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'[OT] Linux incompatibilities'
2005\10\02@190719 by John Nall

picon face
(I know this is a waste of time and energy, but I feel like venting just
a wee bit!  :-)

It seems to me, as a not-so-impartial observer, that if Linux is ever
going to really compete against Windows, that the present state of
differences between different versions of Linux is A Very Bad Thing!

I have just spent all day trying different versions of Linux to see
which would run on my surplus laptop.  I finally got one to run after
trying several different distros,  which is neither here nor  there, but
surely no one goes around trying to find different versions of Windows??

I have all the praise in the world for the different folks trying
different strokes, but if we cannot have one version of Linux that is
The Standard, then we are never going to convince the masses to
convert.  (Which they should).  And yes, to answer your question, I feel
better now.

John


2005\10\02@200744 by sergio masci

flavicon
face


On Sun, 2 Oct 2005, John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Sorry but you've got this backwards :-)

Windows does not go out of its way to be compatible with your notebook,
the notebook manufacturer goes out of its way to be compatible with
windows. They even write their own drivers and utilities when windows
comes up short.

There was a web site that gave info of linux friendly notebooks, patches
and utilities. I'm not sure if it's still up. When I wanted to run Linux
on a notebook I looked at which notebooks were supported before I bought
one.


Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising PIC compiler
FREE for personal non-commercial use

2005\10\02@202954 by John Nall

picon face
sergio masci wrote:

> > Sorry but you've got this backwards :-)

Oh well.  Wouldn't be the first time.  :-)

>>Windows does not go out of its way to be compatible with your notebook,
>the notebook manufacturer goes out of its way to be compatible with
>windows. They even write their own drivers and utilities when windows
>comes up short.
>  
>
Yeah, but there is a logic problem there, isn't there?  Linux can't
follow that lead?  Why are they ("they" being defined as the different
distros) going off in all different directions?

>There was a web site that gave info of linux friendly notebooks, patches
>and utilities. I'm not sure if it's still up. When I wanted to run Linux
>on a notebook I looked at which notebooks were supported before I bought
>one.
>  
>
And so you proved my point!  If I want to run Windows on a notebook, I
do not have to look up which notebooks are supported.

John

2005\10\02@211230 by sergio masci

flavicon
face


On Sun, 2 Oct 2005, John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Sorry I misunderstood. I thought your point was that "linux distros"
should support all notebooks. To which I was responding that a distro
producer is link M$ in that neither cares about the notebook and it's the
notebook manufacturer that plugs the gap on the M$ side.

I think the problem with the majority of distro producers these days is
that they have dreams of hitting it big like RedHat did. Yes I know Debian
seems to be an exception but they do seem to take forever to make any
progress.

BTW I've been using SuSE 7.1 on a Toshiba Tecra 800 for about 4 years now.
Ok SVGALIB needed a little coaxing to get it to work properly but I'd
recommend SuSE to anyone (I'm actually using 9.2 on some other machines).

I started using FreeBSD a while ago and I was impressed by how streamlined
installation (core and packages) was and continues to be. I think the
FreeBSD people have really got it together.

Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising PIC compiler
FREE for personal non-commercial use

2005\10\02@212241 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Oct 2, 2005, at 4:07 PM, John Nall wrote:
>
> It seems to me, as a not-so-impartial observer, that if Linux is ever
> going to really compete against Windows, that the present state of
> differences between different versions of Linux is A Very Bad Thing!

Perhaps...

> I have just spent all day trying different versions of Linux to see
> which would run on my surplus laptop.

Very few distributions specifically target very old machines.  How long
would it have taken you to find and install a working version of
windows,
with "correct" drivers for all devices, on that same machine?  
Presumably
you don't have the "driver floppies" that probably came with the
original
machine; perhaps you'd never convince it to work right (I had a hell of
a
time finding sound card drivers for an eMachine 400i recently, and that
was a major consumer-oriented thing.)

> if we cannot have one version of Linux that is The Standard,
> then we are never going to convince the masses to convert.
>
the masses don't care; they live with whatever ships on their hardware.
W2k, W98SE, WxpHome, WxpProf, who cares?  There are a couple
distributions
that aim specifically at "the masses", and they seem to be doing OK...

