Plug and Play


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Thread: Plug and Play

  1. #1
    Dean Melanson Guest

    Plug and Play


    Is Linux planning on supporting all hardware that is now availbale for the
    Windows 95+ operating systems? Trying to convince a customer to switch to
    linux when their hardware doesn't work with it, is a hard sell. Most equipment
    made these days is Plug and Play, and I have found it a fight to install
    some equipment I have. I would be more then willing to start programming
    in Linux if I were sure that it wasn't going to be a fight to get it to work
    on a buggy Plug and Play card.

    Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Flacco Guest

    Re: Plug and Play



    I'm pretty new to Linux, so take these comments for what they're worth :-)

    > Trying to convince a customer to switch to
    >linux when their hardware doesn't work with it, is a hard sell.


    My feeling is that Linux will not make significant in-roads in established
    Windows environments. Linux is harder to set up and use, and less polished
    as a desktop. You won't see a Windows shop throw out their NT servers and
    WinX desktops to make way for Linux.

    That said, I think there may be opportunities for it to gain footholds in
    the following ways. I'll generalize based on what I foresee happening in
    our organization:

    First, as in my case, (semi) technically-oriented people will become curious
    about the OS, set up a test installation, and play around with it. It might
    end up serving as a low-profile web server, and from that base slowly grow
    into an integral part of the enterprise.

    On the desktop side, the geeks will dual-boot Linux with WinX, and over time
    Linux may become their preferred OS. Despite the manual labor required to
    maintain/upgrade/extend it, it does have an endearing quality about it.

    > Most equipment
    >made these days is Plug and Play, and I have found it a fight to install
    >some equipment I have. I would be more then willing to start programming
    >in Linux if I were sure that it wasn't going to be a fight to get it to

    work
    >on a buggy Plug and Play card.


    PnP under Linux has worked perfectly for me.

    I think the big problem in this regard is "windows-specfic" hardware. For
    example, "WinModems" that off-load some of their functionality to the operating
    system. I think this is just a hardware thing, though - if the vendors open
    up their specifications, I would guess Linux drivers could be written that
    provide the services these devices would normally get from Windows.

    On the consumer side - I think that a Linux "game box" might have some promise.
    Many games that have been ported to Linux have actually performed *better*
    than they do under Windows (QuakeArena, Heavy Gear II, etc). There could
    be a market for a low-cost, high-performance game box pre-loaded with a lot
    of cheap Linux ports of popular games, or perhaps with a set of games selected
    by the buyer (assuming the game vendors liekd the idea). Presumably, the
    buyers will be kids who may become curious about their platform beyond the
    games. And Linux may appeal to their "counter-culture" tendencies :-)


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  3. #3
    Neil Matthew & Rick Stones Guest

    Re: Plug and Play


    Dean Melanson <wecompute@uswest.net> wrote in message
    news:39593936$1@news.devx.com...
    >
    > Is Linux planning on supporting all hardware that is now availbale for the
    > Windows 95+ operating systems? Trying to convince a customer to switch to
    > linux when their hardware doesn't work with it, is a hard sell. Most

    equipment
    > made these days is Plug and Play, and I have found it a fight to install
    > some equipment I have. I would be more then willing to start programming
    > in Linux if I were sure that it wasn't going to be a fight to get it to

    work
    > on a buggy Plug and Play card.
    >
    > Thank you.


    You have to remeber that there is no one "Linux" that has plans at all.
    The bulk of the work on Linux is undertaken by volunteers, although these
    days companies such as Red Hat do employ programmers to help with the
    development effort.

    It is in everyone's interest to support the widest variety of hardware
    under Linux, and it has been our experience that whenever a cool new
    piece of kit appears on the market it's not too long before some
    enterprising
    hacker produces an initial device driver.

    Some things are harder to support than others though. USB and Firewire have
    been a long time coming. Plug and Play is still tricky with a few cards.
    Winmodems have a way to go yet, though frankly we'd steer clear of these
    for other reasons

    The major hurdle to Linux hardware support in the past has been the fact
    that
    manufacturers had not appreciated the potential market. Many would not
    release programming details to allow Linux hackers to make their own
    drivers.
    A principal example here is Diamond Multimedia kept their video card
    interfaces secret, or insisted on non-disclosure agreements. Today however,
    not only have Diamond relented, but other card makers, such as Creative
    for their sound cards, and some Ethernet card manufacturers bundle Linux
    drivers
    in the box, or provide them on their websites. This is a very promising
    trend.

    Having said that, some personal experience suggests that some PnP support in
    the latest distributions has taken a step backwards. We have seen machines
    with pretty standard sound and network cards not work "out of the box" with
    the latest distribution where they did with earlier ones.

    We always check hardware compatibility lists before buying new hardware.
    If we all make of point of telling manufacturers we want Linux support for
    their hardware, we can get Linux support by default, not as an afterthought!

    Bear in mind, Windows NT4 doesn't even do PnP! Or USB. Or FireWire. ...

    Neil and Rick



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  4. #4
    Wesley Davis Guest

    Re: Plug and Play


    "Flacco" <Flacco001_REEMOOVE_@twilight-systems.com> wrote:
    >I think the big problem in this regard is "windows-specfic" hardware. For

    example, "WinModems">

    The bigger problem is that the trend, caused by "I wanna under $500 computer"
    thinking, is to go to highly integrated motherboards. One of the ways to
    make these things even cheaper is to make the CPU do more of the tasks of
    otherwise separate hardware, the "WinModems" being just one such example.
    Audio hardware is another.

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