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LinuxWorld Response to 'How to Kill Linux'

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the them's-fightin'-words dept.

Microsoft 511

aneroid writes "In response to John Dvorak's "How to Kill Linux" column, LinuxWorld has a riposte to the columnist's assertations. From the article: "Because most of the time, with mainstream devices, I work out of the box. For the "savvy user" and OEM builder, the Linux driver "problem" isn't the problem it was. The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone. Sure, if I get slung onto some random old machine there are still wrinkles, but from what I see on the Windows support forums, that's hardly unique." <update> The story is actually from GrokLaw originally - credit where credit is due.

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511 comments

"assertations"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796697)

n/t

Re:"assertations"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796717)

"Assertation" is a word used instead of "assertion" by someone who finds they've got a spare syllable lying around and nowhere to put it. It's a bit like "irregardless".

Re:"assertations"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796766)

"Assertation" is a word used instead of "assertion" by someone who finds they've got a spare syllable lying around and nowhere to put it.

Why cut corners? I'd have gone for asseverations [reference.com] .

Re:"assertations"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796908)

Yes, but do you conversate with such ruffians?

yeah but (0, Offtopic)

hjf (703092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796699)

can they kill BSD? fp

Re:yeah but (1)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796744)

one could go as far as to say 'not as long as apple exists'.

the future (should) hold(s) a relationship between OSS and Apple. I think basing some sort of long term migration of the two in to one is the key to survival and reaching a cohesive goal in the comparison status against Microsoft.

I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove it! (4, Funny)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796704)

The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone.

The days may be long gone, but they haunt my memories and have me running XP.

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796760)

I geuss you forget the days of windows 95/98/ME?

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796803)

I geuss you forget the days of windows 95/98/ME?

Well you do have a good point, XP was such a massive improvement over those operating systems I guess I just forgot about how problematic the older versions were.

I suppose if I mustered up the courage to try another Debian dual-boot install and was lucky enough to get it working I could have a change of heart. But then again, I'm pretty short on courage these days.

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796969)

Debian is not exactly a distro reknowned for its friendliness - Mandrake might have been a better choice as a first distro, IMHO...

Debian, however, is amazing if you're adminning 200+ machines for demanding scientific/engineering users. Nothing comes close to the attention to detail of the package system because debian treats even slight upgrade issues as bugs. Almost everything users ask for is already in main or contrib.

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796983)

How hard would it be to chuck a Knoppix disk in your CD drive and boot from it?

Nice troll otherwise though.

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797023)

Nice troll otherwise though.

Why is relating my honest 6+ year-long struggle with Linux a troll?

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796785)

I geuss you forget Windows 95/98/ME? Not that it really matters what the support was in the past. What matters is what works NOW, and that is linux (for older hardware).

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (5, Insightful)

Bazman (4849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796851)

The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone.


Linux on laptops has improved. You can get a basic install working on a modern laptop, but getting all the things windows users take for granted can take work. Lots of work, including installing kernel patches and patches to those patches. You also frequently have to sacrifice goats to get certain features working.

The worst offenders are (in no order of importance or difficulty): suspend (to disk or ram), accelerated 3d graphics, DVD playing, battery life monitoring (and general ACPI stuff), wireless networking, bluetooth, power-saving features (like CPU throttling) and making them extra buttons do things.

We buy laptops for new students each year and stick linux on them, and it generally takes us a couple of weeks to iron out all the kinks, and sometimes we dont bother. If anyone knows a UK supplier of laptops with Linux pre-installed that do all the above things out of the box, let me know, I might want a dozen in October.

Baz

Same here (2, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796861)

>> The days may be long gone, but they haunt
>> my memories and have me running XP.

ACPI is not ready for realistic laptop use at this point, and all kinds of forums are littered with posts from users who had some major grief from setting it up. I'd predict that 95% of people who attempt to use Linux on their laptops revert to Windows XP/2000 sooner or later.

Driver support for wifi is kinda there (with ndiswrapper), but setting it up is _well_ beyond the capabilities of a Linux newbie, especially if this newbie wants proper WAP security.

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

wehe (135130) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796907)

But there are many, which have cleared up their mind. Just a few days ago TuxMobil has announced the 3.000th Linux laptop and notebook installation report [tuxmobil.org] .

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796909)

Odd this should come up. I recently became the proud owner of an Inspiron 4XXX laptop from Dell. The hard disk was done, so I popped in Knoppix to see if the rest of the hardware worked.

