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Why Linux Won't Ever Be Mainstream

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the damn-I-wish-my-hewlett-packard-scanner-worked dept.

Linux 539

Linux won't ever be accepted as a truly mainstream OS by most vendors. The reason for this is quite simply the users. And I'm not talking about everyone, I'm talking about the 31337 h4x0r kids with the bad attitude. They're posting right here on this system, intermixed with others who often share the attitude, but also have a bit more civility. I saw this once again while learning about the Hewlett Packard 3300C flatbad scanner ... which has zippo Linux support from HP. And I don't see that changing. Keep reading and maybe I can explain why.

So I collect anime cels. I have a fairly nice collection now. Cels from Tenchi, Trigun, Ranma 1/2 among others. It's a fun hobby that I find gets me a little more involved with some of my favorite shows to have a little piece of them. Sometimes it can be horribly expensive, but often really nice cels for just a few bucks can be found.

But what do you do with these cels? Well, I framed several. Museum-quality glass ensures that they'll stick around for awhile. But I have dozens of cels, and I travel a lot ... so scanning them in and making nice wallpaper images for my desktop sure will make KDE look nice. So with that in mind I began hopping around looking for an inexpensive flatbed scanner. And I thought I had found it in the HP 3300C. At only $80, it seemed like a great deal: I didn't need 2400x2400 scans or anything, I just wanted to get 1280x1024 images off 8.5x11 cels. A quick glance through /etc/usbmgr/usbmgr.conf revealed a line for it, so I figured I was all set. OK, that was a major mistake on my part -- I should have looked a little harder, I just made the ill-fated assumption that a line in this file meant someone had made the 3300C work under Linux.

I was wrong. I've set up USB devices before. I've set up scanners before. And this one bugger wasn't about to work. So I figured I'd hop over to google and search around and see if I was missing something. After browsing around a few sites that provided me with no information whatsoever, I stumbled upon Linux-USB. Duh, the source, right? Probably should have looked there in the first place, but hey, I never claimed to be a genius. My heart sunk when I found the supported scanners list and found my cheapy HP 3300C, conveniently listed with an icon so obvious that even a moron could clearly see that his quest to scan in cels was going to be fruitless: The Red X of failure.

The site helpfully provides a little more info link with a discussion board that I figured I would read to see if perhaps work was underway. And this is where I made a shocking discovery. And if I was HP, I sure wouldn't be taking the abuse that so many people are dishing out. The discussion starts off fine. An email address to someone at HP to ask for specs. A comment about how HP should make their specs available since they are supposedly an Open Source company (even having gone so far as hiring Bruce Perens to do ... something. Well nobody is really sure what, but he does something for Linux at HP ;). The next comment was a user who returned his scanner. Another user glad that he found this page before he bought the scanner. Lucky bastard. I wish I had.

But this is where things turned sour. The messages turn from disappointed to just plain mean. HP employees are called bastards and assholes. Threats are made. They are referred to as lots of words that I would happily use in friendly conversation with a friend, but never post in a public forum read by strangers.

And thats where all of this is leading. Intermixed with this embarassing dialogue is legitimite stuff. One guy wants to write a driver. Others provide links to various support channels at HP where perhaps a request for the scanner specs might not come up empty.

But somehow I can't get the bad taste out of my mouth. I see it on Slashdot all the time, and I find it really disheartening. Its an attitude that many people have: The "You Owe Me" attitude. Certainly I'm not exempt from this attitude. If I pay for a device, dammit I want specs. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to call a company with thousands of employees "cockmasters" just because they don't want to support my operating system.

I've met a lot of people who've written a lot of open source code. Window Managers. Ethernet Drivers. X extensions. GUI Toolkits. And these people are almost always totally cool. Sure they have attitudes. They are pompous. They are proud of their work. And in most cases they deserve many more accolades then they get. But I think most of them wouldn't say something like "HP seems to be still smeeling Gates' asshole rather than coming out of it. Beware Hp, Linux is going strong and unless you recognize that and properly support your hardware under Linux, you are going to Piss in your pants one day." I'm embarassed to run the same OS as 'Casablanca' who provided Linux-USB with that choice quote. No doubt that Linux is going strong. But what does that have to do with the offensive statement that leads off? How does saying that advance anything?

This is at its worst in public forums. Mailing lists are often much more civil. I'm not saying always because every mailing list with more then a few people explodes into flames every now and then. But at least then you're talking about a private forum. There's just something about a public web board that brings the worst out in some people. Its unfortunate that because you don't sign your name, some people interpret that as a license to be a jerk.

I'm not saying drop the attitude. Linux is a superior operating system to the one that HP usually supports. But that attitude is a double edged sword. If welded childishly, it will hurt us all. I don't care if 'Casablanca' chops off his own leg, but damn it sucks that his attitude might hurt the dozens of other posters on that forum who all paid cash money for their HP 3300C scanner and may never see it supported.

The reality is that HP sells scanners and printers almost entirely to users of that "Other" OS. Writing a driver probably won't make them much money: especially not for a scanner that is going for less then a hundred bucks. Of course, releasing their specs costs them next to nothing, and for a company that has been working hard to embrace Open Source and Linux, it certainly is something cool that they could do.

In conclusion, I had to boot up windows to use my scanner. The Diablo 2 Expansion is the only other software on the partition. I scanned in a half dozens cels, rebooted, and did the rest of my work in The GIMP. It took me much much longer to get things done then I would have liked and it definitely detracts from the usability of the scanner. The scans were fine, but the overhead it required forces me not to recommend the scanner to anyone. But if HP would release the specs to this thing, I know there would be a lot of happy people besides me. HP makes quality hardware and the price is definitely right on this one.

If they don't, I have a hard time blaming them. I know that the bitchers and moaners that are so loud in random forums throughout the net (and yes, even here on Slashdot. Maybe especially here) are actually a minority. The vast majority of Linux Developers and Users are sane and calm. Sure, we have that inner glow of satisfaction that comes from knowing we have uptimes of 200+ days and we only reboot to try out newer devel kernels. But we don't feel the need to call people names because we don't get our way. I admit that I've stepped over the line more times then I should, but I try to be cool about it. And I hope others do to.

Soapbox mode: off.

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Some understanding of their business (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76543)

You have to realize that some of their equipment is actually licensed technology from other companies. Said companies sometimes do not allow hardware specs to be released and HP cannot do a thing about it.

Their 3200C parallel scanner is a good example. It is actually technology licensed by UMAX. I don't know the deal behind it, but HP may be forced to not reveal info about it.

Show some compassion. They are willing to help when they can. A slightly bigger market behind Linux/FreeBSD/etc. is reason enough to help.

Wholly wrong. Article neglects dedicated appliance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76544)

The "koffice in a box". The "browser/mail-station" in a box. The sealed linux boxes preconfigured for a very specific use. People ALREADY use such machines. Ever been to Las Vegas? A lot of newer slot/poker/keno machines run... you guessed it. LINUX. Why? Because the gaming control board requires full source code disclosure (including the OS) before they'll approve any device for gaming use. Using Microsoft, therefore, is quite impossible.

Re:Wholly wrong. Article neglects dedicated applia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76545)

Which is exactly what it was talking about, you self-important overgrown back of anal-fuck runoff.


I wish.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76553)

I wish that whenever I have a bad day that I can write it all down so millions of user can write comments to make me feel better!

