May 13, 2008
All aboard the no Gates express
Next stop: Linuxville
Check out this article at Tech Radar on one guy's move from Windows to Ubuntu. Except:
One of the main problems with Microsoft's Windows OS is that virtually everything on your motherboard, and anything you want to install, requires an appropriate driver. This used to be the case with Linux, but like Apples OS X, a large number of drivers are now built into the Linux kernel.
For instance, once you install Windows, you normally need to install all the motherboard drivers. When I installed Ubuntu, this wasnt necessary.
Even more impressively, Ubuntu detected my wireless USB stick. All it required was the WPA password and it connected straight to the Internet. In Windows, a specific driver is needed.
So far Im impressed. Setting up Ubuntu has been easier than Windows XP or Vista, and Ive had to install far fewer drivers. Over the next four days, Ill find out how Ubuntu copes with a range of everyday tasks, from Internet shopping to productivity and playing games.
Stay tuned for future installments in this series.
Posted by: Physics Geek at
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While I'm not a fan of Vista (I actually hate it), I am a fan of other Windows OS', such as Win2k (my favourite) and Server 2003. Currently I run XP 64-bit on several different machines, and we also run flavours of Server 2003 and 2000 on various computers too; we host several web pages of our own, have our own domain and run our own mail server too (X-mail).
I worked as a software tester for years (at Microsoft) and was used to wiping and reinstalling my machines regularly and never had a problem with missing mother board drivers for Windows. Printers, net cards even video cards have drivers built in. Sometimes legacy drivers for old devices would be removed, but on the whole the drivers were comprehensive and pretty up to date.
The biggest problem I had recently was when I bought an HP laptop with an AMD64 chip and (heavens!) decided to wipe 32 bit Windows and put XP 64 bit on it . HP proudly advertised the 64 bit chip, but had very few drivers available for things like the ATI on board video. HP's support was terrible (some rent-a-helper in India tried to convince me that 32 bit drivers run on a 64 bit platform), they don't even ship you the OS disks and installed drivers but have an idiotic back up partition that takes up quite a bit of space that they then want you to create restore disks from. Planet AMD was an invaluable site that helped me get up and running and the laptop is quite nice now.
I don't work at MSFT any more - it's a different place now and a pretty difficult one to work in at that, lots of politics and back-biting and process - and there are many reasons to hate Vista, but unless you have some bizarre motherboard, you won't have a problem running Windows or net cards, audio cards, printers, etc. As an aside, many companies (like HP), have fought tooth and nail since 9x days to reserve their drivers and supply them and refused to give them to MSFT to include. Open source OS' which don't have to worry about things like corporate relationships, can RE things and include them without invoking anyone's ire.
So while there is plenty to criticise about MSFT and Vista in particular, I don't think drivers are a really valid criticism.
Posted by: Hanya at May 14, 2008 06:51 PM (YScCq)
Posted by: physics geek at May 16, 2008 07:44 AM (MT22W)
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