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I feel the original poster's pain. The problem is not with Linux software in general, but with device driver support in particular, and most especially networking devices. The instructions for ...
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  1. #21
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    I feel the original poster's pain. The problem is not with Linux software in general, but with device driver support in particular, and most especially networking devices. The instructions for installing a newish USB wireless controller are appalling. They are not impossible to follow, but it requires far more expertise than the average computer user posseses. The difficulty is increased ten fold because before the networking adapter is working access to the network is impossible, and so all downloads must be run across via a CD burner and sneaker-net.

    Consider these wireless USB installation instructions from http://zd1211.ath.cx/zd1211:

    * Make sure you have your kernel sources in /usr/src/linux
    * Make sure your kernel is compiled with wireless extensions (CONFIG_NET_WIRELESS) and USB support
    * Make sure iwconfig is installed (Debian: wireless-tools package)
    * Download latest drivers
    * untar, make, make install
    * insmod zd1211
    * ifconfig wlan0 up
    * iwconfig wlan0 essid youressid
    * dhclient wlan0

    In other words, to install this piece of hardware you have to compile and install a new kernel (not an easy feat in it's own right, if only because of the dependency dance), install a new package, run a bunch of commands, all which may fail for one reason or another. Even if done successfully there is no hint as to how to get this to work every time the computer starts up - the user will have to teach themselves about the bootup procedure and adjust accordingly.

    It's not clear to me that D-Link or Hawking could have eliminated this process. Assuming they wrote a driver, and distributed an install script to be run as root, how would they have dealt with kernels without "CONFIG_NET_WIRELESS"? Would they have redistributed iwconfig? In what form? For which distribution?

    This is not a rhetorical question. If there is a silver bullet I'd like to know about it.

  2. #22
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitaljosh
    It's not clear to me that D-Link or Hawking could have eliminated this process. Assuming they wrote a driver, and distributed an install script to be run as root, how would they have dealt with kernels without "CONFIG_NET_WIRELESS"? Would they have redistributed iwconfig? In what form? For which distribution?
    They would probably just do what Nvidia does, and make their drivers a kernel module external to the kernel itself.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

  3. #23
    Linux User truoc444's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrephlie

    try:

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase...slipstream.asp

    again... link clicking for me brought up download dialogues....

    spoiler alert.... this takes some time, about as long as it does to reinstall windows... and unless you plan on re-installing a lot it isn't worth it.

    as to the amount of time it took you to install..... i have already said that xp installs are not the fastest..... but never more than 2 hours. simplyMEPIS for me took like 45 minutes.
    That's the one I ended up using. it takes 39 mins for xp then 20 for SP2 then between downloading all the other updates and installing all my software (dvd, cd burning software etc aren't just there on a clean install) rebooting about 80 times what can i say i'm not a programmer and can't write code or anything but i have time and definately have my own level of computer geekiness
    Desktop: Dual Xeon 2.8 GHz 1.5 GB RAM Ubuntu/XP Pro
    Laptop: Macbook 2 GHz C2Duo 3 GB RAM OS X/ Ubuntu/ XP Pro
    Linux Registration #396559

    Go 'Stros!

  4. #24
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    Complacency

    As a quick follow up: I'm a long time Linux user, but I've always been "lucky" with my installs. Things have run flawlessly, and I never had to recompile a kernel or finagle with strange configuration files. Networking has always worked flawlessly. I didn't bother helping those with hardware problems because I figured, eh, they must have done something stupid.

    Not so. A problematic piece of hardware, especially networking hardware, is a whole new ball game. When something goes wrong on Linux, it is almost always fixable, but it requires a huge level of system administration ability. For most people, learning those skills is somewhat wasted, as it will be used for one install and then forgotten.

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