Everything, repeat everything hardware-wise was recognized on the laptop, right down to a battery indicator on the task bar that indicated (fairly accurately, I might add) the remaining battery time. The built-in NIC connected directly to my network and I was browsing the Web in minutes! A quick configure of K3B and I could burn CD's on the built-in CD burner. The only thing that didn't seem to work was the reason I was offered the laptop in the first place: the dead harddrive. Now this wasn't an exhaustive test by any means, but it shows that hardware autodetect has come a long way on Linux.

As far as Windows on laptops goes, I have many many buckets of blood in my garage from getting windows 95, 98, 2000 (I quit after that!) trying to work on laptops, too!

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796930)

I've just installed SuSE Linux 9.2 to a Sony Vaio. The installation was easy, and without prompting it kept the Windows XP I intended to abandon. GRUB provided dual booting, so I actually have both OS's operational. This e-mail is from the SuSE system. No bloodshed.

Kill Linux? Hardly!

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (3, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796960)

Those days are long gone , my primary x86 laptop( Gericom , not well known outside germany ) runs debian unstable, after a quick ftp install all i have to do is type "apt-get install acpid" it really couldnt be easier , well infact it could and can be.
Simply use suse 9.2 , it fully recognised my laptop and configured it perfectly .
also iirc it has predefined configs for hundreds of laptops

HAR DEE HAR HAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796973)

Wow, that was a good belly laugh! Man, you are a funny dude. Whew! I nearly keeled over from that sharp wit of yours. Have you considered a career in standup? You REALLY know how to banter about the repartee. You, sir, are definitely not wasting oxygen!

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

Virtual Karma (862416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797021)

My first brush with linux was 7 yrs back when I was attempting to install it on my pentium 2 PC. I had an AMD 188 MHz processor and 2.1 GB of hard disk space. I made 2 partitions out of it. 550 MB partition was dedicated to Linux. I successfully installed Linux after 2 days of hard work. But still I couldnt get the proper drivers for my Philips monitor. I had linux for about 4 months and then decided that it was a total waste of precious memory. That was my firt and last stint with Linux

Re: I have a jar of blood in the garage to prove i (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797046)

The days may be long gone, but they haunt my memories and have me running XP.

To each their own. I've run Fedora Core 1 on a work laptop. I then, just for giggles, moved to SuSE 9.2 to check that out. Everything seems to do well with the exception of some dodgey support for LEAP - Cisco needs to give their Linux client some attention. Having said that, my WinXP-only coworkers tend to have their problems with our WAPs too... so I'm not so concerned about losing productivity over the occasional hiccups.

I have to admit, though, that this hasn't always been the case. I've shopped distros against work-provided hardware before. Several years ago, it was quite the experience. I started with Debian, no dice. Tried Redhat - no luck. Eventually ended up with Mandrake which handled my Toshiba laptop well.

Like all OS installs, it helps to start out with hardware that has better support for your target OS (assuming you have control over that choice).

A few years ago, I purchased a discount laptop that came with WinCE. I needed a dual-boot environment so I was going to keep a Windows partition... but it wasn't going to be WinCE. I wasn't keen on buying a WinXP option from the vendor. But I did have a full license for Win2k that was languishing on my shelf. Unfortunately, the laptop manufacturer didn't support Win2K and getting all the drivers needed proved to be a challenge. Ironically, Mandrake took to the laptop with considerably less aggravation.

It also helps that there seems to be more standards for laptop hardware these days. I've had less and less problems installing Linux on laptops over the years.

Double-take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796707)

Sure, if I get slung onto some random old machine there are still wrinkles, but from what I see on the Windows support forums, that's hardly unique.

Am I misreading this sentence, or is he saying that this experience is, in fact, really common? If so, how does stating this put Linux in a good light?

Re:Double-take... (2, Informative)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796729)

I believe he is saying that Windows has driver problems as well, so Linux shouldn't be thought less of because of the occasional problem.

Re:Double-take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796842)

Indeed, and bad drivers can (and do) exist on any platform. Many drivers are written by third parties, so it's really out of the control of the Linux community as well as Microsoft.

Re:Double-take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796869)

"occasional" driver problem? Get your head out of your ass. Denying a problem doesn't make it go away.

