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Re: WSJ: Mossberg takes the Linux bait and snarls ....

On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 13:06:51 -0400
"Lamar Owen" <lowen pari edu> wrote:

> I agree 100% with one of his beefs.  Laptop touchpad sensitivity.  When I'm 
> typing (and as I touch-type around 50 wpm, the keyboard is really a humming) 
> often the cursor will jump to where the i-beam for the mouse is; ooops, left 
> click.  But I didn't touch the touchpad.  Aggravating as all get out.  (And 
> if someone knows a way to turn that down, please let me know, as I've not run 
> across the setting yet).

Yea, all sorts of mouse related stuff is utterly obscure in linux. I use
a trackball, not a regular mouse, and it is a a pain to get xorg.conf 
and xmodmap setup with the correct gibberish to make one button a drag
lock (without which, a using a trackball is a lot like playing twister
with your fingers :-).

Sound is yet another really, really not ready for prime time feature.
ALSA is hyped as a vast improvement, and the individual drivers may be
better, but there is nothing presenting a unified front to the user
for controlling the sound device, all the controls are insanely device
specific. For instance, there isn't any place I can say "Hey, use the
digital output for sound" when I play a DVD, instead I get to run
a script it took six weeks of google searches to come up with:

amixer set IEC958 unmute
amixer set 'IEC958 Playback AC97-SPSA' 0
amixer set 'IEC958 Playback Source' PCM

Anyone could just glance at that and tell it means "digital sound output"
right? :-).

On the other hand, there is one area in which linux is far in advance
of Windows: Once you get all the stuff you need to play a DVD, you
can actually just play the damn movie - you don't have to sit through
hours of coming attraction promos, and animated menus which take
forever to draw the buttons you need to click. This is why my linux box
is the core of my home theatre system :-).

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