Honestly, Linux isn't the choice because the users are still dumb. Think about it. Most users are babyboomers that have trouble finding the on switch. Once the newer generation get into the game, they'll make the decision, but switching desktops from an extremely popular desktop to a stable one is tough to do and will take tons of time (unless there is some type of revolution when M$ takes one too big of a step to claim world domination).

So relax, Taco, and give it time. Patience is a virtue. Everyone has a bad day. Its no reason to get frustrated and quit. Geez....

not just Linux users (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76555)

CmdrTaco - I think you've missed the point. Users of all operating systems behave like this. Microsoft tech support must have to put up with alot of flack from users, as would Apple's. BSD & Amiga users are infamous for their demeanour too.
This won't stop Linux from becoming mainstream - simply because it is normal, and reflects society at large, not just users of Linux.

Thoughts From an Ex-HP Person (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#76556)

I used to work at HP in the Color Printing division. One particularly nice machine had awful drivers. The problem is, the machine was made by another company altogether. A few HP engineers worked on designs, but the other company did the firmware and wrote the drivers. It was so bad that it released with only PostScript support and not PCL. (HP came up with PCL, back in the day.)

Another program managed resources on high-end LaserJet hard drives. It's possible to write a comparable program in Perl or Python or Java or Ruby -- all it takes is a TCP connection to port 9100 on the printer and a few commands to update, delete, and query stored information. This program was a big part of the marketing literature. It plain didn't work.

HP has some very smart people, but they've sold off big parts of the company in recent years. There are definitely people there who "get it", but there are also managers who claim (direct quote):

We're proactive on this Linux thing. We were the first company to wait to see what everyone else was doing.

Blame the users who are quick to flame, they deserve it. But HP as a company has a lot of problems of its own. If they pressured the company that actually made the scanner, there might be Linux drivers for it. As it is, there's probably no one at HP that even has a contact at the other company.

Well, there's that, and then... (4)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#76561)

...there's the fact that most people don't want or need to learn a new operating system AND a new windowing system (AND a new way of doing things) SIMPLY for the sake of doing something different.

A lot of people have been "raised" on DOS and Windows 9x. Why would they ever want to change to Linux? They're used to 9x, and whether or not they really like it is another matter entirely.

Linux will remain a niche OS because, for most people, there's really no reason to use it.

- A.P.


Re:Must be the latest ver... (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#76587)

7.0 of which distribution? It's rather important.

Re:This cuts both ways (2)

Uruk (4907) | more than 13 years ago | (#76588)

I too weap for our future

I weep for our educational system. :) But anyway...

What I don't understand in all this talk about people being assholes on message boards and all this other stuff is why we should care? I agree with the assertion that it's probably not just linux users who are being assholes on public forums, but even if it were, who cares?

I would like to think that people use an operating system because it fits their needs. Linus may be out for world domination, and others as well, but frankly I don't care to spend a lot of energy debating and worrying over whether or not the linux community is taking the strategy that maximizes chances for the widest popularity.

Getting drivers for new hardware is one thing, but why is it that all of the rhetoric here and elsewhere seems focused on making linux popular? It would be nice, but I'd rather cut the PR shit and keep writing software. I want people to come and use linux because we're better than the alternative, not because we're nice on message boards, or companies feel warm and fluffy around us, or because our PR department is better at lying to the customer than the competition is.

And even if no one else uses linux, it's still going to move forward. The types of users people are trying to attract aren't even really coders. They're not going to help the progression of the OS any except by making companies take notice, who often contribute non-free software.

Linux is linux, and it's going to be linux. Nobody has to pimp it out in order for it to be what it is.

Re:This is absolutely true. (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 13 years ago | (#76599)

ahhh yes. The infamous "RTFM"...

If you are going to start using Linux (especially "a few years ago") you need to learn to read. Every OS should require people to read, it creates a larger userbase of knowing people... Not the point.

Just b/c someone told you to RTFM does not mean you should whine all over the place about it. Honestly, getting the mouse to work in X is covered in just about every document there is on the Internet. If you are too lazy to look first before you ask, then they are too lazy to help you.


As far as HP is concerned. As much as I disapprove of their lack of Linux support I like their products. I have been using the same HP Deskjet 400C for 4 years. It hasn't given me very many problems and even prints fast enough to make me happy.

I don't see any companies really being all that helpful w/USB devices in Linux (Intel's USB cameras for example) yet there are plenty of people out there using USB snoop (or whatever it is) to find out for themselves how to get the device to work.

I refuse to buy USB devices for the simple fact that Linux does not support them. Do not complain about Company X when they won't pass out your device's specs, and definitly don't flame them.

I really think that this post was only to flame HP "nicely".

Linux won't ever become a mainstream OS b/c it missed its oppertunity by several years. It isn't b/c of the users, the developers, or the companies.

Just my worthless .02

Re:I have one too... (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 13 years ago | (#76604)

Good post. The best solution is for enough people only to buy products that has Linux drivers and Linux clearly printed on the box. Second let the store personel know that that is what your are looking for and thiat is what you will buy regardless of what the specific store carries.

Symptomatic of a larger problem (5)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#76611)

'But somehow I can't get the bad taste out of my mouth. I see it on Slashdot all the time, and I find it really disheartening. Its an attitude that many people have: The "You Owe Me" attitude.'

It's part of the 'going to hell in a handbasket' problem we've got going in this society.

The root cause seems to boil down to one thing: a lot of people these days are out for #1, and don't give a fuck for the consequences that affect others.

Maybe it's because those of us that try to play nice are too patient, too forgiving, and too unwilling to get in their faces and *demand* that they play nice. Instead, we let them walk all over us.

Myriad examples: the assholes with their 110dB subwoofer ripping through residential neighbourhoods at 2AM. The pissant little fuck who takes 30 items through the 10 items or less till. People who don't hold doors open when you both arrive at the same time. Dangerous fucking assholes running red lights. Ah, it's aggravating just thinking of all the examples.

Why do these people act like jerks? Because they can.

Perhaps it's because they're so powerless in every other aspect of their lives. Between their boss and the government, they can't fart without permission. So they take out their frustrations by pissing off everyone else. Maybe that's it.

Bottom line, at any rate, is that it's time for the nice guys to put their foot down and demand better from others. Don't like the behaviour you see? Don't be a milquetoast -- stand up and demand better!


Re:I wish.... (5)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#76615)

This is the attitude that kills Linux in the mainstream: users are still dumb . Nothing could be further from the truth.

The simple reality is that most "dumb users" use the computer as a tool rather than a hobby or a religion: They want to get on, do what they need to do, and get off. Calling someone who does that "dumb" is, well, dumb, and secondly it totally misses the point of mainstream users and what their motivations are (and it's why Linux isn't a blip on the radar for home users apart from the "computers define my manhood" type). Are you dumb if you don't pull and fix your own transmission? Do you make your own electricity or are you one of the dumb ones that just hooks into the city's grid? Did you make your own engine control system, or are you a dumb person with just a stock car that gets you from point A to point B?

Re:Some thoughts (2)

Soko (17987) | more than 13 years ago | (#76640)

Nice one. Axioms aren't long lived if they aren't useful, insightful or both.

"Measure twice, cut once" sure seems to fit the bill here, except in your case it's "Edit twice, send once."

