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Re: Back to Windows??

At 10:42 PM 2/18/2001 -0800, Rob Helmer wrote:
Huh..  not that I'm against writing my own drivers, but I have
plenty of brand spankin' new hardware that worked great the
first time. My HP Omnibook 4150 ( top of the line when my
company bought it a couple months back ) was no problem to
get working with Debian. USB, video, audio, PCMCIA, APM..

Oh, there IS recent hardware that works. Just not all of it. If you want it all to work, your chances are less successful if you pick something new. And random Joes writing their own drivers is probably why I actually had to grep source code to find that the rtl8139 driver is what I needed for my SMC ethernet card -- NOT any of the SMC drivers like every HOWTO and other piece of documentation suggests.

And good luck with a scanner, cd-rw, off brand sound card, tape drive and the like. You'll just have to hope someone deemed that particular piece of hardware worthy enough to write a driver for it or patch the existing hardware....oh, and you'll probably need to run the latest Alpha kernel to use it. Always nice on a "production" system. And don't expect to find any documentation about it less than 2 years old. And be careful of "Linux Certified". It doesn't mean it's certified on any kernel you'd consider running. And don't bother asking for help, most people either 1) also would like to know or 2) know the issue, but are smug and won't answer. ("Hey, I had to figure it out, so should you." or "I'm a real kernel hacker and don't have time to answer those silly user questions.") In the regular newsgroups, I've had to threaten to switch back to windows and suddenly a dozen people know the answer after ignoring the question for weeks.

Mind you, none of these are "absolute" statements, but you may be surprised how often they'll be true. :) Linux is not for a regular user. It's for people who want to trade Microsoft $$$ for Linux Lost Time (I fit here) and those who like to play with their hardware without actually using it much.

Oh, but I've digressed.....

At this point I won't consider installing Linux on my laptop until around January 2002. It will then be 2 years old, and I figure it might actually work. Until then, I'm reading this laptop list to find out what else I should avoid.

Although I wouldn't call the X config newbie-friendly, it's
really not as bleak as you're making it out to be.. it's
just a matter of looking at the manual if it doesn't
look right after the initial install.

I have a Matrox Millenium in a desktop system - not an unusual card by far! I would welcome any examples of using the card at 800x600x32k @ 70Hz, like I was able to easily do in windows, but without a black border around it like is "required" in Linux. We tweaked those numbers for an hour (and recalculated them from the very beginning) and according to the Linux X guides, it's not possible. I just leave it in text mode.

At that time, considering that not even Windows gets my Dell laptop display correct until I load the custom driver, I figure I'll need to calculate all the X numbers by hand....unless I can find someone else with a Dell who's willing to tell me what they used. (See rant above.)



On Sun, Feb 18, 2001 at 11:39:14PM -0600, Christopher Wolf wrote:
> Heck, hardware's not a problem as long as 1) you write all your own
> drivers, or 2) you don't buy anything manufactured in the last 2 years. Of
> course, even this doesn't hold for video cards.  Unless you have free year
> to tweak the X config, you're going to have black bars all around the
> screen (although truthfully, I've never seen an installation that didn't --
> on Linux).

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