[svlug] Linux an "upstart"?

Erik Steffl steffl at bigfoot.com
Wed Aug 6 13:19:58 PDT 2003

Karl Larsen wrote:
> 	Linux has been around for over ten years. As a desktop for Joe 
> User it is not in the same class with Windows. Windows has a huge number 
> of drivers that work with most hardware up to the latest printer and 
> scanner. 
> 	With Linux you must search for drivers on the web. Loading Linux 
> is now much easier than it was. If only Linux is on the machine it's 
> easy to set up the hard drive. But Windows has always been easy to load. 

   that's not true. speaking from experience. there are number of 
problems that are pretty much unresolvable. The only thing that's easy 
is that they usually come pre-installed.

   btw most of the drivers are in kernel, only some drivers you have to 
search for. same for windows - you get the CD but it becomes obsolete so 
soon that you have to go and get updated drivers from the net.

   case study: to get support for 137GB + SATA drives I had to install 
win xp sp1. no problems, except of voodoo3 drivers don't support direct 
X 8 and 9 (and therefore I cannot play tomb raider, the only reason to 
have windows in the first place). I searched the web, got drivers from 
voodoofiles, updated everything... tombraider still doesn't work (and ms 
direct X testing reveals that only directX 7 works). voodoo 3 worked OK 
with win 98. meanwhile under linux voodoo3 still works... I admit that 
overall windows supports more HW but it's not all rosy...

> 	As for "versions" of Linux this is more a selection of software 
> loaders than new systems. Debian is "Hard" because there is very little 
> documentation and what is there is not good. SUSE has the best loader 

   there is quite a lot documentation... man pages, /usr/share/docs 
(with web interfaces), info etc. web interfaces often combine all of 
these sources (and make it possible to search it). gnome and kde also 
have their own help systems.

   good is of course subjective. just for comparison: ANYTHING is better 
than windows docs, I have never been able to get anything useful out of 
windows help system (for OS, not talking about individual applications). 
You have to google the web (or take a look at ms site, they have some 
usefull info there).


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