i switched to ubuntu from windows for two reasons:
1. i LOVE opensource
2. microsoft is evil
so it really, really broke my heart to have to switch back to windows eight months later. what forced my hand? device support. after trying to access and write data to 4 different cell phones, two mp3 players and a camera i just gave up on ubuntu – if i ever did manage (after hours or days of reading and tweaking) to gain access to the device, it was always far more limited than was workable, and a couple of the phones I was NEVER able to gain access to and the mp3 players could only be accessed as external drives and both would only play some of the albums regardless of switching id3 tag versions about a hundred times – album by album.
dual operating systems make little sense to me (and the concept pisses me off) so i just switched back to windows xp.
ubuntu is a superior operating system imo, but i’m just not willing to live without full, simple device support – whether it be the fault of the device manufacturers or ubuntu developers makes little difference to me, the end user, who finds it impossible to sync pretty much anything with ubuntu.
Device support is a big problem with Linux, but it’s wrong to blame Linux. (Before you start – I know you didn’t actually blame Linux, but many people do, and I’m addressing them, not you.)
Linux does have pretty good device support – most common hardware works well. But there’s a lot of stuff that just doesn’t have good support.
The real blame goes to the manufacturers, though. I do understand that they’re unwilling to take on the cost of supporting another OS that doesn’t have deep market penetration, but that shouldn’t preclude them from giving out enough information to allow open source developers to build drivers.
There’s a difference between support – which requires at least the attempt at well-written documentation, staff to answer questions, and usually some advertising and marketing efforts – and technical openness. Having one guy on staff who’s willing to answer questions in his off time would usually be enough – there are open-source drivers that have been built with far less than that.
Instead, companies treat their interfaces as if they’re state secrets. I’ve never understood the logic — the Linux market may not be huge, but it’s also not tiny. There are millions of us out here.
Yes it is the MFG’s fault – and rather than moving back to Windows if you voted for the MFG’s that have devices that work with Linux (by purchasing those products that do state they work with Linux or are on the HCL) maybe this crazyness could end. This is exactly the reason the M$ got sued a while back – and the little slap on the wrist they got has not detered them one bit. Your doing exactly what they hoped you would.
Another problem with device support is that the ongoing development of Linux often breaks things. I have a PocketPC that I used to be able to persuade to swap files under Dapper, but has never worked with any release since. After Gustsy it would not even sync properly. I have tried, many times, but HAL will not co-operate. I now use a windows box to grab any files off it, and move them on a memory stick to my Ubuntu machine. Similarly, I have a SCSI interface to my scanner, and although it still works, I have to reboot every time I switch it on, or it cannot be seen by the OS. With me these are little niggles, but I fully understand why this can send someone back to the “dark side”.
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