Friday, August 29, 2008

Contigency Measures

!! Try them all, kiddo, that's the beauty of the Linux world: choice !!

"Yeah, and do they do Mayonnaise, too?" would've asked my mother. Let's focus on the important stuff: what's important to you? My wife and I are geeks, the laptop has to be sexy, nerdy, and do all the nerdy things we do with a laptop in a sexy fashion.


At first, your primary battle is still usability; even though there's been huge progresses, you still just struggle to past beyond the simple point of "Yep, It Boots, we should all be Happy".

I was astonished at first: the piece is cheap @ 1.000usd bought in a remote place like this; with 1gb ram and this 2.1 dual celeron the engine is quite on the high-end scale of the smallish (12.1, feels horribly heavy and wide to us) laptop scale. Well, for the next two months, for sure.

Then some part of the software went really OK, brightness screen on special keys, suspend from lid closed; I had to trick the sound system as expected, and to fiddle with the codecs, but that was still in the range of acceptable burdens of living the Open Source Fantasy.

Where it stopped being nice, is with F7 and F8 unable to accommodate a WPA wireless connection, UBUNTU 8.04 unable to do anything wireless while supporting the webcam out-of-the-box - and no, F9, which does WPA, does not bring the webcam to anything better than 2 frames a MINUTE with the same stk11xx driver.

Aren't we been told that Bug Reports are All-Important, and that it's Our Duty to follow up in order to help the community? I understand the post I left on the Fedora Forums to have overwelmed the modest capacities over there, but I wrote to the devs in their SourceForge Forum TWO weeks ago.

Yikes. It's all about what's important; years ago we'd be weening about having to pass special kernel options just to have a working tty terminal, now we are complaining the webcam is not functional.

Or is it? Yeah, with UBUNTU. Which can't handle wireless because... Just because their code isn't right, since the same applet works in Fedora!

All these people are pulling code from CVS, do their own tweaks to them, and pass it on to the community with rather poor testing. All this bleeding edge stuff that I love (F9 is great for that, LOT's of novelties) are using us as a testing ground for the commercial distros to follow. Even UBUNTU is now talking about an "Increased in Stability and Security Enterprise-Level Solution" (based on their current LTS releases).

So people, wake up: your average openSUSE, Fedora, UBUNTU package is not a free alternative to closed source OS'es in a closed source world; it's using our free time, our expensive hardware, our skills and patience to test for free whatever they are going to put for sale, at a premium, a little bit later.

All for the better in the better of worlds isn't ?

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