Re:Double-take... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796936)

Nor should we think less of Windows because it has an occasional driver problem (usually in the form of a BSOD)?

Re:Double-take... (2, Informative)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796949)

I've not had a single driver problem on Linux, and I have installed it on three off-the-shelf (i.e. hardware not checked for compatibility) computers, as well as run Knoppix on many computers at school, all without a single problem.

He's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797016)

Windows with a much larger volume of users, many of whome are less technically inclined, supporting a dizzing array of devices generates a similar volume of problems as the far less numerous, far more savvy, and more limited linux community.

In other news women make 76 cents on the dollar as compared to men. Well sorta.

Re:Double-take... (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796950)

Linux is the operative system with better driver support out-of-the-box. Windows fully depends on 3d party companies. Guess what happens when your support finishes or the company bankrupts? I know a few people with scanners that don't work in XP - there's not support except for windows 9x systems. Windows XP SP2, for example, doesn't supports SATA, you need 3rd party drivers in a floppy (unless you integrate them) if you want to install XP in a SATA box. Linux and freebsd just work.

Guess what will happen with "Windows 64 bits?". Tons of unsupported devices will never work on windows 64, companies are not going to waste money on redoing drivers for a dead product (specially lots of crappy devices made by crappy companies). And you know, you can run 32 bits programs but you can't run 32 bits drivers in a 64 bits kernel. Which is why the Windows world is going to take forever (give them 10 years as minimum) to switch to the 64 bit world, many people are going to continue using 32-bits Windows for lots of years.

And it's only worse for the dual-core CPUs which are coming at the end of Q2. Dual Core means that people will run SMP kernels, and it also means your drivers need to be SMP safe - its VERY easy to hang your machine with a non-SMP-safe driver. And everyone is going to run dual core machines - even the ones who want to run 32 bits windows. So, wait a few months, I predict we'll spend a few years laughing at Windows users just because of those reasons - lots of blue screens because of non-SMP-safe drivers and unsupported devices in windows 64 bits. Meawhile, in the linux world, everything will work (we'll get a few non-smp-safe-driver bug reports, but we fix those quite fast)

Drivers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796715)

I once installed Slackware 10.0 and my keyboard didn't work. I couldn't even login (cmdline) to fix the problem. I fixed it from a livecd. There was a problem with Xorg that had keyboard driver misspelled (keyboard instead of kbd).

If this would happen to a large company who would want to switch to Linux... You get the idea.

NOT TO MENTION I GET THE SAME FPS ON MY ATI R9800pro AS ON A GF3MX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:Drivers (0, Flamebait)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796764)

You must have really screwed it up then, Slack boots to a command line by default so the x config would have made no difference to you getting to a command line.

If it was something you broke, don't come whining about something being wrong with the distro you chose.

Re:Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796804)

Troll. The "cmdline" doesn't use the xorg config.

Re:Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796822)

What the hell does Xorg have to do with the commmand line? You are a fucking lying idiot FUD spreader. How did you manage to go directly into a login manager that requires xfree or xorg after a slackware installation? You obviously either did something to the Slack installation or you are lying.

Re:Drivers (1)

Botty (715495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796993)

To all who have replied calling the parent a troll.... There is a situation that can happen where X will hang your keyboard because of some sort of interaction in the kernel and how X handles the keyboard. Anyways, what you get is called a "dead keyboard" which leaves you unable to even switch terminals to fix the problem. Now if by default you are booting into xdm/kdm/whatever it can be a real pain. However, booting without X you can go in and fix it....so the parent IS a troll, however its not too far off from the truth. Perhaps he didn't know how to change runlevels?

Wait-- back up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796718)

There's one of these "LinuxSomething" places that isn't really so much a Linux source as it is just this group of business analysts who are really generally pretty anti-linux. Is that LinuxWorld? Who am I thinking of?

Re:Wait-- back up (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796786)

I think you're thinking of LinuxInsider

And even better... (4, Interesting)

ZiZ (564727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796723)

Linux doesn't do things for no reason. If something changed, it's because YOU changed it, not because Windows suddenly decided that, on this hour's autodetection, it would corrupt your IDE drivers.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796758)

yeah and this is the same reason why more people don't switch. Do you Linux people ever consider that mabye, just maybe, people want to USE their OS to do some serious work?

I don't run Linux anymore because I don't have the time I had before to mess with the system. From now on I expect it to work.