Myself, on /. I'm a preview button junkie. I hate making a stupid error obvious to the world.

Re:This is absolutely true. (1)

cthrall (19889) | more than 13 years ago | (#76649)

There is a newbie X mailing list, probably available from the site...

this is nothing new... (5)

ywwg (20925) | more than 13 years ago | (#76650)

There are two things to learn from this story:

1) Check the availability lists before you buy, duh. When I got a scanner, I checked out the SANE page and went down the list, and cross-referenced that with what was up on ebay. I got a microtek E6 for 60$, and it can do 8.5x13 at 600 dpi with great color, and it has totally native support in the Gimp.

Linux has great support for sound cards, video cards, that sort of thing, but the second you stray into more exotic territory (scanners, digital cameras, etc) you gotta check the pages.

2) _Everyone_ is an asshole on forums, not just linux users. HP is not going to drop linux support because of some stupid web forum. Are windows users any more polite? What about mac users? I just think this is a non-issue. I really doubt that HP is subscribing to the linux-usb list, and if they are they aren't going to say "waahhh, they called us cockmasters... no drivers for j00!" Call them up. Have a friendly chat. You run a website that some people have heard of, this lets you do things. Bruce Perens works there? then get _him_ to talk to them! Take advantage of your connections, don't just be another email.

Is this just a Linux phenomenon? (5)

ChrisJones (23624) | more than 13 years ago | (#76660)

Fair enough the little kiddies are annoying and don't do us any favours, but I don't believe it's exclusively a Linux thing. Look at the hoo-haa about Windows 2000/XP drivers for things (notably HP gear) - I think these kiddies are all-pervasive in the computing world.
Kiddies - shut up, let those of us who at least pretend to be mature sort these things out ;)

Re:Some thoughts (2)

Jobe_br (27348) | more than 13 years ago | (#76665)

For Rod's sake, mod this up!

This guy is amazingly responsible. Too often, I have witnessed that the 'ease' of communication on the Internet has born exactly the type of irresponsible communicaes that Taco refers to. Ever notice that the searing email you sent off to someone that pissed you off is quite different than your tone of voice when you speak on the phone to a rep at a company (unless its your phone company!)

I can't speak for you, but for me - this is the case. After all, the person I'm talking to didn't personally ruin my day - they're probably getting paid close to minimum wage to listen to me moan and groan about something. If I want help, I certainly won't be yelling at them over the phone and basically using every expletive that comes to mind!

Take heed! Being 'Open' is an opportunity for greatness - the community can use it to breed a spirit of commonality and shared responsibility! Don't expect Win2K users to feel they have something in common with the next Win2K user. But we can be different - we can show the corporations that are willing to support Linux that we do appreciate their efforts, even when they make mistakes or missteps.

We've already builty the community, guys (and girls). Now we should wield the power of it in a positive way.

SANE (1)

grub- (37837) | more than 13 years ago | (#76689)

since i didnt see it mentioned i figured i should throw in a plug for SANE [] as that's what i use with my scanner. their supported devices page [] lists some HP scanners which are supported and also has a link to further USB specific [] info. the USB page has this to say about the HP 3300C:

There are rummors that like the HP5300C this is actually an Avision scanner and could be support by the Avision backend. However at the moment there is no positive confirmation of this.

even if this scanner isnt specifically supported yet, there apppears to be lots of other supported hp scanners which you (or someone else) could work from. dont give up yet.

Re:agreed. (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 13 years ago | (#76690)

wait till we get what we want, and we have to support all teh secretaries and accouting weenies...

gonna have to pull out those BOFH sotries to get some more ideas...

Re:agreed. (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 13 years ago | (#76691)

wha? what the hell are you talking about?

do you mean that since MS windows has been around, since everyone knows it, that we should just use it because people are "used" to it?

or is it that you want an 31337 system?

there will always be newbies. always.

agreed. (5)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 13 years ago | (#76698)

time to grow up kids.

we've all been guilty of it, and its time for the insane zealotry to go.

yes, MS is the evil empire. Yes, Linux is the "better" OS.

but nobody wants to use something where they are made to feel stupid when they first sit down and use it.

Help and nurture newbies... Not laugh and ridicule. Leave that up to Mr. deRaadt... he's got enough venom for it.

I'd like to see this linux thing take of to the next level. We need to give the newbies and the less-computer "literate" a better hand, instead of the middle finger.

Some thoughts (5)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#76704)

I cruise slashdot at +2 and sort for highest ratings first (unless I'm moderating, sometimes a real gem is at -1). Ditto at k5 [] . I only post to, and read, moderated sites. When I write an e-mail I save it, wait 10 minutes, re-read it, edit it, then send it. If I'm writing to (for example) Adobe, because I'm pissed at something they did , I wait an hour before I re-read it.

Re:agreed. (1)

greenrd (47933) | more than 13 years ago | (#76712)

Then it would be a dying/dead OS, because no-one would be starting to use it. CP/M, perhaps?

Legacy hardware (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 13 years ago | (#76718)

Of course, I've been upset at HP for not supporting legacy hardware, like my old Deskwriter printer for OS X.

OK, so it's old enough that they're not going to write drivers. But if they release the specs, there could be some drivers.

They're not going to open-source their old drivers. Never happens, not when companies paid good moeny to write them.

I know... (2)

CormacJ (64984) | more than 13 years ago | (#76725)

I see this a lot in my current job. I work for a large chip manufacturing company, and I do linux stuff for them. Trying to get specs internally is next to impossible if I need to write a driver to support a new card. I can't imagine how hard it will be for someone else to get specs to allow a device to work.

Testing hardware here I've found that there are 5 types of hardware manufacturers
1) Companies that supply Linux drivers with their hardware
2) Companies that supply Linux drivers as an afterthought on thier web site
3) Companies that mention Linux support then direct you to a 3rd party website
4) Companies that release a product with Windows drivers and hope that someone will write a linux driver.
5) Companies that refuse to acknowledge that Linux exists

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

camusflage (65105) | more than 13 years ago | (#76727)

> 31337 h4x0r

eleet haxor, or elite hacker, in script-kiddie speak.

I've got the "31337 h4x0r" bumper sticker up in my cube. Several people have asked about it, only two chuckled without having it explained.

Nothing new for HP... (3)

camusflage (65105) | more than 13 years ago | (#76729)

Just to preface: I primarily use that "other" OS. Don't worry. It's not just linux they don't like. I made the mistake of picking up an HP system to play with at home. Three months after Win2k was released, they finally came out with modem and sound card drivers, but stated emphatically, including an interstitial message in the download process, that this is unsupported, if it doesn't work, tough, if it causes your marriage to break up, tough. Personally, given the support they have, I never plan on buying an HP product again.

Of course, YMMV. Me, I had a bad experience at a burger king in college. I haven't set foot in a burger king in eight years now.

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

TheShadow (76709) | more than 13 years ago | (#76735)

"I'm talking about the 31337 h4x0r kids with the bad attitude"...

31337 h4x0r is hacker-speak for eleet (elite) hackor (hacker).

3 = e
1 = l
7 = t
4 = a
0 = o


Re:I wish.... (3)

JWW (79176) | more than 13 years ago | (#76736)

Perhaps willfully ignorant would be a better term, they don't know and they don't want to know, they just want their computer to work.

The way to get past that is education. Make it a point to teach people how this stuff works (even for windows). Then you can explain to them the difference between windows and linux.

