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Old 10-09-2011, 02:50 PM   #1
rainbowsally
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Dial me up, scotty!


DIAL ME UP, SCOTTY!

Have Linux developers inadvertently cut dialup users out of the feedback loop? What kinds of problems could this lead to?

There may be ways to get dialup modens to work, even winmodems! I have recently found some (more) tips that sound very promising but I haven't yet tried them.

My motorola linmodem has been sitting idle for 5 years and I've been stuck with Windows as my modem driver all this time.

Backdoor updaters like PackageKit to "finalize" finalized installations.

When a dialup user wants to try or even to continue using linux they are the folks most likely to "buy" a linux distro. And the experience is not always pretty. And in fact could drives many back into Windows' corner. Needlessly.

I saw a statistic about the Chinese. More people in China have dialup than we do in the US. But there are five dialup users in China for every highspeed internet user. I'm not sure what the statistics are in the states, but losing only ONE sheep is enough to freak a good shepard out, and I'm pretty sure that the reaction of dialup users to lengthy installation processes from even Live DVDs or CDs that don't work or even force a reinstall of Windows (if you don't know how to "repair system" in a commandline environment where freaked out users are forced to use fdisk because NO mount points are automounted (though we know from the files in the /dev folder which partitions are candidates and could mount them all in a 'for i in /dev/sd??' loop so they are at least VISIBLE to the novice trying to "repair [their own] system".

It doesn't appear that all developers actually use the system they are developing either. RPMs are so easy to copy and hastily test that it's likely many of the problems PackageKit is designed to solve could have been caught by the developers before release.

If they did use their own systems, you'd think they might have noticed the difficult or impossibility of repairing multi-linux systems, which might include a "sandbox" linux; which is what we hope is a "safe" second or third linux for
testing.

This is one bug in several distros that dialup users may be MORE inclined to notice than those with a backdoor updater installed, unseen, unheard, and in my opinion unwelcome. And so dialup users may not be so interested in filling out a 15 minute bug report, even if they can get online, after the experience. Grub crashes with their error (22) generally spell disaster. And even if dialup users could spend the week or so downloading a CD to fix their system, you cannot boot even into Windows when Grub misbehaves like this.

The solution is simple. If there's a will to do it.

The bug in Grub can apparently only be fixed by clearing the mbr, not just restoring it. (Chainloader 1.5 inserts improperly in the chain and with only one backup, the second copy generally "finalizes" the error and there is no way to get out of this situation without a utility which first time users will not have. Not even if they have high speed internet, backdoor updaters, and it would only take seconds to download a utility that can boot their (possibly ext4) installation.

Let me be clear. The installation just sits there but the user can't boot into it. They cannot report this bug because they can't even boot into Windows, which starts looking more and more like the better investment (at least in terms of time spent
getting it working).

Arrogance of the development community.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about this, but I want to suggest that some of the people that hate the newer linuxes may actually dislike KDE4 or Gnome3, but some of them, if they gave a little more information about their situation might have had a problem with backdoor updaters (either refusing to use them in a "finalized" distro, or unable to used them because they have dialup) and systems that can't be repaired or only may be repaired with considereable effort and trepidation.

Before we jump to the conclusion that All Complainers Are Bad and All Developers Are Good And Noble, I'd ask how many Linux Developers actually have two linuxes on their
machines, including a partition for testing the installers.

To you, I apologize. You are indeed "Good and Noble". :-) The one situation you can't have known about is the dialup user's experience.

So now you know.

Comparing the prices of "free software".

Who is more likely to purchase a CD or a DVD? Is it those who are already paying a buck a day for internet or those who get their dialup service for absolutely "free", but who would take a week 8 or 10 hours a day, just do d/load a CD.

Thanks for the place to post my opinions. :-)

PS. I have been called an idiot, a moron, for not doing things right (in a Linux distro forum). And I do not deny that. But I have the best team of testers you'll ever meet. The youngest just turned six years old.
 
Old 10-09-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowsally View Post
DIAL ME UP, SCOTTY!
Have Linux developers inadvertently cut dialup users out of the feedback loop? What kinds of problems could this lead to? There may be ways to get dialup modens to work, even winmodems! I have recently found some (more) tips that sound very promising but I haven't yet tried them.

My motorola linmodem has been sitting idle for 5 years and I've been stuck with Windows as my modem driver all this time.
Dial-up support has been available for YEARS, and is quite stable and well-documented. KPPP and Gnokii are available, GUI based, and easy to use. ANY serial modem can be used easily...USB to serial adapters work well, if you don't have a serial port. A 'Winmodem' is meant for WINDOWS..part of the driver code is software based, for Windows only. Being upset about this is like being upset that an Apple iPhone won't take a battery for a Motorola Razr. They're two different things, on purpose.

That said, Linuxant (http://www.linuxant.com), is easily found with a brief Google search, and has already written Winmodem drivers for Linux, and have had them for years. Free version supports up to 14.4, pay-for version goes to 56, with faxing capabilities..and that's only $20, with easy to follow directions and an RPM based installation. Doesn't get much simpler or cheaper than that.
Quote:
Backdoor updaters like PackageKit to "finalize" finalized installations.

When a dialup user wants to try or even to continue using linux they are the folks most likely to "buy" a linux distro. And the experience is not always pretty. And in fact could drives many back into Windows' corner. Needlessly. Who is more likely to purchase a CD or a DVD? Is it those who are already paying a buck a day for internet or those who get their dialup service for absolutely "free", but who would take a week 8 or 10 hours a day, just do d/load a CD.
And the speed of a modem is the fault of Linux HOW??? Yes, downloading 740MB of data for a CD ISO will take a very long time over dial-up. What else is new? Want to download a CD/DVD image? Buy a $10 thumb drive, and head down to your local library...use public broadband, go to a coffee shop with a laptop, or ask a friend with broadband to do it for you. Complaining that a dial-up connection is slow, then blaming the speed on the OS is sort of like buying a car with a small engine, then complaining to the highway department that you can't drive faster. Not much they can do about it, is there??

The auto-update feature can easily be turned off, on ANY distro of Linux, if you don't want it. It's not 'hidden', and has no sinister purpose. Don't like it? Turn it off...it's easily done.
Quote:
PS. I have been called an idiot, a moron, for not doing things right (in a Linux distro forum). And I do not deny that. But I have the best team of testers you'll ever meet. The youngest just turned six years old.
Great...then you should have also been told that if you don't like Linux, you won't hurt the feelings of ANYONE if you don't use it. Buy a Mac....use Windows...it's ok, really. But ranting about things doesn't fix them.
 
  


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