BillW

2005\10\02@232429 by John Ferrell

face picon face
A couple of weeks back I said I would retry Knoppix with a reasonable
machine this time.
I tried it on a 700 mhz Celeron with an old slow CDROM. It was slow...but it
ran.
I then partitioned a 18G HD into W98 & Linux partitions. I installed the
Knoppix to the HD, it ran about the same as Win 98.
I had the parts on hand so I put the HD in an AMD 2000 machine with a PCI
video card. Predictably, the video is lacking but the machine boots up
faster than XP Pro. It was simple to get on the internet with it. Entering
in the usual parameters led to email on line with no fuss.
The hardest part about getting it to access the local network was finding
out the application I needed to set up is called SAMBA.
Real Soon Now I hope to figure out how to see the Linux machine from the
local network...
And even try a Windows app under WINE.
Then I will see if the USB stuff works.....

and it came up easier than any Windows OS I have seen!
John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\10\03@010454 by Marcel Birthelmer

flavicon
face
John Ferrell wrote:
> Real Soon Now I hope to figure out how to see the Linux machine from the
> local network...

Samba comes with a network configuration dealy called "Swat". You should
be able to access this by going to "localhost:931" in your browser (if
knoppix has that). If it doesn't work, check to make sure that it says
"disable = no" in /etc/xinetd.d/swat and then run "/etc/init.d/xinetd
reload" (again, if knoppix is set up that way).

- Marcel

2005\10\03@063953 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Oct 02, 2005 at 08:29:53PM -0400, John Nall wrote:
> sergio masci wrote:
>
> >> Sorry but you've got this backwards :-)
>
> Oh well.  Wouldn't be the first time.  :-)

John,

You do have it backwards. But there's no way for you to get for what
you ask.

> >>Windows does not go out of its way to be compatible with your notebook,
> >the notebook manufacturer goes out of its way to be compatible with
> >windows. They even write their own drivers and utilities when windows
> >comes up short.
> >
> >
> Yeah, but there is a logic problem there, isn't there?  Linux can't
> follow that lead?

Linux ultimately follows that lead because laptop manufacturers writes
no Linux drivers for any of their hardware. So at the end of the day
the Linux community writes drivers for each and every item on the system.

>  Why are they ("they" being defined as the different
> distros) going off in all different directions?

Simple answer: Because they can. Proliferation and natural selection are
the nature of Open Source. If one developer does not like the way things
are done, then they can take the source and develop a different model.
In addition, as was pointed out elsewhere, differentiation is used as a
profit model. Others, like Debian, have a political agenda: completely
free source with no proprietary ties whatsoever.

Trust me. If the Windows source were Open, there would be 10,000 niche
Windows type "distributions" out there. It's just the nature of the model.
One "true" way will not satisfy everyone. And since anyone can produce a
distribution that meets their needs/vision, you're going to see a lot of them.

The real question is how to find the distro that best matches your needs?

>
> >There was a web site that gave info of linux friendly notebooks, patches
> >and utilities. I'm not sure if it's still up. When I wanted to run Linux
> >on a notebook I looked at which notebooks were supported before I bought
> >one.
> >
> >
> And so you proved my point!  If I want to run Windows on a notebook, I
> do not have to look up which notebooks are supported.

Again you do have it backwards, as Sergio pointed out. All notebooks support
Windows because windows has a 90+ percent market share. In short, if the notebook
doesn't support Windows, then it is virtually impossible to sell that notebook
in the marketplace.

Sometimes I think that folks miss the astonishing lengths that Linux goes
through to be compatible with hardware that is not designed for it. Hardware
manufacturers generally have no thought process about Linux at all when
developing their products. Yet the Linux community finds way to make it work
in what's frankly an alien environment.

Each Linux distro brings a different perspective to the table. Instead of
each trying to be all things to all people, like Windows, each can serve
a niche, and serve that niche well.

I know it's frustrating to folks coming from the outside. This is because it
takes time to understand the perspective or niche that a distro is trying
to serve. Directed guidance is helpful during this time. The best distro
for a newbie to use is that one that more knowledgeable users with whom
the newbie interacts uses. For example I introduce my Unix students to Knoppix
because they can get instant gratification without the drawn out and permanent
process of repartitioning and installing. However it has its limitations
because it runs from a Live CD. But once folks get used to the idea and
understand those limitations, they are generally ready to move on to another
stage.

BAJ

2005\10\03@081106 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
Firstly do not think Linux are only for the old computers. The new Linux
distros are for fast computers and they can make use of fast CPU and
large RAMs better than Windows. Also take note that we should do
some investigations before buying a new computer. My notebook
and desktop work with Linux without any problems since I have
done some homework before purchase.

Secondly, treat Linux as equal as Windows if one wants to experiment
with Linux. Often people (including me), give Windows most of
the harddisk space and leave Linux to a small partition. That is
not going to work. I find out this the hardway. I have to re-install
Windows and Linux since my Linux partition soon ran out of space.
The more experienced users will have the main partitions using
Linux or use Linux only.

