Oh geez! Bass ackwards again, and factual errors galore

Story: Report: Linux hardware support.Total Replies: 11
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Apr 30, 2012
1:42 AM EDT
Where do I even begin on this mess of an article? The history is so flawed. Linus Torvalds wasn't creating a Minix clone. He was creating a free alternative because of the deficiencies in Minix. Calling Linux "the little Minix that could" is ridiculous in the extreme.

Then there is the whole point of his article: hardware compatibility. Linux is compatible with more hardware than any other OS bar none. That certainly includes Windows. Try installing Windows 7 on some random laptop from scratch and see how much is missing or unsupported without third party drivers. I'm not saying the anecdotal stories he relays aren't true. I am saying that the idea that 35-40% of the drivers needed are routinely missing is arrant nonsense when he tries to make it a general rule. My experience is that a lot of off the shelf hardware "just works" and the rest needs proprietary drivers downloaded to make it work, just like Windows.

His solution? Have Linux vendors like "Novel", Red Hat and Canonical work with hardware manufacturers. Perhaps someone should tell him that Novell was broken into pieces and sold off and no longer exists. SUSE is owned by Attachmate. Second, and more important, what makes him think it hasn't been tried? Canonical worked with Dell and HP and that didn't pan out. Neither did Novell's attempts to work with HP and MSI. As I related in my article last week, the retail marketplace is structured in a way to make Linux an unprofitable choice compared to Windows.

Let's also take the cases of HP and ASUS (who worked with Xandros) as examples. HP withdrew their Linux offerings the day Windows 7 was released. Does anyone think that was a coincidence? Then ASUS showed an Android based EeePC at Computex. The next day they were publicly apologizing and saying there would be no such offering, with a Microsoft VP on the stage next to the CEO of ASUS. Microsoft has the clout to undercut any manufacturer that doesn't tow the line.

He suggests an Apple like solution where only a limited hardware set is supported. That's worked so well for Apple that their market share for Mac is perhaps 1% higher than Linux. Gee, that's a great example. Clue: Apple makes their money on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Android is competing well in the phone and tablet markets. He also says that "Linux-ites" won't like his solution. Of course not. It couldn't possibly work. There is plenty of history to show that it can't. Of course, he doesn't seem to know his history of Linux or IT in general.

His closing thoughts: if the Linux world doesn't follow his suggestions it will go the way of BeOS and OS/2. Funny, neither of those operating systems enjoyed the success Linux has on the desktop now, let alone the server room and in embedded devices where it really is a major success. The comparison is completely fallacious.

Don't worry Patrick, we won't hate you for your writing. We may mock you and make fun of you, just as we have done to Ken Hess and Rob Enderle. Rob Enderle writes some good pieces now and then. Heck, Ken Hess' writings are pure genius compared to your ramblings. A little research goes a long way.

Oh, and it's Rube Goldberg, not Rude. Geez.

Apr 30, 2012
2:45 AM EDT
Not to mention that Linux devs even got together and offered to write Linux drivers on their behalf if the hardware manufacturers thought it was too hard or too costly...

It's not that Linux doesn't support a lot of hardware -- it's that some hardware doesn't support Linux.

- - - - -

And I'm old enough to recall when even semi-savvy "consumers" got the point that "Win-hardware" ("win-printers", "win-modems", etc.) were something that only the most ignorant would buy, because producing such "hardware" was at best a sign of cutting corners and/or incompetence, and at worst cynical exploitation of the customer. It got to the point that even most sales-people at "Big Box" chains were likely to warn customers away from that junk.

Seriously, I think that might well be a point worth emphasizing even today. No matter how slick or apparently cool a product appears to be:

if the label says:

"Made Especially for Windows", (or worse, "Made Especially for Windows version X"),

and doesn't mention other operating systems, the manufacturer is probably being lazy, sloppy, incompetent and/or ripping you off. And if the hardware actually won't work with anything else but Windows -- make that "definitely".

Cellphones run Linux. Super-computers run Linux, The big stock exchanges all run Linux. Google and eBay run Linux. GPS locators and ebook readers and household entertainment devices run Linux; So if your hardware won't run Linux, well -- that says a lot more about your hardware than it says about Linux.



Apr 30, 2012
4:49 AM EDT
You can run Linux on a frickin' Roomba.

Apr 30, 2012
8:49 AM EDT
Quoting:You can run Linux on a frickin' Roomba.
Maybe so, but I'll bet it sucks.

Apr 30, 2012
9:31 AM EDT
Perhaps, but it sweeps the competition away.

Apr 30, 2012
10:52 AM EDT
There are no competing vacuums, due to a competition vacuum.

Apr 30, 2012
3:17 PM EDT
A competition vacuum, rather than a vacuum competition.

Apr 30, 2012
4:32 PM EDT
My Gawd!!!!

Have you people no shame?

To think, I thought laying low would improve the level of discourse.

Apr 30, 2012
4:34 PM EDT
dino, you should know that your input is always appreciated. OK, mostly always... or at least a lot of the time :)

Apr 30, 2012
4:40 PM EDT
> ...or at least a lot of the time :)

Can we just settle on sometimes. :)

Anyway, Dino, feel free to chime in. After all, nature abhors a vacuum.

Apr 30, 2012
4:53 PM EDT
> nature abhors a vacuum

Explains why there's so much dirt in the forest.

Apr 30, 2012
4:59 PM EDT
Quoting:...nature abhors a vacuum.

... and only pretends to like other household appliances.

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