I had a discussion with one of the users I support yesterday about why IT people limit the information they give the users. It's true, even when we try to give the users enough information, we sometimes don't do an adaquate job of it. But you just have to keep trying.

who's more interesting, Taco or Jobs? (1)

n-russo (79191) | more than 13 years ago | (#76737)

I watched most of Jobs' keynote address. Pretty
boring to me. New iDVD software, OS X can talk
to your digital camera, etc.

And this rant about linux having too many
obnoxious users... grow up, but don't expect
everyone else to do the same.

Re:agreed. (2)

dgb2n (85206) | more than 13 years ago | (#76749)

Did he say help and torture newbies? No problem.

Wait ... never mind.

Today's lesson: (1)

NTSwerver (92128) | more than 13 years ago | (#76757)

  1. 1. Choose operating system.

  2. 2. Choose peripheral that has driver support for chosen OS.

IMHO, HP and the like will provide support in the form of drivers for their peripherals if there is a demand for them. Supply and demand - it's how the commercial world operates. If enough Linux users buy the 'X-Scan Super Scanner', then there will be a demand for support and drivers. As usual, It all comes down to money.


Re:agreed. (1)

bornholtz (94540) | more than 13 years ago | (#76761)

Hmm, let me paraphrase your words:

"I would rather have an OS that didn't have newbies"

"I would rather have an OS that didn't have people that wanted to learn it"

"I would rather have an OS that nobody but me uses" (but hey, keep giving me all that free software! (and it better be good too))

oh give me a break (1)

cheezus (95036) | more than 13 years ago | (#76763)

did katz hack taco's password or something? this is one of the dumbest things i've ever heard. If this rant had been attached to a story and the moderators got hold of it it would have be modded down a troll right away. Linux will never be a mainstream os because some of its users are vocal morons? what, now companies are going to hold a grudge against the entire community because some 13 year old called them cockmaters? um yeah... that's totaly realistic. the reason that HP didn't provide drivers for your scanner was because of the very small percentage of people would would buy that scanner who also use linux. So maybe instead of bitching about it, you could do something. Companies don't really care one way or another if 37337 h4x0rz are calling them names in messageboards. they do care about the bottom line. if you want better linux support, work to increase the installed desktop user base, and only buy stuff from compaines that provide some sort of linux support (drivers or specs). Nobody likes a whiner, wether they be vulgar on a message board, or just bitch and moan on their own site.


profit motive (1)

jptxs (95600) | more than 13 years ago | (#76764)

the most valid point here is profit motive. most of these bad attitudes just don't get it. they view it as a problem. i have a hard time thinking anyone who would comment like that has any financial woes, in the business sense, to manage (aside from maybe taking large salaries to the bank in the case of the grumpy gurus out there). that makes you learn to compromise, which is a skill they obviously lack. in the current system, you need to make money somehow. OSS is compatible with this, but the people who *need* to be convinced of this will never know it unless the attituders learn the fine art of give and take.

idealism can be a double-edged sword (5)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 13 years ago | (#76768)

One of the interesting things about the Open Source movement and the Slashdot community is that they are so virtual. Not only do we *use* the Internet as a means of communicating and "spreading the gospel" but we are wholly dependent on it.

The good thing about being an almost completely virtual community is that news and information can spread like wildfire. For example, watch what happens when a new Linux kernel is released. For the next few days, the volume of helpful and insightful traffic on Linux boards is phenomenal. People help each other and provide all kinds of evaluations of their experiences with the new kernel. It's times like that when I start to think that Katz is on-target with all of his hot air about virtual communities changing the world.

But the flip side of this virtual community is cases just like the unfortunate H-P discussion board. Here on Slashdot, we have ways of dodging the trolls. Because of the volume of comments on this site, and the number of registered users, the Slashdot system is able to filter out the trolls and their worthless comments.

Unfortunately, most feedback mechanisms employed by Fortune 500 companies don't have such mechanisms. in fact, they would be accused of filtering out negative feedback if they attempted to use a Slashdot-style moderation system.

The painful truth is that Linux consumers aren't your average consumer. They know more about how their computers work. They expect more. They're not taken in by the p.r. and the marketing as much as your average computer user.

Why is this painful? Because we often think we know it all, and we're idealists. We know how the world of computing *should* be, and we're impatient with companies or people who get in the way of that ideal.

How we as Open Source advocates deal with that frustration begs the question: are we capable of dealing with the "unenlightened" in a mature manner, or are we the spoiled hackers many people think we are?

What? (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 13 years ago | (#76792)

So... because some foul mouthed arrogant punks mouthed off in a public forum (that the device manufacturers don't read), Linux will never be mainstream?

Isn't that just a bit of a leap of logic? I fail to see how one follows from the other.

God does not play dice with the universe. Albert Einstein

This cuts both ways (4)

rob_from_ca (118788) | more than 13 years ago | (#76794)

I too weap for our future as I read public message boards, especially ones that supply anonymity (ahem...Sl*shd*t at -1), but the same holds true for just about every internet message boards. If one was to examine the Windows tech support forums, I bet someone would be mad (and equally childish) over not support NT 4.0. Or not supporting some wacky video card API. Or someone who just plain couldn't make the thing work. The "idiots on messageboard" problem is much larger than just the Linux world, and for a company to not support something just because of a childish, vocal minority is more than a little shortsighted.

dos/win3.1/95/98/me/nt/2k/xp used to be like that (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 13 years ago | (#76795)

So who hasn't sworn at their hardware / software for being lame and designed to annoy and frustrate users, usually in a lame attempt to gain market by using proprietry crap.

It's been with us since the dawn of hardware

I doubt HP decision makers skim messageboards to see if there are any nice people they can write drivers for.

If someone was calling my company a bunch of "cockmasters" (cool word) I'd want to know why. If they have the attitude "they called us cockmasters so they can fuck off if they think I'll write them a USB driver for a scanner" then they are a bunch of cockmasters.

Linux will stay where it is not because of name calling but because of legacy systems and inertia.

I have one too... (2)

grubby (121481) | more than 13 years ago | (#76798)

I bought the thing last year and used it for quite a while under windows. About six months ago I started attempting to move my main pc to linux and get rid of windows entirely. It was then that I realized that this was my problem. What did I do? After a few months of cursing about not being able to switch I jumped on ebay and bought an hp scanjet 4p for 30 some odd dollars shipped, works like a charm and I no longer have ANY microsoft software on my pc. The really bothersome part of hp's attitude toward this scanner is they also don't support pci macs either! I have a pci mac I thought I would hook it to, and then I realized that hp also doesn't support macos of any version either only windows! I hope they can fix this problem sometime, I gave my 3300c away to a friend who uses windows since it was of no value at all to me.

Re:You're right, act civil (3)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#76801)

The original point of these transliterations was to avoid text-search engines from finding keywords; a scanner might be looking for "porn" but wouldn't care about 'p0rn', which a human could probably figure out. When it was reprogrammed to find 'p0rn' they changed it to 'pr0n.' And so on. Like so many things, it was then siezed upon by the masses, and used to mock them by the Intelligentsia. Now, of course, that mocking use is siezed upon by the masses, and the Intelligentsia need to find something else to use.