Thirdly, lack of standard is not necessary a bad thing. End user
will feel a bit frustrated initially. However after some experiments,
people can stick with a distro he likes the most. For example, I
like Ubuntu and I am going to stick with it for some time. Fedora
Core 3/4, Suse and Debian are the best bet right now since it is
easy to get problems solved with these mainstream distros. Still
there are many interesting distributions like Gentoo and Slackware
which are very good as well (for more advanced users).

I am not a very experienced Linux user but I find Linux to be
really easy to use right now. Ubuntu is quite good for beginners
because it often works right out of the box. It is not for old
notebooks though.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2005\10\03@093343 by John Nall

picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote:

>> You do have it backwards. But there's no way for you to get for what
>you ask.
>  
>
Yeah, (sigh), I know.  :-(    That was probably one of those postings
that I should have written, read to myself, and then canceled.   I
worked all day with five different distros (RH 10, CENTOS, Ubuntu, FC4
and Slackware 10.1) before finally getting one that worked (Slackware),
and was just a wee bit frustrated at the incompatibilities.  But it is a
new day, the sun is shining, and optimism reigns once more.  I'm gonna
check the Ubuntu thing again, because I think there may have been a
problem with the ISO download on that one.

John

2005\10\03@095607 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Thanks for the pointer. I will try that direction.
There seems to be no end to the available information on the net but finding
the "right info" is seldom easy.
It would be nice if I could find a "Recipe Book" where I could look up a
task and read how to do it. So far, I have not found anything like that.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2005\10\03@110757 by Rolf

face picon face
Actually, there are lots of "recipes".

There are a lot of howto's on various subjects. HowTo is always in the
title, so, whenever I do something "new" in Linux (that I have not done
before), I google for the howto.

In your case, Google "Howto Samba"
http://www.google.ca/search?num=100&hl=en&q=Howto+Samba&btnG=Search&meta=

In addition, Google does "speciality searches. When looking for things
Linux related, use Google's linux portal:
http://www.google.com/linux
 -- e.g.--
http://www.google.com/linux?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=Howto+Samba&btnG=Search

The linux speciality site is very useful

gus


John Ferrell wrote:

> Thanks for the pointer. I will try that direction.
> There seems to be no end to the available information on the net but
> finding the "right info" is seldom easy.
> It would be nice if I could find a "Recipe Book" where I could look up
> a task and read how to do it. So far, I have not found anything like
> that.
>
> John Ferrell
> http://DixieNC.US
>
> {Original Message removed}

2005\10\03@113056 by Wayne Topa

flavicon
face
John Ferrell(spam_OUTjohnferrellTakeThisOuTspamearthlink.net) is reported to have said:
> Thanks for the pointer. I will try that direction.
> There seems to be no end to the available information on the net but
> finding the "right info" is seldom easy.
> It would be nice if I could find a "Recipe Book" where I could look up a
> task and read how to do it. So far, I have not found anything like that.
>
John

 Knoppix is derived from Debian (Testing/Unstable).  You will find a
 lot of the answers to your questions on the debian-user mailing
 list.  There is also a forum on the Knoppix web site where questions
 are answered.  The forum requires a lot of time to research so I
 would use the debian-user ML instead.

Debian Mailing list Archives <http://lists.debian.org>

WTT

--
Press any key...no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!
_______________________________________________________

2005\10\03@115921 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Oct 3, 2005, at 3:39 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:

> Sometimes I think that folks miss the astonishing lengths that Linux
> goes
> through to be compatible with hardware that is not designed for it.

Of course.  After all, most people miss the astonishing lengths that
Windows goes to to be compatible with hardware (or to allow hardware
to be compatible with it.)  The breadth of hardware that windows will
support with little user-side knowledge is impressive.  I mean, linux
does pretty good, all things considered, but windows is AMAZING.

BillW

2005\10\03@125848 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 08:59:18AM -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> On Oct 3, 2005, at 3:39 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:
>
> >Sometimes I think that folks miss the astonishing lengths that Linux
> >goes
> >through to be compatible with hardware that is not designed for it.
>
> Of course.  After all, most people miss the astonishing lengths that
> Windows goes to to be compatible with hardware (or to allow hardware
> to be compatible with it.)  The breadth of hardware that windows will
> support with little user-side knowledge is impressive.  I mean, linux
> does pretty good, all things considered, but windows is AMAZING.

I did miss the smiley right?

