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Re: Hardware hard in Linux?

__/ [ Handover Phist ] on Sunday 30 April 2006 03:53 \__

> OK, here's the scenario. Dual boot box consisting of a P4P-800-E DLX,
> Nvidia video card, printer, scanner, bells, whistles, and it's something
> I'm proud of.
> The Linux side is running Slack 10.2 with a custom 2.6.16 kernel and gware
> Gnome for the desktop.
> Mrs. Phist decided to buy me a wireless keyboard and mouse since my old
> ones are almost five years old and I've beaten them all to hell. She's
> not the most tech savvy person in the world and just went to Best Buy
> and got a Microsoft keyboard/mouse combo for about $40 CAN. Not a bad
> deal, but I'm going from PS2 wired keyboard and 5 button mouse to
> wireless usb only keyboard and mouse combo made by Microsoft. I figured
> I was in for some trials setting the thing up on the linux side, I was
> wrong.
> First boot with the new key/mouse, lilo of course didn't respond, so my
> only choice was linux. On boot, they just worked when the login screen
> was presented. I logged in and the multimedia buttons Just Worked! I had
> programmed them in Gnome with my last keyboard and maybe three of them
> had to be reset for everything to work. Volume control, track
> selections, browser and e-mail, the whole chew.
> On rebooting the keyboard worked with lilo as well, so I booted to
> Windows. The keyboard and mouse started responding after a minute or
> two, but to get the multimedia buttons working I had to slap the CD in,
> install 30 meg of software, reboot, and then everything worked.
> Where is all the "Hardware support in Linux sucks" stuff coming from
> nowadays?! I would have agreed five years ago, but now? Gimme a break.
> Hardware support in Linux is easier, more advanced, more streamlined
> than the Windows equivalent even using Microsoft hardware. I really like
> the feel of the buttons and the quiet keys. My last keyboard practically
> echoed in comparison.
> Maybe MS should concentrate on their peripheral sales, it'll be good to
> have when folks find out what they're missing.

5 years in the past, as you mentioned, I had people install Linux /for/ me,
simply because I was not familiar enough with the steps involved. The
academic departments did all the needed work. I never even tried, so noone
should make any clumsy inferences. I imagine that hardware compatibility was
lacking at the time, which became a stereotype that perpetuated

In all my past setups (Ubuntu 4, Ubuntu 5, SuSE 9.3, Mandrake 9.2), no
problems came up. Hardware worked 'out of the box' with one sole exception
which was the need to change video settings _in BIOS_ (I imagine other
platform would have required the same adjustment). So, as suggested in your
post, there are no longer reasons to nag. Even laptops which are "designed
for Windows XP" appear to work fully 'out of the box', with Linux. People
are just scared to have a go at the setup, due to stereotypes.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  4:20am  up 2 days 11:25,  12 users,  load average: 0.37, 0.48, 0.71
      http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project

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