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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
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Journal of davorg (18)

Tuesday August 26, 2003
05:33 AM

Hardware that Just Works

[ #14321 ]

There was one major hardware success story over the weekend. A friend turned up with a laptop that was running Windows XP. For a laugh I thought I'd try putting a wireless card into it. Almost instantly the new hardware was recognised and the PC clicked and whirred a bit while it installed the correct drivers. Less than a minute later it was installed and Windows reported that it had found a wireless network to connect to. We connected to the network and within seconds we were reading email.

It was my first brush with Windows XP and I have to confess to being impressed. That's how I want it to work under Linux.

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  • I have had that experience - with a wireless card as well - just the other way around - Windows (2000 not XP) just refused to recognise the card, while a SuSE8.2 linux just happily connected without a murmur.
    YMMV

    Hardware, especially the ones that you have to install, sucks. Every wire can be mounted in at least 7 differnt ways - all wrong, cards never fit where they are intended to fit, and screws just plain vanish!
    This never happens in our nice deterministic realm of software ;-)

  • There's two parts to having hardware that Just Works. The first is for it to install with minimal hassle. The second - and just as important - is for it to stay working without you even thinking about it. This is especially important for removable devices like wireless cards.
  • For the most part XP has been a pretty good operating system for me. As usual, when something doesn't work as expected, XP can be more difficult to troubleshoot than some of the open source OS's. For me USB printers and digital cameras have worked as easily as your example. I've tried to use other OS's for my main home workstation, but things like multimedia always seem easier on XP. I'd