BAJ

2005\10\03@132220 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Oct 3, 2005, at 9:58 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:

>> The breadth of hardware that windows will
>> support with little user-side knowledge is impressive.  I mean, linux
>> does pretty good, all things considered, but windows is AMAZING.
>
> I did miss the smiley right?
>
No, I'm quite serious.  For instance, cisco has at various times
considered
building a router based on a generic PC-style platform (the last time I
think was back when it looked like Novell might build such routers and
be able to sell them much cheaper than ours; a long time ago.)  After
some study, we decided that ALL the time (and more) that we would have
saved by not having to design the platform itself would have been taken
up by compatibility testing (motherboards, processors, bioses, network
cards, etc.) instead.  Note to mention that most of the
cheap-off-the-shelf
components that made such a platform attractive seemed to have a product
lifetime measured in months, after which you had to start testing
again...
The technology churn rate in PC platforms is mind-boggling...

BillW

2005\10\03@133438 by Peter

picon face

> (I know this is a waste of time and energy, but I feel like venting just a
> wee bit!  :-)
>
> It seems to me, as a not-so-impartial observer, that if Linux is ever going
> to really compete against Windows, that the present state of differences
> between different versions of Linux is A Very Bad Thing!
> I have just spent all day trying different versions of Linux to see which
> would run on my surplus laptop.  I finally got one to run after trying
> several different distros,  which is neither here nor  there, but surely no
> one goes around trying to find different versions of Windows??
> I have all the praise in the world for the different folks trying different
> strokes, but if we cannot have one version of Linux that is The Standard,
> then we are never going to convince the masses to convert.  (Which they
> should).  And yes, to answer your question, I feel better now.

Imho you are wishing for thunder. My opinion on this:

Try to think about it backwards: Which version of (recent, post -98)
Windows could run on that hardware ? Answer: none.

The reason you were able to get that machine working was, that you had
alternatives. And that is the point.

If you want a canned all-ready version of Linux you can buy RH
Novell/SuSe or get free Knoppix and it's there. But when that does not
work, you have alternatives. I would call that an advantage.

Peter

2005\10\03@133637 by Peter

picon face


> And so you proved my point!  If I want to run Windows on a notebook, I do not
> have to look up which notebooks are supported.

Good luck with that if you do not have the OEM driver disk from the
laptop manufacturer.

Peter

2005\10\03@141103 by Peter

picon face

> Thanks for the pointer. I will try that direction.
> There seems to be no end to the available information on the net but finding
> the "right info" is seldom easy.
> It would be nice if I could find a "Recipe Book" where I could look up a task
> and read how to do it. So far, I have not found anything like that.

Linux authors maintain a body of knowledge known as 'the LDP' and it has
a part called Howtos. There are several Samba-HOWTOs. But Knoppix has
Samba built in and enable-able from the menus afair.

As to Howtos, this may be a good starting point:

http://www.scslnet.com/ldp/howto/

With most HOWTOS some part of them is dedicated to explaining where to
get the software and how to build it. As a user of an advanced
distribution you can probably skip to the part about configuration.

Peter

2005\10\03@144413 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 10:22:17AM -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

All very true. But I still think you have it backwards. The hardware
manufacturers generates the windows drivers for the vast majority of
the hardware, not Microsoft. So while I agree that the Windows system
in toto has that vast amount of coverage, it's done in a distributed
fashion where each MB, video card, and peripheral manufacturer contributes
their driver to the pile.

Linux OTOH has virtually no hardware support from the hardware manufacturers
with many actively hiding hardware specifications. And yet there is a wide
breadth of coverage for quite a bit of hardware. I would posit that a Knoppix
or DSL style CD configured for routing would work on the vast majority of
the hardware configurations that you could throw at it.

BAJ

2005\10\03@164704 by Neil Cherry

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Let me over simplify this a little bit but cause where Windows
hardware support starts and stops is difficult to pi point.

Uhm Bill, Windows is not compatible with hardware. Hardware is
compatible with Windows. When I get a mother board I don't go
the the Windows site to get drivers I go to the vendors site to
get the driver. On the issue of AT bus, PCI bus and USB I think
Windows has hardware engineers that participate in the comities
but MS doesn't write the device drivers for the chip set.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       .....ncherryKILLspamspam@spam@comcast.net
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               (Text only)
http://hcs.sourceforge.net/                     (HCS II)
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog

2005\10\03@214530 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Oct 3, 2005, at 11:44 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:

> All very true. But I still think you have it backwards. The hardware
> manufacturers generates the windows drivers for the vast majority of
> the hardware, not Microsoft.

Perhaps, but you're understating the difficulties of creating an
infrastructure where it is POSSIBLE to have hardware manufacturers
create drivers for a closed-source operating system.  Even in an
open-source architecture where everyone can look at how everything
gets done, it's pretty difficult to create software interfaces where
you don't end up having to change both sides to add new functionality.

