Re: Hardware hassles: Linux vs. Windows
Windows is no guarantee of ease. A friend of mine and I bought
comparable computers two years ago, both Sony Vaio, mine a laptop and
his a tower.
I erased WinXP immediately, and would demand a refund if I thought I
had a Linux users chance in Redmond of success. It runs beautifully,
Debian hardware detection works well for most everything, except for
the idiot WinModem which no one has gotten to work, and a few little
pointless things like the volume+- and screen brightness buttons.
My friend is a Windows based programmer, and needs to run Win2K Pro in
order to do his work. Drivers were a royal bitch to find, and both of
suffered from the lack of technical specifications available from
Apparently, we "don't need to know".
What he did to detect all the hardware was to run Knoppix and look in
the KDE Infocenter for make/model. Doing this, he was able to
assemble drivers over the course of a couple of weeks so that most
everything works for him under Win2K.
Sure, all the hardware "just worked" under WinXP, but remember it was
Sony customized WinXP. Generic Windows had exactly the same problems
as Linux, for exactly the same reasons.
There is only one reason that hardware "just works" under Microsoft
Windows: Hardware manufacturers know that if they don't provide a
driver that works within Windows, their box won't sell to the large
majority of the people who buy wiz-bang stuff.
What disgusts me is that all a hardware manufacturer needs to do is
publish their API and nerds will write Linux drivers for it. They
don't have to pay for software development or support! It would save
them $$$$ AND endear them to the OpenSource community, without them
having to do anything more than provide the same primary information
that they have to give to their Windows driver programmers. It
wouldn't cost them one red (sorry, zinc) cent.
In the immortal words of stand-up comedians of all languages, "But
>As much as I like Linux and its ideals, I thought to myself, "I've
>had to deal with issues like these in Windows. I buy a product, plug
>in, and almost always, it just works."
September 11th, 2001
The proudest day for gun control and central
planning advocates in American history