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Thread: A couple of things we Linux users *really* need

  1. #1
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    A couple of things we Linux users *really* need

    Hardware Hell. That's the really big problem with alternative OSes, not including Macs. It's especially frustrating for newbies when they like Distro A but it doesn't support a thingamajig they can't afford to replace (and I'd like to add that it seems like the developers forget that some of us are *poor* since the typical response one gets is go buy such-and-such), but Distro B does support it, even though Distro B is older than Distro A. I believe hardware issues are the real problem for Linux users. The kicker is, there often is a driver for a piece of hardware for your system, but then you have to find it and figure out how to install it (sometimes that's fairly easy and sometimes it's not; Debian/Knoppix supports my ethernet card, fortunately, but in the manual for it are instructions for getting it to run with Mandrake and RH - I've no idea what language that's in, perhaps some scientific code from the 24th century).

    What we need is an add-on to apt (or up2date, or whatever) that updates and searches specifically for drivers. Obviously, a list would need to be kept on in your configuration file for the hardware that was detected during setup. This would be convenient even if all of your hardware is supported, as it would get you the latest drivers easily.

    Whaddya think?

    Another little thing that bugs me. Why is it so difficult to adjust your screen size with most distros? Linux treats 1024 as the default (and is that really a good idea? A lot of us have small monitors and/or not-so-good eyesight) and as I understand it, you have to edit a config file to change it if you didn't specify 800x600 during the install. Windows 98, a 6 year old OS, can change your screen settings easier than that. I know it's a little thing, but it annoys me, mostly because I have a small monitor and a TV out card; I don't want 800x600 on a 24" TV screen, but my regular monitor is so small that I can't see anything with a 1024 setting. And it seems rather primitive, doesn't it?

    Other than those two things, I think Linux is perfect. Sure, maybe Wine doesn't work so great without a lot of fiddling with it, but I'm sure it'll get better. People used to complain about installing Linux, and a few distros are still difficult to install, but more are as brian-dead easy as Windows now, as long as you know something about what hardware you have and where you are.

  2. #2
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    AFAIK, you can change resolution in X by pressing Ctrl+Alt and + or - depending on whether you want the resolution to be lower or higher. It might be Ctrl+Shift, unfortunately I can't remember as I'm in Win XP

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TyphoonMentat
    AFAIK, you can change resolution in X by pressing Ctrl+Alt and + or - depending on whether you want the resolution to be lower or higher. It might be Ctrl+Shift, unfortunately I can't remember as I'm in Win XP
    It's Ctrl+Alt and + or -
    But at least in Mozilla Ctrl+Shift and + or - changes the font size so that might also be useful when you are surfing and hit a web page you are having trouble reading.

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    Thanks! No matter how much I fiddle with Linux, there's always these little tips and shortcuts I hadn't heard of yet, and that's another one.

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    Re: A couple of things we Linux users *really* need

    Quote Originally Posted by Mistshadow
    What we need is an add-on to apt (or up2date, or whatever) that updates and searches specifically for drivers. Obviously, a list would need to be kept on in your configuration file for the hardware that was detected during setup. This would be convenient even if all of your hardware is supported, as it would get you the latest drivers easily.
    I just tried the live eval cd of SuSe 9.0 and it has a driver update function of the Yast 2 module in the control center! Why can't soemone tell me these things *before* I make myself look like an idiot with a display of total ignorance?!

  6. #6
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    Hey Mistshadow,

    Welcome to the club [giggle]

    I've been using Win98 since it came out, I never "followed" the bandwagon to any of the new OS's by M$, and was content with staying "back in the middle ages" with Win98.

    But, ever since seeing, and installing, Knoppix/Linux, first with 3.2, and now with 3.3, I am a mere child. I am CONSTANTLY learning new things about this OS. I've not been using it for very long, maybe about a month now, but, heck, I can remember when I was starting out on this journey, and not knowing how to get a Root password change. Shesh, I've commited that command to memory, I can tell you that.

    Now I'm setting up new users, adding new hardware, running updates and upgrades left and right, adding new software, and I am STILL learning.

    You know, I guess Linux is good for one thing, and I just realized it, keeping ones mind nimble by daily having to learn new things about it. [giggle]

    Cuddles

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    Whaddya think?

    Well, as long as we're playing wishful thinking, I wish we had something on the order of wine only for drivers. I'm thinking of something on the order of a wrapper that would encompass the M$ driver to make it suitable for Linux. Then we could all just sit back, relax, and whenever that hot new hardware gizmo came out with corresponding M$ driver, then we'd just apply our wrapper, stick the hardware onto our Linux box, and away we'd go.

  8. #8
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    Turbine, I've heard they're working on somthing just like that, and so far it's worked great on networking hardware. No kidding. I don't have any links, but maybe you can google it. I'm eagerly waiting for the day they can get that working good on all hardware drivers.

    Cuddles, you're right, it definitely keeps that little hamster spinning the wheel in one's head, doesn't it? Not only that, but many distros are quite different; some have this or that feature that others don't. I didn't know what to do when I tried Slack and it said "pppoeconf" was an invalid command. Turns out the equivalent on Slack is "adsl-setup". There's always more to learn, and with Linux there always will be, because it's being constantly improved. Compare that to Windows 98 and the disaster that was ME.

  9. #9
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    wrapper for drivers

    Wow! Mistshadow, that would really give this Linux effort the boost that it needs.

  10. #10
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    Re: wrapper for drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by turbine
    Wow! Mistshadow, that would really give this Linux effort the boost that it needs.
    Running binary-only, often buggy, device drivers through some wrapper is not always a good thing. It reduces the interest in writing a native driver. I don't think Linux NEEDS it, in the short run it might increase popularity somewhat (at the expense of stability) but once M$ monopoly starts to fall apart the hardware vendors will have to support something else too.

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