It might have been a year ago or so when I entered this small computer shop near the University where I work. That day, I asked about a webcam and the clerk, all smiles, brought it to me. Then I asked the dreadful question that wiped out his smile in a fraction of a second: "Does this support Linux?"
I recall he stuttered and asked, "Linux... Is that...UBUNTO?" When I explained to him that I did not use Ubuntu, but Mandriva, and that there were compatibility problems because of drivers, he pretended to be a Linux authority and said "Oh, Mandriva!... That OS gives many problems." His absolute ignorance about Linux couldn't be more visible.
Today, I visited the same shop after a particularly hard day of a rather stormy week. I went in looking for an external HD and another clerk brought it to me. I instinctively started turning the box trying to find a Tux signal somewhere and the clerk noticed, so he politely asked me: "Excuse me...What are you looking for?"
Mentally, I sighed and said to myself "here we go again" before I told him: "I want to know if these devices support Linux".
His immediate answer startled me: "Absolutely, sir. I know they work with Gnome and KDE distros." I raised my eyes from the cover of the product, dumbfounded, and his amused smile denoted that he might have noticed my surprise. He even continued, "Do you want to install Linux to the HD, sir? They work very well to boot up a computer".
So, how about that? In about a year's time, this small shop went from the utmost ignorance about Linux to very helpful toward clients who run this OS!
The same happened in the place where I normally buy my computers. Last time I went, the technician did not frown when I told him that I wanted a new Ethernet card and that my computer ran Mandriva and Pardus Linux. What's more, he even had a Linux sign over his desk!
Besides, I have noticed something interesting: UBUNTO, er, Ubuntu signs are beginning to show in several places of the country as well.
This indicates to me that Linux, despite gloomy market share statistics, is ACTUALLY becoming more known and used everyday.
Whatever the case, I'm typing this entry while all the info in my HD is being backed up to the new external HD... Yes, the one that works with Gnome and KDE distros and that responds particularly well to boot a computer up if one installs Linux to it... (can you see my grin?)