OS should do more things for me, because most people have jobs and (a) don't have the time to fuck around with something as useless as an OS or (b) just want to get their thing done.

Projects like Gentoo only push back Linux on the desktop, but they are successive in the hobbyist community.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796880)

Explain to me how projects like Gentoo push back the Linux on the desktop? If you don't WANT to use GENTOO, don't FUCKING use it. It's that simple! Use something else. Fucking idiot FUD troll. There are plenty of distributions out there that are made just for people like you, yet you still want to blame Gentoo for some reason. Why not LSF or Slackware too?

Re:And even better... (2, Informative)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796761)

I dunno... I'm a linux supporter, but I can honestly say that I've had linux act like this at times. Sometimes audio on flash movies will play, sometimes it won't. It usually requires only a reboot, but it still shouldn't need to. But it's significantly less of a problem than corrupted IDE drivers, especially considering it could (and probably is) the flash player's fault.

Re:And even better... (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796829)

Linux desktop need some time to mature in those audio issues. You can't play two audio files together w/ alsa. Or I coudln't make it work. For this problem i use esd but now all the applications should be esd aware, which mozilla is not. Well need time, considering things solved in the past, that's not an issue.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796906)

You couldn't make it work.
Try using Dmix if your sound card is that horribly old and outdated or get a new sound card. Simple as that.

Re:And even better... (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796988)

Take a look at this [opensrc.org] . Getting alsa's dmix plugin to play nice really isn't as difficult as it would seem from the documentation.

Re:And even better... (2, Insightful)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796884)

If it "probably is the flash player's fault," don't go blaming it on Linux.

rebuttle to the windows fanboys: If it's Internet Explorer's fault, it is Window's fault, becasue Internet Explorer is Windows.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796941)

And once again the Linux community's lack of accountability shines.

If it's a problem with Linux: "It's ______'s fault! BLAME THEM!"
If it's a problem with Windows: "It's Windows' fault! Blame Microsoft!"

Uhhhmm ... no. If X, Y, and Z come bundled with distribution A, I expect full accountability from distribution A for the problems that exist in X, Y, and Z.

Re:And even better... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796974)

No, it's more likely YOUR fault because I have none of these problems.

Re:And even better... (1)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797061)

I had issues with RealPlayer, so I blamed Real, not Windows. I uninstalled RealPlayer (well, tried), found a much better alternative, never looked back. So, "It's Real's fault! BLAME THEM!"

oh, wait... its windows...wrong option Your grandparent made no mention of Flash being bundled with his distribution. If I had trouble with my flash plugin (lets assume I use IE for now), I'd blame Shockwave, not microsoft. And once again, the Windows apologists lack of content, relevant arguments, and non-generalized-FUD shines.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797044)

How about learning how to spell before you attempt to make an argument. Your laughable intellect gives you and your cause absolutely zero credibility.

Re:And even better... (1)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796774)

Linux doesn't do things for no reason. If something changed, it's because YOU changed it, not because Windows suddenly decided that, on this hour's autodetection, it would corrupt your IDE drivers.

This is no joke, even in XP. I run DeepFreeze on a computer where I work. (If you're not familiar with DF, it is essentially a lock on the HD that prevents people from changing anything. You can reformat the harddrive, but when you reboot, everything will be back to the way it was, it's great.)

Anyhoo, last Wednesday, I reboot the computer, and all of the sudden, Windows has decided that I have attached new hardware, except that it is redetecting and demanding drivers for an external device that's been attached for months. Rebooting it again didn't solve the problem. I had to 'thaw' the system and reinstall the device before the computer started working again.
I still don't understand how it happened.

Re:And even better... (1)

GeorgeMcBay (106610) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797043)

And you assume that is a Windows XP problem and not due to running something as non-standard as DeepFreeze?

Heheheh.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796864)

I guess the time that Linux was corrupting binaries every time I rebooted it doesn't count, then?

Compile SSHD, install.
Start SSHD.
Few hours later, reboot.
SSHD -- not starting. Compare installed binary to one in compile directory -- not the same.

Yeah, I gave up on Linux then. What a load of overhyped shit.

Re:And even better... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796888)

hmm... now why doesn't mmtimer work under wine properly... because the Linux kernel scheduler keeps messing around with it's priority and there's nothing the user can do except rm -rf /usr/src/linux and installing a 2.4 kernel.

kdutz can be also be a pain at times, and having to recompile /modify a driver because kernel 2.6.10 has slightly different memory management from 2.6.5 causes still more problems.

