[clug] Re: Software Feedom Day [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Randall Crook rcrook at vtown.com.au
Tue Sep 18 14:27:18 GMT 2007

Hi Jim,

I just recently bought a HP Compaq 6715b Laptop (Using it right now
actually). I agree to a point, the built in video card was not supported
by Kubuntu "out of the box" and I have also had to "incant mystical
command lines" to get the USB headset I bought to work as well. And it
also ignores the finger print reader completely. I will also have to
sacrifice a indeterminate number of Nicaraguan Black chickens to get the
modem in it to work.

Now I bought this laptop because it came in a config I wanted. Dual core
Turion 64.. I wanted a 64 bit processor, it came with 1 GB of RAM, 160
GB SATA drive, Lightscribe DVD Burner, 1680x1050 15+odd inch screen and
a price tag of $1499.

I did my research prior to buying it. I knew I would have to chant
mantras and meditate over the thing to get it all working with any
linux. And I have managed to get everything on the system working with
Kubuntu except the modem (which I know I will be able to get working)
and the finger print reader (Which I have had no luck in finding any
info on... HINT if any one can point me in the right direction?). And
true it has required an above the ordinary users skill set to do.

But you need to remember a couple of things.

1. MS has over the years managed to bully, cheat, push, buy and threaten
99.9% of all hardware manufacturers into *not* releasing new hardware
without full windows support. And most PC manufacturers ensure their
products come installed with windows and all the drivers required for
all the hardware in the PC.

2. Very few manufacturers actually release linux drivers for their
products. Which means that the community has to write them after the
hardware is released and of course it takes time to write drivers.
Especially if the manufacturers wont release details needed to write
drivers. So until the manufacturers release linux drivers with their
hardware and MS lets them, Linux is always going to be lagging in
support for the bleeding edge kit.

3. Even with the issues above, 90% of all the hardware on my laptop did
work "out of the box" on Kubuntu. Even the cardreader works straight up.
Which in my book is still pretty damn good.. (Please understand I have
used Linux since 1993 and the original SLS distribution, so I have seen
it come a looooooooooong way).

So Linux is some what behind the 8 ball. But there have been a couple of
moves in the last few months that might please you. Dell (I am shocked
beyond belief at this by the way) are now selling PC to the public with
Linux pre-installed. IBM are supposed to be releasing a line with the
same and even HP are making noises about a linux line too... This means
of course that we are very close to the transparency needed for the
"domestic mum 'n dad 'n 2 kids 2 car 2 mortgage computing market".

Plus if you do your research you can even now find lots of PCs on the
markets that will "work out of the box" with linux. AusPC market for
example sell white box PCs that are "Ready for linux", like that
Athlon64 Dual core (yes I am an amd 64 fan) system I bought two months
back from them.. Kubuntu amd64 installed on it like a dream and found
all the hardware with out me having to do anything but click the install
icon. I did find that the nVidia drivers worked the 19" 1440x900 screen
I got for it better than the Open source drivers, but the OSS drivers
worked well enough for the average Joe.

All in all, I use linux on all but one of my 7 systems here at home.
(The one windows box does nothing but run a game server) and I have no
intention on going back to Windows on any of them. BTW... even my girls
(10 and 13) don't miss windows on their laptops either. The wife wont
have anything else on her box. Its here and it out shines windows in so
many areas, the areas it doesn't are now down to things that the
community have little control over, but even they are getting better.

God I sound like some sort of evangelist.... sigh...

Bottom line is Linux outshines windows for a lot of reasons, and its
getting even better everyday.

Randall Crook

> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-bounces+kdambiec=ieee.org at lists.samba.org
> [mailto:linux-bounces+kdambiec=ieee.org at lists.samba.org] On Behalf Of jrc
> Sent: Tuesday, 18 September 2007 12:43 PM
> To: paulway at mabula.net; 'CLUG List'
> Subject: RE: [clug] Re: Software Feedom Day [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
> If I did not have a copy of whatshisname's Ubuntu Bible and an almost
> forgotten distant memory of some Unix command line incantations I would
> *never* have been able to find those two additional HDs that cost a lot of
> money, and would have trashed Linux and gone back to not paying a lot of
> money the champions of the capitalist military industrial complex to be able
> use the box on my desk.
> Once Linux achieves this level of plug 'n play transparency for the hardware
> it runs on, it will be position to invade the domestic mum 'n dad 'n 2 kids
> 2 car 2 mortgage computing market. 
> Until then it will remain another just fun way to spend an evening for those
> who care...  
> It is one of humanity's great and eternal conflicts: smart applications for
> dumb people vs dumb applications for smart people.  Which is why we are
> attracted to Linux, right?   :)
> jim

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