard it all before I'm sure. My thoughts on this are no where near unique. However, I've been thinking quite a bit about this. Having been involved with a couple of new user friendly distros of Linux lately, I can assure you that printing is one of the main disqualifiers of Linux converts. It is VERY frustrating for a new user to not get that $200 CANON computer they just bought up and running with Linux when there is no driver for it. In a sense, Canon is dictating what operating system that person must run! To me, this isn't supportive of capitalism...it locks you into a certain OS. When was the last time you were locked into thinking a certain way and acting a certain way and having choices made for you? The only thing that comes to mind is McCarthism of the 1950's...and I don't think that's a hugely positive stain from America's sordid past.
How can we remedy this? Perhaps we're barking up the wrong tree writing emails and letters to the companies. Most of the letters I've written fall on deaf ears. The thing that these companies forget is that WE are the consumers...therefore, WE dictate the rise and fall of the market. WE push a product or pull it. Sure, they advertise like hell and try to sway us this way or that...but the ultimate choice lies with US...you and I. The ball is in our court.
Therefore, instead of just writing these emails and letters, perhaps a different type of action can be taken. An online petition.
Let's see what we can do to shake these manufacturers up. Let's start a petition where we can each vote and generically address ALL manufacturers and let them know that we won't take it anymore! Let's collect as many signatures as we can and show them that Linux is no longer a small player in the market. Let's force these guys into accepting their responsibility to provide us with a product that works REGARDLESS OF WHAT OS WE CHOOSE. Is anyone with me? If so, drop by the online petition I started today and add your name to the listing. Together, we can make a difference (corny I know...but true). Strength is in numbers. Let's show them how strong we are.
After signing this petition, spread the word to everyone you know. Emails, links to this article, links to the petition, call people on the phone, snail mail, telegram, morse code, and smoke signal to everyone and anyone you can think of to get support for this. Let's kick these manufacturers in the proverbial crotch. When the petition hits a mark of approximately 5,000 signatures...I'd say it would be a good time to start sending emails and letters to our printer manufacturers and let them know about our little petition. Perhaps you're thinking that companies won't repsond to these things...but rest assured, CNN has responded to these petitions before with apologies for their faulty action...so a printer manufacturer isn't a far stretch. Spread the word! Let's make this count!
Visit the online petition  and cast your vote!