(I thought the 2.6 bit meant stable?)

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796900)

what the hell are you talking about? Spouting gibberish about Windows "corrupting your IDE drivers" isn't going to help our cause, comrade. Windows has far superior driver support. You cant solve the problem until you at least admit to it. So fess up and meet back at the commune for our daily homoerotic Linus worship.

Re:And even better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796915)

That's right. When I installed Linux I must have asked it to spontaneously reboot every 12 hours.

Re:And even better... (1)

cubase_dag (827101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796961)

OOH! I just loove it when I Suddenly find out that upon a restart *all* of my device drivers are corrupted by chkdsk and I have a class in twenty minutes. But it's all good- I have Backups,Right? AAAHH! It corrupted those too. My name is cubase_dag and I've Been using linux since 2003

Linux drivers are STILL hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796767)

2.6 kernel hangs up with two Bt8x8 cards (one DVB and one normal TV). I had to set one variable in modprobe.conf to get DVB card running. Both of them work ok apart but the kernel hangs up during the autoprobing when they both are inserted in PCI slots. Windows doesn't have such a problem.

Bt8x8 support under Linux is definitely flaky (1)

ulatekh (775985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797018)

What you're describing may just be a problem with the Bt8x8 driver. I have a Bt8x8 card, and getting it to work well was a complete nightmare. I had to set gbuffers to 32 (i.e. allocate space for 32 frames in the kernel) to keep streamer [bytesex.org] from dropping frames constantly. And there was this weird artifact where a frame from about a second ago would suddenly get replayed. I never fixed that one. And video4linux will lock up the entire machine on some relatively common situations.

I finally gave up and bought a Canopus ADVC-300 [canopus.us] , which connects via FireWire, and doesn't rely on video4linux at all.

I was pretty disappointed with the experience. Still, in general, Microsoft is a lot crappier.

Drivers (5, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796771)

are not the problem they were, but they are still a problem and are severe enough to put a lot of people off. That said driver issues will never be the death of Linux. Dvorak was talking complete horse pucky there.

Re:Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797010)

given the starting point of linux "when men were men and wrote their own device drivers", it's not suprising they have gotten better.

Right (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796773)

For the "savvy user" and OEM builder, the Linux driver "problem" isn't the problem it was.

Because we all know that the majority of computer users are "savvy".

I can attest to that actually - these "You visit illegal websites" messages that SpamAssasin has been dumping to the rate of ~50 an hour since last week must be coming into my Linux mail server from an alien civilization, not from stupid people that open ZIP attachements in messages written in bad engrish and then run the executables inside.

Quite a riposte. Not that I thought the original "how to kill Linux" column was particularly insightful, in fact it was down right dumb. Microsoft can no more kill Linux than Sun or anyone else. But c'mon. Why legitimize it with this?

Re:Right (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796956)

How many Windows users who add their own hardware are not savvy? If they are not, IME, they usually get someone who is to install it for them :-)

Re:Right (5, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797004)

Because we all know that the majority of computer users are "savvy".

No...but non-savvy users aren't installing their own OS, be it Windows or GNU/Linux. Or if they do, they're just about as likely to bork up a Windows install as a Linux one.

Re:Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797041)

The writer wasn't saying most users are savvy. In fact, that conclusion can't reasonably be drawn from the text. He/she was saying for those users who are savvy, it's not much of a problem.

Baited with Red Herrings (5, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796778)

While I think the issue of drivers is an important one, WHY must some people even give credence to Dvorak's heated columns - knowing full well that he always writes something sensational and occasionally ridiculous - simply to work the ad banners on his site.

Um, do you even need to bother replying to Dvorak (5, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796779)

This is the man that a year ago predicted that in 6 months, not only would OS X run on x86, Apple would produce a dual PPC/x86 computer to help ease the transistion. He wasn't even remotely right on either of these.
IE he gets paid a decent amount of money to talk out of his ass, and it's not really even worth thinking about a response to the drivel that spews from his (mouth/pen/keyboard?)