Re:Best of both worlds = None of either? (3)

big.ears (136789) | more than 13 years ago | (#76819)

I don't know about your claim about free beer. I'll bet your average Linux users spends considerably more on hardware annually than your average windows user. A lot of them fall into the "early adopters" category, and have disposable income to buy toys with. The funny thing is that with the current size of the linux market, a hardware company can probably only get ROI for writing a driver if they are one of the only companies that support linux in their class of products (capturing a large chunk of a small market--this is what Apple has done well for 15 years.) If there is already a ton of supported devices, it may not pay to support linux. So, we get what we have--spotty support. There are a few webcams, a few scanners, a few 3D video cards(ok, I'm just bitter because I haven't been able to get my Voodoo3 to play Tuxracer), and a few laptops that linux can use. Because there are already a few alternatives in each of these markets, their is less of an incentive for new entrants to support linux.

Re:Some thoughts (4)

The Pim (140414) | more than 13 years ago | (#76825)

When I write an e-mail I save it, wait 10 minutes, re-read it, edit it, then send it.

If only everyone did...

A similar check: imagine you've sent your mail, and receive a personal, conciliatory reply that apologizes for whatever gripe you had and explains what's being done to prevent it in the future. Throw in a word of thanks for alerting them to the issue. Now ask yourself if you'll feel like an ass if you get that reply. If you can't definitively say "no", keep editing.

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

SnugBoy (147765) | more than 13 years ago | (#76835)

31337 h4x0r = elite hacker
3 = e
and so on.

Generally derogatory nowadays. Something you call someone who hacks for destruction and generally has no soul.

Re:I wish.... (1)

madirish2600 (149913) | more than 13 years ago | (#76836)

Obviously this person has never supported a network of Windows users. I think generational gaps make no difference among computer users. Did you know that most universities require computers with Windows on them for thier students? The reason Linux isn't catching on to the main stream isn't because older persons can't find the on switch. It is because Linux is at its heart a multiuser network operating system. Windows 9x/Me will always be the choice of the masses for the same reasons home users don't choose NT/2000. It has a simple GUI, simple operation, simple software installs, simple hardware 'Plug-n-Play', etc. And the reality of the situation is that Linux developers don't have any motivation to provide these sorts of services for the Linux OS. If anyone can save Linux and pass it on to the average user its going to be the large firms (Red Hat, Mandrake, Suse, etc.) because they have a vested interest, and money to be made, in providing Linux as a viable easy-to-use alternative.

Re:Nothing new for HP... (3)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 13 years ago | (#76851)

What? No Burger King in 8 years???

HP, in its' current form, seems to be quite happily making products for consumers, and making the drivers necessary to reach the largest single market: Win9x users. If more people used Linux, they would be forced to make drivers. However, since their goal is to make money (and what corporation doesn't want to do that), they are going to save some money and time and effort by doing what they have to to get themselves some money.

Tell me what makes you so afraid
Of all those people you say you hate

I don't understand (1)

decaf_dude (171976) | more than 13 years ago | (#76860)

Why is everyone so worked up about getting Linux into mainstream in the first place. Mainstream software (machines, devices, appliances, etc.) need to be dumbed down and when they are, they become unusable for the expert users. Hence I really don't want to see Linux in the mainstream.

Do we really need a horde of I-can-point-and-click-reaaaal-fast idiots^H^H^H^H^H^Hexperts (the certified ones only, of course :) ) in the Linux world? I don't...

Re:oh give me a break (2)

nagora (177841) | more than 13 years ago | (#76867)

The reason that HP didn't provide drivers for your scanner was because of the very small percentage of people would would buy that scanner who also use linux.

That was his point (or part of it): it's a vicious circle. HP (and other hardware companies) don't support Linux because the market is small; mass-market users don't use Linux because they can't understand why the hardware they see in Dixons or PC-World can't just be plugged in.


Flaming and the culture of hatred in our world (2)

brinn10 (192826) | more than 13 years ago | (#76874)

I was a geek kid, like many other /. readers. For me it was complicated even more by being a gay kid as well. So finding worlds where I could be myself was a major liberation. I think much of the hatred spewed by flamers is actually pent up anger because after we all found a world where we could be safe, along come the masses... The fact is anti-social behavior under any guise is wrong. The fact that you can hide behind a pseudonym doesn't excuse the behavior. Postings at f*ckedcompany are as bad as anything CmdrTaco mentions... Way too many of us need serious therapy. Or better games. Vent your anger against a dragon, not some poor shmoo slogging away for a paycheck in the heart of a megacorp like HP. For the record, being a geek doesn't force me to check my humanity at the door. The fact that CmdrTaco THINKS about our behavior is good. Any group should have voices that question prevailing mores. It is time for the juvenile attacks to stop before we lose all of our outlets (EfNet anyone?).

Re:agreed. (1)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 13 years ago | (#76890)

I would rather have an OS that didn't have newbies.

Kudos... (1)

Rogue Orion (209687) | more than 13 years ago | (#76898)

I applaud your viewpoint. Slashdot needs more people like you to express balanced, sane opinions.

This is absolutely true. (5)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 13 years ago | (#76900)

I have friends who were turned off to Linux for the reason. I really mean that.

For example, back a few years ago, a friend tried to install linux, and got stuck configuring X-windows and his mouse. He went on IRC to ask for help, and got about 15 people saying "RTFM!!!!" and telling him to go back to windows if he couldn't figure out how to set up X.

So he asked where to find the manual, since he had just downloaded slackware and didn't know where anything was, and nobody replied. He gave up.

I'm trying to get him to try Debian now, but i'm sure things like this have turned off many potential Linux users.

Best of both worlds = None of either? (2)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#76904)

It does not take a pollster to tell you that users of a "free as in beer" operating system are on the whole not interested in buying new hardware every few years. We may be cheap, but we have incredibly high standards as well. These don't tend to mix well.

This is also a matter of web culture. You can get so much for free these days that we immediately suspect anything with a digital price tag on it. Reluctant consumers make for a crappy demographic when you're trying to sell ad space. If it weren't for t-shirts [] , the independent Internet as we know it would cease to exist.

My 2p (3)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 13 years ago | (#76905)

If anyone is going to advocate Linux I seriously recommend reading the Linux advocacy how-to [] . It has some very important points.

My biggest personal gripe is how people spell Microsoft. Its M-i-c-r-o-s-o-f-t, not Micro$oft, MicroShaft, Micro~1 and the one-hundred and one other variations.

You wouldn't like it if people started calling Linux, GPOO/Linsux. It looks childish, immature, stupid and above all it drops your own personal credibility and the credibility of what you're trying to advocate below the ground.

Just don't do it.


Disagree (1)

Hyperbolix (214002) | more than 13 years ago | (#76906)

I disagree with this. There are idiots in every group of people and the open source community is no exception. There are completely clueless peopl e out there using windows stirring up just as much horse shit as the next group. Thats just my 2 cents.
- Hyperbolix

Linux doesn't make you a better person (5)

ageitgey (216346) | more than 13 years ago | (#76910)

I go to a college where a large number of students use linux. It's just as common to see linux on someone's laptop as the "other" OS. But even here, there is a "holier than thou" attitude about linux in general. The people who use it (myself included) tend to think they are somehow better because of it. When people ask simple questions because everything in linux is new to them, the common reply is "RTFM!" or "go learn it yourself!". This attitude even extends to certain professors (who are probably reading this :) that would rather force you to buy a book than just tell you to do "ls -la" instead of "ls".