BillW

2005\10\03@235926 by PicDude

flavicon
face
On Sunday 02 October 2005 07:10 pm, sergio masci scribbled:
> Sorry but you've got this backwards :-)
>
> Windows does not go out of its way to be compatible with your notebook,
> the notebook manufacturer goes out of its way to be compatible with
> windows. They even write their own drivers and utilities when windows
> comes up short.

Yes and no.  MS does actually test their apps against a large set of hardware
devices.  As an example, when I worked there, my roommate really hated his
job of testing printer drivers -- printing a file to every one of 100-200
printers and verifying the output.

But I do still agree -- hardware manufacturers go where the $$$ are -- the
huge Windows base out there.


{Quote hidden}

2005\10\04@000518 by PicDude

flavicon
face
On Sunday 02 October 2005 07:29 pm, John Nall scribbled:
> sergio masci wrote:
> >the notebook manufacturer goes out of its way to be compatible with
> >windows. They even write their own drivers and utilities when windows
> >comes up short.
>
> Yeah, but there is a logic problem there, isn't there?  Linux can't
> follow that lead?  Why are they ("they" being defined as the different
> distros) going off in all different directions?

Linux itself is a core (kernel and some peripherals).  The distros are really
what makes it useable/friendly for most of us.  Which is great.  But
everything thinks they can do it better, and seems to be some sort of race to
introduce the greatest distro out there.


> And so you proved my point!  If I want to run Windows on a notebook, I
> do not have to look up which notebooks are supported.

Oh yes you do :-).  I remember a friend had to have Win 98 for a certain
reason recently (yes, I argued, but he proved it), and we ended up calling
various manufacturers to see if they could supply drivers for Win98, before
we bought a notebook.  At that time, Win98 was still supported, but Notebook
manufacturers were selling Win2k.

Cheers,
-Neil.





2005\10\04@001500 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Good info! Thanks.

John Ferrell    
http://DixieNC.US

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rolf" <learrspamKILLspamrogers.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] Linux incompatibilities


{Quote hidden}

/piclist

2005\10\04@081613 by John Pfaff

picon face
Sorry, but you've still got it backwards :)
Testing apps against hardware is not the same as providing drivers for
hardware.  If there is a problem with a driver, there may not be
anything the app can do to work around it.  But with a good driver, it
should be no problem for an app that works correctly with one printer to
print correctly to _any_ printer.  Since M$ doesn't write the drivers,
if they discover a problem they have to go back to the the printer
manufacturer to get it corrected.  In essence, they're not testing the
app<->hardware interface, but the app<->driver interface.

PicDude wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\10\04@103459 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
John Nall wrote:

> And so you proved my point!  If I want to run Windows on a notebook, I
> do not have to look up which notebooks are supported.

I disagree -- you probably do have to check carefully. Most notebooks are
only supported by the manufacturer for one or two versions of Windows.
Trying to get any other version to run on it can be a daunting task. So if
you want to run WinXP (or any other specific version), you better make sure
all the required drivers for that specific version for your specific
notebook are available -- or it might just not run, or not run well, or
only run partially.

For example, it's probably possible but not quite easy to run WinXP on my
(not so) old Dell Inspiron 7500. It came with Win2k, and runs fine with it,
but there are a few drivers missing for WinXP. Dell doesn't provide them. I
could probably find generic manufacturer drivers, but that's all a lot of
hassle and no guarantees. Not really so different from being able to run
one Linux distro but not another one.

Or try to run Windows XP Media Center Edition on a computer that didn't
come with it (and the manufacturer warranty that it runs on it). You better
make sure you know what you're doing when you buy your components. Try to
find something like this http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/dell.html for the
different Windows versions that are not supported by the manufacturer... :)

And so on...  You can buy notebooks that come with Linux, and the
manufacturer warranty that the distro that comes with it runs on it. The
exact same deal as you have with Windows. What comes with it runs on it (at
least you have a warranty that it will run), and with anything else you're
on your own. And more often than not out of luck -- be that Windows or
Linux.

Gerhard

2005\10\04@183742 by sergio masci

flavicon
face


On Mon, 3 Oct 2005, PicDude wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Is this part of the varification that M$ performs for software and
hardware vendors for $$$ ?

When they find a problem do they get their hands dirty and fix it or do
they just rubber stamp it with a big red "REJECT" and hand it back?

I'd really like to know.


Regards
Sergio Masci

http://www.xcprod.com/titan/XCSB - optimising PIC compiler
FREE for personal non-commercial use

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