Re:Um, do you even need to bother replying to Dvor (1)

odyrithm (461343) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796863)

I was trying to think of the words to describe this jack ass, and you took them right out of my mouth, thank you :)

groklaw ran this on friday... (4, Informative)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796793)

here is a link [groklaw.net] to the groklaw story

Kill? Linux? How? (5, Insightful)

cubase_dag (827101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796800)

How Can you kill a movement with thousands of members worldwide?
Dvorak thinks that just because of a lack of drivers for some hardware, that people are just going to get frustrated and leave? I have just as much trouble, if not more, finding drivers for some of my hardware for windows.

If anything we should just Kill Bill http://www.splitreason.com/productdetail.php?id=16 4 [splitreason.com]

If you really *want* to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797049)

Real way:
$ rm -rf

Personal experience (3, Informative)

ilyagordon (822695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796801)

This is nonsense. A friend of mine with a relatively new Dell machine wanted to install Linux. Fedora Core 3 did not recognize their mass-produced Dell-standard soundcard. Mandrake would not run without crashing every several minutes for absolutely no reason. Now, you may say that my suggestions for distributions may not have been very well researched, but these are two of the most popular personal desktop Linux distributions, and neither worked properly after a fresh installation. That's at least one family that is going to stick with Windows XP because Linux is just simply "not there yet".

Absolutely (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796903)

I know others who have given up on installing Linux because of that one piece of hardware that they just couldn't figure out how to work with any distro. Linux will not "be there" until there are one or two distributions on which ALL common off-the-shelf components install correctly the first time, or perhaps with another RPM install. No "./configure; make; make install", no tweaking text files, etc. Even when the drivers are there, the distros frequently aren't providing the updates quickly enough.

Re:Absolutely (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796989)

Linux will not be there (by your definition) until OEM's build systems that will run Linux and are tested on Linux just like they do with Windows.

and the attitute (4, Insightful)

page275 (862917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796812)

"Let me spell it out for you: I get used because I'm open, trusted, free and reliable"

Are all us, Linux users, like that? My guess is "no", even my hope is "yes"

Re:and the attitute (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796873)

"Let me spell it out for you: I get used because I'm open, trusted, free and reliable"

Are all us, Linux users, like that? My guess is "no", even my hope is "yes"


Because we're open, trusted, free and reliable, we get used? That sounds about right...

Kudos to LinuxWorld (5, Insightful)

Krankheit (830769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796816)

It is good that LinuxWorld has dismissed Dvorak's FUD. Dvorak is more of a source of entertainment than real insight. I remember Dvorak ranting about the "System Idle Process" in the Windows task manager "eating" 98% CPU. If we want his FUD to stop, we need to stop paying attention to him and editors of Slashdot and others need to stop articles linking to his BS.

What about Linux killing itself... (2, Insightful)

fishlet (93611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796827)

...from those in the linux community who already insist everthings perfect. ...from the myriad developers who wanna do it 'their way' rather than supporting a existing project ...from all those who are so focused on making Linux 'like windows'... without thinking about making it BETTER than windows. ...from all the elitist snobs who's answers to newbie questions is RTFA. ...from all the newgroups you have to subscribe to even ask a question, for project leaders that are to lazy to set up a modern communication portal. ...for all those distro's you still have to manually tell when you've inserted a CD into the drive ... those vi and emacs preaching freaks (sorry couldn't resist :-) Yes they are fine if you like them but don't push them on the rest of us.

You get the idea...

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796928)

How DARE you insult our fellow Linux comrades? Get back to the commune immediately for your daily dose of homo-erotic Linus worship.

Re:What about Linux killing itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796976)

> ...from all the elitist snobs who's answers ..
elitist snobs whose answers..

Re:What about Linux killing itself... (3, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796997)

I have to agree with this.

I think the kernel config as a whole needs a major revamp, or at least some of the things should be reworded and such. I've avoided the 2.6 kernel and use 2.4 because make menuconfig (yes, there's a plain text file too) because its too bloody confusing.

Before the X.org project, people complained 'X was slow' ... and it has nothing to do with X protocol, its fine, blah, blah, blah. Whatever has been done with X.org makes X a lot faster now. I don't care of the technical details. With that attititude, nothing would ever have been done.

I think binary, closed source drivers should be allowed into the main kernel. Maybe it would make installing the ATI drivers and Nvidia drivers easier for the rest of us.

And I always get some RTFA jerk (there's plenty of nice people though). Perhaps, I've read as much as I can understand and can't use the same technical jargon. Maybe the documents (read: man pages) just aren't written very clearly.