While I think that's fine if you are taking a class as a CS Major, the average user just can't put up with that crap. Their lives don't revolve around this stuff like ours do. The user ends up resentful because you made them feel stupid for asking. Why not try to help out your fellow users instead of shunning them just because they are lost? You aren't a BETTER PERSON because you installed your OS off of a debian CD than a windows CD. You are a BETTER PERSON because you took the time to help out someone.

I'm trying to put this whole philosophy into action. That's why I've set up the site in my sig. I don't want users to have to search for hours to find a program that gets the job done or find the command listed in some obscure man page. Most of the documentation avaliable for linux is useless to them because they don't understand the terminology involved. It's like telling someone to read a technical journal when what they want is the Popular Science version, because they aren't a professional like you and I.

Re:this is nothing new... (1)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#76912)

Are windows users any more polite? What about mac users?

They may not be more polite, but at least they don't have the "I'm entitled to absolutely anything I want, for free!" attitude that prevails among a lot of Linux users and hangers-on. You get these boneheads with the notion that their association with the "Open Source Movement" (not that they've contributed anything whatsoever themselves) confers sainthood on them and means the rest of the world owes them anything they want.

I really doubt that HP is subscribing to the linux-usb list, and if they are they aren't going to say "waahhh, they called us cockmasters... no drivers for j00!"

In fact, the old QuickTime evangelist wrote on a list that part of the reason he wasn't pushing for a Linux port was that the hate mail he was receiving convinced him that many Linux zealots were completely unreasonable and that providing a binary-only player would be a bigger PR loss than a gain. (A stupid decision, IMHO, but that was the way he explained his thought process.)

By the way, what's up with Taco today? KDE? Sneering at Bruce Perens? Everything spelled correctly? Hemos -- make sure he hasn't been replaced by some kind of nefarious Taco-bot!

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

MAC Suks! Winblows Sucks! PDP-11's Suck! (5)

imadork (226897) | more than 13 years ago | (#76917)

As long as there have been computers, there has been platform envy. Some people always feel the need to let you know why their platform is superior and why yours is inferior. I've used many platforms over the years, but prefer the Macintosh and Linux, for different reasons. I learned early on that each platform has its advantages, and that advocating one platform for everybody above all else is a pointless exercise.

However, quite a few people don't get it. Either they're too young to know anything else, or too immature to take a large view of things. These people are always the loudest, so it is assumed that they make up the bulk of that platform's user base, even if they don't.

This is a problem that has existed on every platform. (How many MAc zealots do you know?) However, it is even more of a problem for Linux because of the nature of Linux Development. Since Linux development depends (for the most part) on open code written by volunteers, the community is much more dependant on the good graces of software and hardware vendors to support Linux.

Mac developers only have to deal with Apple on a regular basis. (Of course, they may not be the most mature people either..). But Linux developers have to deal with the entire community, and the morons shout loudest. Many companies may decide that it's not worth listening to all the morons to find the one or two people who are really interested in working with them. Others may decide (as many people have done with the Mac) that since you can only hear the morons, the entire user base must (by default) be morons.

So I guess that this is a problem that won't go away, because it happens on every platform. But the open nature of the Linux community makes it much more visible. Let's hope that in the future, a rising Linux user base leads companies to want to ignore the morons, or at least just mod them down....

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

mfkap (230504) | more than 13 years ago | (#76922)

1 +h1|\|K Th4+ |-|4X0R sp34k m4K3S U K-R4d 31337!!! Ahh, the good old days of being 12.... mfkap

Linux is not mainstream (2)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 13 years ago | (#76928)

or supported by mainstream hardware manufacturers?

let me see-- it is the single most common OS on web servers when counting per site according to Netcraft (Windows is more common when counting by server). It has made tremendous inroads into that industry.

Note that I have been using Linux for over two years and have seen immense improvement in the end user experience (RH5.1 is the oldest distro I have worked with, RH7.1 and SuSE 7.1 are the most recent but I have also worked with versions of Slackware and Debian). PnP and USB support are both becoming more powerful and user friendly in the system level (not only talking the kernel here).

Microsoft's current model of selling large ammounts of proprietary software is not sustainable, and Microsoft top execs know it. This is why they need to move to a subscription model. And it is why open source software like Linux will become mainstream in the end user market (it has been common in the server market for some time).

Sig: Warning The following may be illegal under the DMCA (rot-13 decoder):

Re:Nothing new for HP... (1)

diamondc (241058) | more than 13 years ago | (#76934)

no joke, my neighbor has a year old hp, we installed windows 2000 on it, went okay, except the sound/modem thing wouldn't work at all, so we download the w2k drivers. the modem would not dial after we installed the drivers and then when it came to the sound, instant reboot! and then the kicker.. blue screen on startup. talk about untested drivers.. they shouldnt have them at ALL to download.

Preach ON.......... (1)

gustave7 (250185) | more than 13 years ago | (#76945)

I couldnt have said it better myself.

Re:agreed. (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 13 years ago | (#76947)

Try going to any of the IRC #Linux channels. I'm not exactly a "newbie" but there are lots of things I haven't explored under Linux. So in some areas I'm quite adept and others very very much the newbie.

There are people out there who remember what it was like to be new to all of this, and while I sympathize that some people are simply better off with Macintosh (is that a nice enough way to put it?) I think it's better to say nothing than to make anyone feel bad needlessly. (If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all?)

But seriously, we need some "niceness zealots" out there. Where are the "newbie front lines"? Let the "advanced/intollerant" find an "elite" location where they cannot negatively influence the well-meaning needlessly. Let's face it, Linux will never be "complete" when it is constantly compared to Microsoft Windows. (But isn't that rather like comparing AMD to Intel? Maybe AMD is better, but it's still measured against Intel.)

I know there are newbie supporting people out there such as the NTLUG (North Texas Linux Users Group) of which I am a member. They are pretty good about that by and large... though the newbies are somewhat annoying :) Seriously though, let's at least identify the newbie crowds and at least have the courtesy of pointing the curious, interested and determined people to people who have more patience and willingness than you might have time for at the moment. Maybe a simple URL to a page that contains a list of user groups or mailing lists or something?

Anus-people need not respond. This is a plea for good will and help, not for crappy responses.

Re:Nothing new for HP... (1)

kbeast (255013) | more than 13 years ago | (#76950)

This is generally how you can tell a good company from a bad company out. The companies that try to go out of the way and keep their drivers updated all the time, are the ones I ususally go for. Its like when you buy a computer product...You can get the cheapie sound card for $20, or you can get a Creative Labs card for $100+. Which works all the time? The Creative. I have to admit, I hate Creative Lab's development team..I think they tend to be behind the times, but I'll always use their hardware..


Re:agreed. (2)

kbeast (255013) | more than 13 years ago | (#76953)

my first computer was a IBM PcXT doorstop. 4.77mhz, what blazing speed. I was 8 years old, staring at the "C>" prompt. Took awhile before I learned how to figure out dir and cd (ls and cd to you other guys) ;).
I just got fustrated, but finally figured out what was up..before you know it, i'm doing this for a living.. by 13 I was installing Slackware UMS-DOS for the first time (I know, late bloomer, but--hey)..
You have to want to take the time out to do something. Most users think "oh, a computer" and expect it to work as advertisted right out of the box, like it will be extremely simple. Computers aren't a Nintendo, you don't pop in a game, press power and go, its very complex, there's a tremendous amount of things that you can do with it, as long as you tell it to. But if you don't know what to tell it, well, your outta luck.
another problem is that, people know to go to an automechanic when there's something wrong with their car, because its highly available to the people, gas stations, and service centers...for computers, where do you go? No one knows how to find this information...It takes time to learn..
Like I said before, its not like a microwave, plug it in and you can cook all of a sudden..
Hope some of that made sense...


