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Linux pains

Posted 12-04-2008 at 06:48 AM by papajon

Somewhat to the annoyance of my family and friends, I am an active, avid, and vocal user and promoter of Linux - especially Ubuntu distros, but really all of Linux and the whole Open Source concept. Now, having said that, there are 2 main areas that our OS needs improvement - ok, maybe 3.
1. connectivity - particularly wireless. I have tried 10+ adapters and only one works without being a tech wizard. My wifes desktop is 15' from my wireless router. She gets barely 2 bars with Ubuntu but a full 5 bars in Windoze. What's up with that?
2. printers - I convinced my brother to switch to Linux and he likes it a lot but can't get his printer working. (also, he is the source of much additional wireless angst). I have had trouble also with an HP wireless Inkjet constantly dropping its connection - (doesn't happen in Vista - ugh)
3. video - I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10 (separate partition) and my nvidia GEForce card and the latest nvidia driver simply don't like each other. So, no acceleration and no Compiz. Shoot.

But, I still have my Ubuntu 8.04 setup and printing, video and wireless (finally) work there for me. My problem now is helping others get going.

Still, I love Linux.
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  1. Old Comment
    1. connectivity - true... but at least there is the ndiswrapper. Helped my wireless card dramatically! (though finding the actual windows drivers for your card AND making them work may be difficult as pulling out the right drivers from an... well you get the idea)

    2. printers - search for a brand that supports linux. Then send them an nice letter telling them you bought their brand because it worked with linux and they provided topnotch drivers. (I've had bad experiences trying to get an i860 cannon printer working.)

    3. video - problems with nvidia? really? as long as you don't upgrade your kernel, you shouldn't have any problem. (due to the need to reinstall the driver). ATI is the one I always have problems with... on my laptop (gateway 600ygr) it has some special defunct mobile radeon that ATI doesn't support and gateway doesn't provide proper drivers for. I just use the default xorg drivers.

    I would add a few more things to the list (like library standards and the want of people to constantly upgrade.) However, I think of linux as more of a hobbyist project for home users and an 'install it and be done' for servers.
    Posted 12-04-2008 at 11:11 AM by lumak lumak is offline
  2. Old Comment
    lumak - all good points. My main printer is a brother and brother support is excellent and their drivers work. The HP is wireless and I had it working nicely. I'll just have to try again. The video issue was noted in Ubuntu 8.10 release notes so I installed 8.10 in a separate partition. Many others have noted the nvidia issue while others have gotten it to work. I'll just wait until nvidia releases their next driver.

    I am retired and so Linux is definitely a hobby for me. I have nothing but time to tinker. I'm not particularly technical but have learned a lot and am having fun. In some ways it is like working under old DOS. When in trouble you still need to resort to the terminal.

    Thanks for your comments
    Posted 12-05-2008 at 07:17 AM by papajon papajon is offline


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