I think what is killing Linux is the frequent changes to the way things are done (kernel, X) and a high threshold of learning which makes it too hard to convert to.

I'm comfortable enough using Slackware, but there is still a lot to be done before I replace Windows with Linux.

Sorry, if I sound too critical. I do not intend to be. Afterall, I know many contributors to the projects are doing it on unpaid, free time. You have as much of a right to your opinion, on how things "should be" as I do. If not more, since you're doing 'all the work' ;)

100% Correct (5, Interesting)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796828)

Driver support on Linux is fine. I have always bought bleeding edge hardware I only run Linux and everything works fine. The last time I had a problem was when I bought my IBM Thinkpad T40, only the wireless card wasnt support, which wasnt even a problem for me since I didnt have a wireless router. It is now fully supported by an open source driver(ipw2100). I fix computers as a part time job and I run into driver hell more often on win then any other os. The other day I was updating a win xp computer and it said the ATI drivers had to be updated, so I let windows update update them. A few min later I could only get 4bit color. I had to uninstall the driver from windows update and revert to the old one. Going to ATI.com and downloading the offical driver said that I was getting a driver for the wrong graphics card. Even if a peice of hardware is reconized on win you have to track down the driver and many times if you lost the cd your screwed.

Re:100% Correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796897)

I read your first sentence and then dismissed the entire rest of your comment. Driver support on Linux is NOT fine. It's not fine that, for example, plugging in my wireless USB mouse completely hard-locks Gentoo. Or my PCMCIA CF adapter. Or the fact that my girlfriend's TV tuner didn't work in Linux. Or the fact that I have yet to get real 5.1 surround over the optical output on my Audigy 2.

Yeah, "fine" -- I suppose if you want to settle for sub-par quality.

LIAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796951)

Windows never tells you that you *have* to upgrade a driver. You sir are a silly trolling astroturfing drone. And I love the line about Linux drivers being "fine". That was classic ;)

Re:LIAR (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11797002)

Windows never tells you that you *have* to upgrade a driver

You have never seen drivers pushed out as critical updates via Windows Update?

I have.

Be sure to give credit. (2, Funny)

hruske (791821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796836)

The article is released under CC license, written by A. Linux Kernel.

So if A. Linux Kernel doesn't want to marry A. Windows Kernel, it won't. A. Linux Kernel has much more open mind than any Mr. Kernel I've met and I believe A. Windows Kernel would go red on some of his details, if they got out.

Why Respond at all? (1, Offtopic)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796847)

The article was the usual FUD, why dignify it with a response? That only fuels further articles.

Hey Linuxworld! YOU FAIL IT (0, Offtopic)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796854)

(it is realizing Dvorak is a troll.)

The "How to Kill Linux" article was useless. (3, Funny)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796855)

The point of the article was that you can run Linux as a layer on windows for drivers. The problem is that MS is not going to "kill Linux" by offering a Linux distro, if anything it would just bring more software and driver support to Linux. No to mention issues of cost, OSS, and people moving to Linux to get rid of MS in the first place.
The article was just so retarded on so many levels it should have never been posted to slashot in the first place.
Microsoft could probably write an OS that would give Linux a run for its money, but if they did then who would upgrade to the next version of Windows?
Why are so many technical writers and journalists so fucking stupid?

Dearth of drivers (1)

ectotherm (842918) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796858)

I've been having one heck of a time finding Linux drivers that support wireless cards, and allow you to use WPA. (Not like Netgear or Linksys are unheard of brands, by the way.) I LOVE Linux, but it still has a way to go before it is ready for prime time. It is still largely for saavy users and the back end, not the mainstream public and the desktop. Unfortunately, "Joe Mainstream" and his $$ keep a company in business.

Yes, it *is* still that bad. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796868)

Sorry, but the Linux driver issue is real - not because the drivers are nonexistent, but because they are (1) often poorly maintained and (2) not supported by major distributions.

I have finally gotten my wireless card - which was a DLink one purchased at Best Buy, not an obscure brand - to work on Mandrake a couple weeks ago. Before that, I had been unable to use it for months, because it simply wasn't supported. Some searching on Google led me to the madwifi drivers, which would only compile on my machine after some tweaking and then didn't work because it could only handle particularly strong signals. My Windows driver worked fine. In newer versions, it now appears to work, and only recently have I found rpms for it that are Mandrake-friendly.

