February 16th, 2008, 08:44 AM
Linux doesn't work with hardware?
I've heard this a million times; "I don't use Linux because my hardware doesn't work with it and it's really hard to set up the stuff that does work and it's hard to use".
Just so I can clear up why I'm posting this, this is what has just happened to me:
My Wife and I are enjoying the fact I don't have to be up at the ass crack of dawn this weekend, so we're in the tech room relaxing, She's playing WoW and I'm burning CDs of the 10 or ISOs of Linux and BSD I downloaded earlier.
Here's the thing:
My main desktop that I use for everything production; Like work, I use Novell's mail client and super feature rich stuff to check my email, and then use the calendar built in to set up appointments for customers and also make memos and notes.
The machine has a Windows HD and a Linux HD, and anyway, I was burning CDs and K3B seemed to be going a little slow.
So I'm sitting here and I remember "Oh yea, I brought that USB CD / DVD burner from my old bedroom at my Mom's house!"
Now, some background info:
This thing was pretty cheap. I bought it about 3 or so years ago because I wanted a DVD burner and, well, I could afford this one, and I liked the fact that it was USB thinking "I can hook this up to all the machines to do back ups!".
That wasn't the case of course. It had to be used with Windows XP, and needed some resources some of the machines just don't have.
Well, my laptop met the requirements easily, so I set it up on there, popped in a DVD, and decided to do a back up.
It didn't work. I tried multiple times, checked the docs it came with, but it wouldn't work at all.
I was like OK, fine, whatever, and set it aside all that time.
It said basically Windows XP or nothing. So I didn't try Linux.
Well, I grabbed it and the cables, hooked it all up, plugged it into this machine running OpenSUSE 10.3, and then reached in the back of it and flicked the power. I set it on top of the case because it fits good there.
Nothing happened, so I was thinking "Yup, didn't work" until I opened the Computer area that shows hardware you hook in and DVD and CD drives and USB stuff.
It showed up...
OK, thinking to self it can NOT be that easy...
I right click and go to properties and sure enough it was, I selected auto mount in case I wanted to unhook it later, but decided what the hell I'll check it out.
I pop in a CD and sure enough the dialog box pops up asking if I'd like to burn one, and which type I'd like to burn.
I cancel that and just open my /home directory, click on an ISO file which in KDE pops open K3B and checks the MD5 sum for you and then all you have to do is click on burn because the speed and everything else auto set to "auto" so you don't have to change a thing. Which already makes it easier than Windows where you have to figure out which option will allow you to burn images depending on which software you're using, so anyway, I click on it, it pops up, checks the MD5 sum for me even though I didn't download it and then I click burn.
It starts writing the CD no problems at all...
This thing isn't supposed to even work in Linux or anything else for that matter if it wasn't XP, yet without installing anything, just plugging it in and turning it on, it worked without me doing a thing to it, and I just finished burning like 5 Linux distros and I'm about to start burning Free BSD 6.3 RELEASE so I can toy with that.
I'm seriously considering installing Linux on my Mom's computer again.
When Her machine started messing up I tossed SUSE on it. IT was Her old machine, a Celeron 433 MHz box with 192 RAM and a 9 gig HD.
Well now She has XP on a brand new Dell, it's slow as crap because there is hardly any RAM, and I spent an hour fixing Her Machine because Windows Update said a new driver for the Printer She has was ready to download and I was dumb enough to let the thing install.
It stopped working, and un-plugging the printer and trying to refresh and everything else wouldn't work.
finally I used system restore to go back to before I had installed the updates for Her and then selected it to stop showing hardware updates since, well, I'm tired of fixing XP.
I'm thinking of just installing SUSE on there so I can update it from here, but I need to check if Her printer works with it. After this I wouldn't be real shocked if it does just fine, but I want to check first anyway.
I've done this before too. My cousin got a computer and after exactly 7 days he had gotten 12 Trojans and about 1200 spy ware apps installed.
I formatted the drive and put Linux on there and he stopped having problems. I'd just SSH in to run the updates for software and didn't have to drive there anymore to click on update for Windows and his anti virus which he never scanned with or updated.
My Mom accidentally deleted the desktop link to Ad-Aware once and went online thinking it was un-installed, so she downloaded something that wasn't Ad-Aware, and installed it... Took 3 hours to clean it off there and re-install the real one.
I have to because She goes to web sites all the time full of spy ware and junk. She also believes a lot of that online "found money" bull.
So putting Linux on there would really make it easier on me, I could update it from here over SSH and She couldn't infect Herself all the time.
Anyway, after what happened just now, I had to do a post about it. I mean really, my dreams of being a *NIX Wizard and *NIX admin and security admin (You need goals in life) help me sleep better at night knowing that I don't think twice about my machines having a problem, and that it's so much easier when it's *NIX.
Ordered some new DVDs from Sun today too
Anyway, I wanted to talk about that and wonder how Windows Admins are ever sober after what I've seen this week with my new job. Thank God I don't have to put up with this crap at home
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