Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Mar 2009 17:26 UTC, submitted by kaiwai
Hardware, Embedded Systems Long-time OSNews reader Kaiwai has written down his experiences with his Acer Aspire One, Linux, and Windows. He concludes: "After a hectic few weeks trying to get Linux to work, I am back to square one again - a netbook running Windows XP SP3 as it was provided by Acer when I purchased it. I gave three different distributions a chance to prove themselves. I expected all three distributions to wipe the floor with Windows XP - after all, these are the latest and greatest distributions the Linux world have to offer. There has been at least 7 years since the release of Windows XP for Linux to catch up to Windows XP and from my experience with Linux on this said device - it has failed to step up to the plate when it was needed."
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I don't get this one
by tofuconfetti on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:31 UTC
tofuconfetti
Member since:
2009-03-02

I have to say that I really don't get this one at all. Ubuntu 8.10 was incredibly easy to install on both my eeePC and my MSI Wind. With the MSI Wind, the first thing I did was pop in an Ubuntu 8.10 bootable thumb drive (also every easy to make) and install it never having booted into Windows XP. With the eeePC, I found the stock linux interface terribly restrictive. (I like having a terminal handy.)

When people say Linux lacks polish and sophistication, I really start to wonder if we are looking at the same OS and what you want yours to do for you. As for installing it, it has gotten easier and faster than Windows XP any day. The worst problem I had was with the wireless and the cam on the MSI Wind and I simply compiled the drivers per very clear instructions from the net and viola! it worked fine. I guess if you aren't comfortable with that, then you should use Windows and suffer the insecurities.

For the record, I have also installed Xubuntu on an MSI Wind just for the fun of it, but returned to regular Ubuntu because it ran just fine and I like gnome a little better as a UI.

In my mind the real benefit from Linux comes in to play when you can use your computer on public networks without reinstalling every 2 months. That is something I simply could not tolerate.

But to say Linux is shabby and difficult to install and use is to misrepresent the truth. It does not need to "catch up to" Windows XP. That would insinate there was ever any "catching up" to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I don't get this one
by darknexus on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 02:59 in reply to "I don't get this one"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The fact that you just said you simply needed to compile a driver should tell you exactly why Linux distros need polish. You should not need to compile a driver. Ever. You may need to _install_ a driver, but you should never need to compile one on a modern os unless, of course, you're the one developing the driver in question. But a system designed for an end-user should not need a compiler installed at all. Not for drivers, and not for applications--and the applications issue is mostly taken care of with software repositories which is a concept I do very much appreciate. The driver situation, on the other hand, is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I don't get this one
by lemur2 on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 03:38 in reply to "RE: I don't get this one"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The fact that you just said you simply needed to compile a driver should tell you exactly why Linux distros need polish. You should not need to compile a driver. Ever. You may need to _install_ a driver, but you should never need to compile one on a modern os unless, of course, you're the one developing the driver in question. But a system designed for an end-user should not need a compiler installed at all. Not for drivers, and not for applications--and the applications issue is mostly taken care of with software repositories which is a concept I do very much appreciate. The driver situation, on the other hand, is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better.


While I agree with your point here, the actual situation is not as dire as may have inadvertently been painted.

I also bought an MSI Wind U100, and I also tried to put Ubuntu 8.10 on it. At first the wireless card was not recognised. I found out the wireless card installed, which was RTL8187Se, and I found out that while Realtek had Linux drivers available for most of their chips, this particular card was not one of them. Realtek were still working on it, but some development code was available.

I knew that the MSI Wind was available with SuSe, so I looked at what SuSe had supplied with the MSI Wind. It was Realtek's development code for this card. No wonder that MSI had experienced a high return rate for Linux ... they were shipping a product with pre-release development versions of the driver. An alternative choice of any of several wireless cards would have saved MSI (and their users) all of this angst.

If I didn't know better, I'd almost suspect that they had deliberately picked a wireless card that had a dodgy Linux driver.

Anyway, after a while the community pitched in, and improved on Realtek's development driver. Pretty soon after I had bought the U100, a more stable version of the code (which you still had to compile for yourself) was available:

http://code.google.com/p/msi-wind-linux/

A week or so later ... binary packages were available for Ubuntu. Just download a .deb file and install with gdebi.

http://boskastrona.ovh.org/

I believe this issue has gone away now with the release of Mandriva 2009.1 and Ubuntu 9.04 (the driver is now in the stock kernel), and of course it has always worked after a fashion with SuSe.

So as for the speculation "is still a down right mess which doesn't look like it's going to get any better" ... in actual fact this particular issue has already got better.

Edited 2009-03-02 03:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: I don't get this one
by dagw on Mon 2nd Mar 2009 11:23 in reply to "I don't get this one"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

As for installing it, it has gotten easier and faster than Windows XP any day.

Yes and no. Out of the box the latest Ubuntu on my laptop for example works maybe 90%, and technically it is fully usable. Unfortunatly getting those last 10% is an epic pain in the arse (but possible after a few days hacking). So it's not a case of closed source and propritary drivers, its simply a case of no distro having included and configured all the necessary components.

Windows XP on the same laptop out of the box maybe 60% of everything works. However getting those last 40% is as simple as going to the vendors homepage, downloading a few exe files, and running them. After that everything works exactly the way it should, no more fiddling.

So perhaps Linux doesn't need to improve relative to XP on any technical front, it can use some improvements to the simplicity of actually leveraging all those technical advantages.

Reply Parent Score: 2