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Re: FWD: RMS and Debian on his Toshiba

Patrick Ouellette wrote:
> I have installed the pcmcia services on a Compaq LTE 5100 a while
> back. To get the modem and Ethernet cards working I had to get the
> up dated drivers from (at the time) unstable (now frozen).  No, it
> was not pleasant but it was done.  Was it a task for a novice - no,
> but pcmcia services on most machines I've used are not for the novice.

Not anymore it won't, the frozen pcmcia-cs package will not install
on Hamm without a glibc upgrade. Which is half of my point anyway.

> Laptops I've installed with M$ software were worse.  Most of the
> pcmcia drivers pre-installed were out of date and did not support the
> cards shipped with the machines without installing drivers.  I have
> never had a pcmcia system work "out of the box" well enough that I
> would call it a novice machine for support. 

Don't know what laptops you use, but this is trival on a Toshiba,
I have personally done it on over a dozen machines. However this is
the most stupid argument I have ever heard, what you are saying is
that because Microsoft is worse, the poor state of affairs in Debian
is justified. That's the way to go then.

> (on the "long" lifetime of the Toshiba laptop model)
> This illustrates my point - the next model will be out in a month
> or so, and will use different video, pcmcia, and sound drivers.
> (most likely some if not all the hardware will be updated)
> (sarcasm on)
> Boy, a three month product lifetime.  I'll start working on drivers
> now so I can get one of the machines to work.  Wait, no - I won't
> be able to buy a new machine before the drivers a stable.  Next.
> (sarcasm off)

Not true at all, the next machines are most likely to only vary in
the CPU speed, and Hard disk size. You might also see different
screen options and a different video chipset's. Things like
sound, pc-card, USB, ... will remain the same for some considerable
time. In addition the model I mentioned will most likely still be in
production and on sale come June of this year.

I have programs on my hard disk for controlling Toshiba's that work
on virutaly every laptop capable of running Linux manufactured
by Toshiba, everything from a T4400 right through to the latest Tecra
8000's. It is unlikely to break on any Intel x86 laptop Toshiba
manufacture ever.

> Debian *does* support them, but is not willing to place the drivers
> in stable until Debian has a system the works with the drivers.
> I have never seen someone refused support from the Debian lists
> because they installed package z from an ftp site.  The problem
> with getting the newest drivers is also related to the fact that
> Debian is a volunteer organization and people contribute when they
> can.

I beg to differ, if I can't get a .deb package with the stuff I
need, then it's not supported in my opinion.

> Updating the pcmcia drivers may break other software that then has
> to be updated, and so it snowballs.  I've seen it happen.  You pointed
> out the possibility of glibc moving to 2.1 (granted that is a
> special case since most software in Linux depends on glibc in some
> form).  You will have the same problems updating any low level support
> library or driver.

Precisely which applications is updating the pc-card drivers going
to break, apart from none?
> If the user is installing Debian on his Toshiba and is "turned off
> Linux for the forseable future" they would probably be better off
> starting with a different distribution, which the would have problems
> with and be turned off Linux for the forseable future.

Funny because this copy of SuSE 5.3 I have installs like a dream, no
problems, pc-card stuff works out the box, need I say more.

As much as it pains me I think that I will have to but warnings on my
web pages not to use Debian on Toshiba laptops. This we don't care
that Debian does not work on one sixth of new machines atitude and
besides it's Toshiba's fault for daring to include new techologies
in laptops they stoped manufacturing months ago, and which have
been supported by Linux for even longer attidude is plainly rediculas.


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