This happens on all forums (2)

beri-beri (256875) | more than 13 years ago | (#76954)

This post is more about people's attitude rather than the tech support thing.

I see this kind of flamethrowing almost on every forum on the net. Especially if it involves technical stuff, people are so easy to get angry and use bad language and attitude. And the thing is, some of them don't even realize it. It's just too easy to stay in front of the screen and release your worst frustrations, since there is little feedback for self-control.

The same thing goes on with e-mail, it's all soo easy for people to missunderstand an email, it's scary.

Re:I wish.... (1)

frickallnamestaken (258075) | more than 13 years ago | (#76958)

Its no reason to get frustrated and quit. Geez....

Whoever said anything about quitting? Give it a read again. Even if it is a rant on cmdrtaco's part, the fight against immaturity is not easy. taco suffers fools quite well! -paul.

Linux Hardware Petition (1)

Paul the Bold (264588) | more than 13 years ago | (#76965)

There is a group of people who are attempting to put some pressure on hardware manufacturers in that time honored tradition, a petition. [] The petition is short, to the point, and does not throw insults. There is also a way to add hardware manufacturers to the list of potential recipients.

Re:Linux Hardware Petition (1)

Paul the Bold (264588) | more than 13 years ago | (#76966)

Unfortunately, on re-reading the petition page, the petition has now been closed. Damn, I wish it had been Slashdotted earlier.

Re:Nothing new for HP... (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#76973)

I've been very happy with my HP system at home -- once I cleaned out the crap software they loaded on top of Win98SE. Only trouble is getting a chance to use it between my grandkids running JumpStart and my wife cruising the web... Never even thought about upgrading the Windows on it. I still need DOS support sometimes, and Win98 is the best of the line that descended from DOS. (And I do mean descended ;-)

HP printers are a little different. Almost every one I've ever dealt with came with a driver disk that shouldn't have been released quite yet. Go to their web site, download the newest drivers, and generally it's OK. But there have been glitches in the interface between CAD programs, HP printers or plotters, and Windoze that never were satisfactorily resolved. Whoever writes their printer drivers is not too good at it. They'd do better if they published the specs and let others write the drivers, because their hardware can't be beat.

Where did you buy this scanner at taco? (2)

AX.25 (310140) | more than 13 years ago | (#76989)

Don't they have a return policy? Seems to me if it doesn't work return it. Much better than FUD about how Linux will never be accepted by the masses.

Next time you buy hardware... (1)

EulerX07 (314098) | more than 13 years ago | (#76991)

do what I do: go check for that "red x of failure" before shelling out the cash, and buy one that's supported. For example I'm in the market for a cd writer and I was planning to use clonecd. I've spent some time cross-referencing the supported writers and in what mode they can write with the price lists of my local computer shops. Bottom line: you should have done some research first.

Reading your rant I kinda lost where "HP employees are asshole" became "Linux won't ever be mainstream". At some point when Linux gets big enough people will have access to the specs soon enough to have the drivers out at around the time the products hit the shelves.

Lack of Civility (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 13 years ago | (#76995)

I have to agree that not only do some users take out their frustrations inappropriately in fora like this, but that many of those users feel that it is entirely appropriate to do so.

I personally see no reason why those who participate in these fora fail to recognize that the other participants are people like themselves who would appreciate a little common courtesy and a modicum of respect.

XP talk... (1)

Calamere (318591) | more than 13 years ago | (#76997)

From what I hear about XP, I'd think that more people would want to convert to Linux. I wouldn't want to get stuck in a payment scheme with Micro$oft. Would you?

It's all about the money.

As long as Linux is free.... it's more than a small threat as a mainstream OS.

Re:This cuts both ways (1)

mwallinga (318690) | more than 13 years ago | (#76998)

You're right, childish message board posts aren't exclusive to Linux sites or Linux users; check out some of the message boards at to see how childish some Mac users can be. And I don't look at many Windows-related message boards, but I'm sure the same is true on those, as well. (Disclaimer: I use both Mac OS X and Linux, so I frequent both Mac and Linux-related sites.)

But just because it happens everywhere, doesn't mean we should just accept it and forget about it, and that's especially true for loyalists of minority OSes. Windows users can complain, whine, moan, and be childish, and they'll still probably get their drivers or whatnot. Even if the company hates the insults and name-calling, it's in their best interest to release the Windows driver, anyway, even if for no other reason than financial. Although a few companies can thrive by supporting niche markets, for most large companies, supporting the majority and de facto standard, no matter how rude or childish the people may be, is simply a necessity.

Users of minority OSes don't have that luxury; we need to convince HP and other companies that it's worthwhile to develop drivers (or at least release specs) for less financially beneficial platforms because they are *superior* platforms. Name calling and immature complaining is NOT the way to do that.

So, once again, I'm in agreement with you that the message board idiots are everywhere, and yes, HP should at least release the specs for the scanner in question. But I also think Taco is right on, and I applaud him for taking the stance and writing about it.

Re:not just Linux users (1)

lyberth (319170) | more than 13 years ago | (#76999)

Microsoft users might behave like this, BSD, Amiga users definatly does. But i would say that you missed the point, Microsoft users have their drivers, they have the support. Linux/unix users doesen't. And that wount change for a long time if linux/users keep smeering sh*t on the newsgroups and discussion pages. I know that if i used milions on developing a device, with drivers for Windows, because thats the main market, marketing it and supporting it for windows and people from the different linux/unix communities started calling me names...

The Linux community needs new PR people (2)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 13 years ago | (#77001)


Maybe Terrance and Phillip shouldn't be our PR people.

Blame Canada!

And the idiots inherit the earth (3)

Aerog (324274) | more than 13 years ago | (#77006)

I have to agree wholeheartedly. It's the idiots that give the scene a bad name (and by scene, I primarily mean linux but that can be pretty much anything). These are the people that demand massive tax cuts for no reason or who still think you can revive Aeris (random FF7 reference) in the Japanese version. Whatever you do there are people who feel that they need to "vent" in a much less civil manner than our good author.

Gotta love democracy. Everyone gets a say, even those who by all logical argument shouldn't.

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#77007)

OK, so we've got: 0 = o
1 = l
2 = ?
3 = e
4 = a
5 = ?
6 = ?
7 = t
8 = ?
9 = g

Is that right? Also I'm assuming i = 33. What else is there?

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#77008)

Thanks everyone.

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#77009)

I was hoping someone would catch that :-)


You're right, act civil (3)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#77010)

I think if people would just ask in a civil way for the opportunity to write a linux driver then HP would comply, because they don't want to lose customers, just like anybody else out there. Also did you try to use the configuration of an earlier version of the scanner? I know with printers that sometimes works... PS - What does that code mean in: "I'm talking about the 31337 h4x0r kids with the bad attitude"... I've seen it on this site before but I'm confused as to what it is, is it ROT-13 or something?