I know other people with experiences like this, too. Do you really expect Linux to take off if this kind of user experience is routine? You may think these things are no big deal, but they were a waste of my time and a serious obstacle for people with less Linux knowhow.

Yes and No (5, Interesting)

hauer (569977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796887)

I have been using Linux for many, many years, I am really not the one who needs to be converted. But I have to admit that just this weekend I spent I dunno how many ours with kernel-recompiles and trying every possible settings, drivers to get MIDI working on my box. And I failed.

On my Windows XP I fired up the utility which came with the driver and hit "Test MIDI" and there it was, out of the box.

Thus while it might be true that the for most of the people and for the most generic cases the driver hell is hopefully gone, there is quite a bit left to go until hardware manufacturers ship drivers which work out of the box just as easily as for Windows.

Re:Yes and No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11796958)

Does your card actually have MIDI support or are the Windows drivers emulating it in software? Many modern sound cards such as the AC97 type have absolutely zero midi support and rely on software emulation.

How to Kill John Dvorak's career (5, Funny)

Thomas_C_Kelly (648793) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796892)

How to Kill John Dvorak's career ~ stop reading his articles.

Re:How to Kill John Dvorak's career (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796979)

or simply user Qwerty >:D this is such a bad joke im going into hidding

Groklaw.. (0, Offtopic)

Bohemoth2 (179802) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796948)

Beat slashdot! News at 11.

Wireless on Windows? (3, Informative)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796963)

Has anyone tried making wireless work on *Windows* lately? Sometimes it works out of the box. Usually, on the same machine even, with high-quality hardware and complete driver support, it fails inexplicably, or worse, the error message report conditions inconsistent with observed behavior. Wireless on Linux may be a pain, but at least it's deterministic.

Wrinkles with old hardware? (3, Informative)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796970)

Sure, if I get slung onto some random old machine there are still wrinkles, but from what I see on the Windows support forums, that's hardly unique.
My experience is exactly the other way round. With older hardware, the chance that it's still supported under Linux is much better than under recent Windows versions. With new hardware, problems have been much more frequent. There's a reason why people choose Linux instead of Windows for older boxen.

With newer hardware, I think there's a future for driver wrapper projects. Look at FreeBSD's NDIS driver wrapper (aka "Project Evil"): that way, FreeBSD can use Windows network card drivers out of the box, it's convenient, and it's even reasonably fast.

Drivers are not the key (5, Insightful)

Ki Master George (768244) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796984)

The whole point of the article is that Windows has more drivers than Linux has, so if Linux was to get support for Windows drivers, everybody would use Linux. Right? Wrong (of course)! Why?

The programs you are used to on Windows don't run (or don't look as good, and don't run flawlessly) on Linux. Wine is great, but Microsoft is starting to attack Wine, as Slashdot has recently pointed out. Until all programs are being built for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it is no easier to use Linux.

Even if people aren't that attached to Windows programs, many Linux programs look very different and are much harder to use than Windows equivalents. The only programs that are up to or almost up to Windows's level of ease is Firefox (compared to IE, not AOL or MSN), Thunderbird, and, just barely, OpenOffice.org. Mainly this is because, again, everybody's used to Windows.

Most people don't know what drivers are, and they shouldn't have to, as Paul Graham has said before! They just expect to plug-and-play. They won't pay for Windows drivers on Linux, because the significance of drivers isn't apparent to them.

Finally, the reason more people write drivers for Windows is because more people use Windows. If more people use Linux, more drivers for Linux will soon follow. Drivers are not the cause, they are the effect.

Nonsense (1)

Bootard (820506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11796987)

The days when my poor user had to sweat blood to get me onto a laptop are long gone
That's crazy. As the local seasoned computer user who has used linux a few times, I installed linux on a friend's new laptop last week. I have done basic installs of linux a few times before and there were instructions online for setting everything up on this laptop but it still took me about 8 hours to get the right versions of the drivers, ndiswrapper, and to get it all working. Linux may be getting a lot better, but as little as a week ago, I had to figure out that what was missing was my typing "dhpcd -t 10 -wlan0 0". So the author's assertion defenitly is a little bit of an exaggeration; maybe most people don't install windows themselves so maybe it doesn't matter, but that type of problem is a barrier to enyry for people using linux.

Groklaw had this already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11797038)

This was posted on Groklaw on friday: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200502251 55855922

it's not unique to linuxworld...i doubt they even wrote it :P
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