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Re: WSJ - Article on Linux netbooks

Craig White wrote:
> What the author doesn't say is that he has learned to put up with
> Windows problems and writes as if those problems are unique to Linux.
> They are not.

True, except for one major difference: when your printer doesn't work
under Windows, it's usually because you didn't install the driver yet
(or installed the wrong one). Unless the printer is at least a few years
old, there are always drivers for it.
With Linux, if it doesn't work out-of-the-box, there's SOMETIMES a 3rd
party driver for it, but if there isn't, you're done.

If you tell Joe Sixpack to "go buy ANY new printer because your old one
is a paperweight," he'll grumble but comply. It's "reasonable" to him
because he doesn't understand how technology works (nor does he care to,
really). Maybe it's partially due to the fact that "it's bad because
it's old" is implied, and Joe can wrap his head around that -- after
all, he's used to hardware (e.g. car) wearing out over time.
With Linux, it's "go buy a COMPATIBLE printer." Does anyone expect Joe
Sixpack to actually do any research and buy the printer that's best for
him?? Hell no, he'll go to the store and buy the shiniest one, or one
that a sales rep will recommend him.
When new stuff doesn't work, Joe gets pissed off. One of two
possibilities: (1) he swears a blood oath against the printer maker, or
(2) he swears a blood oath against Linux. And HP is a huge well known
company which obviously doesn't make mistakes like this. In essence,
Linux is not popular enough to get away with stuff like this.

Another example from my experience: I bought a Creative webcam on
impulse (it was very cheap, found it on Slickdeals). Plug it in - no
dice. Search for the drivers - nothing. Some similar models are
supported, but not this one (different chipset, I think, was the problem).
Creative has open source page for this webcam
(http://tinyurl.com/m72oq3). I'll even save you the trouble of going to
that page: status is "pending" and there's no link to any sources. So
what, I'm supposed to write a driver myself?

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