Re:This isnt' new... (3)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 13 years ago | (#77024)

Darn, you beat me to it. But I'd like to add to your comments.

I've seen this kind of flame-fest ever since I started using the internet. Take usenet as an example. Outside of pr0n, I'd say more than half the posts in many unmoderated technical newsgroups are childish chatter. People call each other nasty stuff and say stupid things all the time. I think it's probably the whole anonymity of the experience. I'm certain that most of those people wouldn't use language like that to someone's face.

However, I don't think this is what stands in the way of more companies accepting and adopting Linux. One must hope that 1) people are less nasty in direct communications with companies like HP, and 2) that if employees are reading such mindless chatter, they realize that this is typical of the internet and not reflective of only Linux users. Instead, I think what prevents some companies from fully embracing Linux is customer base. If my company makes a computer product, and only 1% of all interested users say they would like to use my product with Linux, why should I bother to support it? Because Windows is already firmly entrenched, you must first win the hearts of the consumers before you can sway companies.


Re:agreed. (1)

fifthchild (443035) | more than 13 years ago | (#77034)

I use Windows and I agree with this too. I don't like it, but I feel as if I have no other option. Trying Linux is something I would like to do but the thought scares me... I am the less computer literate (I can only do hardware) but I want to see what this Linux is all about. But all I get here is all rhetoric, no support... Slashdot is where you're going to make the conversions (you got me interested). If you are interested in taking it to the next level this is where you should start.

Must be the latest ver... (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#77035)

I tried 7.0. No dice.

I used FreeBSD and Linux before that. now I have XP. *shudders*

Screw 3...

This isnt' new... (5)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#77036)

it's been used by users of ALL operating systems. I recall windows NT boosters putting down 95. I recall FreeBSD users putting down Linux and vice versa. There's infighting, complaining, etc etc. Welcome to the real world; people feel that you owe them.

Linux doesn't support my internal alcatel NIC. Do I scream at alcatel for it? No. They are under no obligation to write the drivers, especially when it's costing them money to do so. Benefits aren't necessarily going to come out of them, so... why bother?

Corporations are under no obligation. Do your homework before you get a product. It's that simple.

If you fsck up, well... use windows. it won't kill you.

Screw 3...

Forums as a mean of expresion... (1)

andres32a (448314) | more than 13 years ago | (#77037)

Good point. But going from "forums are a little mean to the people of HP" to: "Linux will never be mainstream" is an entirely different manner.
Linux WILL BE MAINSTREAM just because it is a kick ass operating system. Not because linux geeks behave talk nice to the people of Hp...

People (2)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 13 years ago | (#77039)

This is the way people are. Calling for a change is really somewhat useless. You reach millions of people and give them an opportunity to post anonymously with no chance of direct confrontation. (Drop 'Casablanca' in a conference room at HP with real people right in front of them- you wont get that nonsense) And you get stuff like that.
But the positives outway the negatives so I think that the smart focus is on ways to minimize the impact these people have.
Yesterday someone complained about all the "FP" posts. The reply was to set filters higher. Now that really made sense. Let the kids play FP games, mod them down and let others read what matters.
You can't get rid of the lowest common denominator- so find ways to get around them.

Evidence for the contrary? (1)

absurd_spork (454513) | more than 13 years ago | (#77040)


Oh, Windows is being blamed too, doesn't mean it isn't mainstream... :-|


Maybe the fact that somebody is being offensively blamed for not supporting Linux is actually a sign of Linux actually going mainstream, instead of a cause for not going mainstream? People start to expect Linux drivers the same way they expect Windows drivers.

HP 3300C and support? (1)

martijn-s (456925) | more than 13 years ago | (#77046)

Well, I guess they would make W2k drivers before Linux drivers, but as they haven't even gotten around to do just that, it's not very surprising there aren't any Linux drivers.

its always a minority that spoils things... (2)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 13 years ago | (#77048)

it seems to be a sad fact of life, an example is football. a few dozen thugs orchestrate and cause violence and thus thousands of innocent fans get blamed.

i think there are a lot of people out there who lacked attention when they were growing up.

Drivers & flames (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 13 years ago | (#77054)

It will be a more well spent time to give help to build a device driver than to spend time flaming HP or others.
HP will probably release the specs if they see a more direct lobby to it. Not insults or flames.

Re:I wish.... (1)

jberndt (460975) | more than 13 years ago | (#77056)

I agree that Linux is extremely stable and that most "babyboomers" as you put it don't want to switch, but I don't know if that makes them dumb. Linux is a great operating system, but in a lot of respects it is a gigantic pain in the ass. I use Windows 2000 and like it, but I have used Linux before and like it as well. Computers are now becoming more mainstream, hence the "babyboomers" gaining more access to computers as they have become less expensive and easier to use. Microsoft and Macintosh, whether you like it or not have realized that this parcticular group of users does not want to bother with recompiling their kernel or searching high and low for drivers or support for a certain peripheral that they purchase; they want it to work and they want it to work now. Linux has made strides to make it's installation eaiser, but until they have the wide product support that the Macintosh and Microsoft do, they will never gain the universal acceptance that both enjoy. Linux is a great opperating system, don't get me wrong. Users like Grandma, however, will never accept Linux until there is a version that lets them email their grandchildren or check the price of pink Cadillacs on eBay with ease; I don' think this inherit need for simplicity makes them dumb, just a different type of user than you or I

Re:$80 scanner? Um, what the FUCK were you expecti (1)

jberndt (460975) | more than 13 years ago | (#77057)

That's like telling a person to go buy a Ferrari when they bought a Geo Metro instead.

One good thing is different from another (1)

TimFreeman (466789) | more than 13 years ago | (#77065)

I'm not at all surprised by what Cmdr Taco observed, but I used to be surprised by things like that. I expected that all "good" things come together. In this case, using Linux is one "good" thing, and having normal social interactions is another "good" thing, and the false expectation that "good" things come together lead Cmdr Taco to expect a Linux forum to have more normal social interactions than a random collection of people.

Well, it doesn't work that way. "Good" things don't come together that much. If a person is skilled at one thing, that doesn't imply that they're any good at an unrelated task.

Re:You're right, act civil (1)

hajibaba (468067) | more than 13 years ago | (#77068)

No, it's not ROT-13... it's hackerspeak. There are some people that think that it's cool to use numbers for letters and other random things like that. 31337 h4x0r = elite hacker. I can decipher it, but I can't stand to see it written... I prefer using the correct spelling for words (but I'm strange that way).

Re: agreed. (5)

Carna (468445) | more than 13 years ago | (#77070)


I have to say that, as a newbie myself, and a girl, it's hard to ask questions without feeling as though everyone thinks I am an idiot. An intelligent person can recognize that Linux is a superior operating system, and on that note, look to learn more about it and implement it on his or her system. But being a newbie, even a smart newbie, is no fun. Especially when you crave vast amounts of knowledge that the "l337" would rather not give over to one who might not be worthy.

For anyone with half a brain, every drop of information in this technologically growing world is like water to a flower, and those with the sustenance would do well to share. Perhaps those of us left in the dark could be an asset to the community, if someone would just let us in.


Re:You're right, act civil (2)

ccoder (468480) | more than 13 years ago | (#77071)

omg... Rot-13? Don't let adobe hear you talking about their ultra secure encryption! (oops ... there I go..)

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