But in the meantime, how can those people help the cause without actually doing anything?
I imagine there's a lot of ways, but foremost: don't buy hardware from companies that don't release technical specs and/or open source drivers.
Is there a website out there that lists such hardware/vendors already?
I imagine a number of people would put up those cheesey 88x31 web buttons saying "Friend of Linux!" or something. Then we just need a "friendoflinux.org" or something which explains,
"We use (or plan to use) Linux and want to share information about how you can help....
-- buy this hardware:
-- don't buy this hardware:
-- support these companies:
-- put up these buttons
Lame, perhaps, but I bet the Linux desktop's tiny market share (which is bigger than Macs now, I've heard?) would be a lot more powerful if it included all the "almost/want to be using Linux" people.
Then I figure the website, to be easily maintained, would need to allow submissions of hardware and people to rate its support, including pre-packaged systems from bigname vendors (Dell, Gateway, etc..), with a database of raw parts from the marketing names of the machines.
So a user says, "I'm thinking about the 'Fooathon 2343'." and the website returns, "Every part is good except the _____________."
Or the opposite way: user lists want they want to buy, and website returns a list of vendors/products making systems that match those specs and are fully Linux-ready, sorted by price.
What of all the above already exists?
Update: I was feeling all optimistic when I wrote this, then erik walks in and goes, "Fuck Linux. I shouldn't have to read anything to upgrade a kernel. I'm not going to pay anybody to fix my Linux for me. Windows does everything I need and I can just pirate whatever software I want." :-(