moxiemontague wrote:I'm a lifelong MS addict: DOS 4.1 through Win 7
I tried Linux many times: Caldera, Mandrake, Red Hat, Corel, Suze . . . .
I always found Linux fast but there weren't any hardware drivers for it and darn little software.
Now I've got two identical boxes: both have same ASUS mobo. both are AMD Athlon II 3.2 ghz quadcores. Both have WD 500 g hdds. Both are running 16 g RAM. One has 64-bit Win 7 the other has 64-bit Maya 13.
Linux positively SMOKES the Windows box. Performance wise, I love Linux Mint. But I'm still a Linux newbie and I still can't get my Brother laser printer to work in Linux and I still can't get my scanners to run in Linux and I still can't get my label printer to run in Linux -- You all know where this is going if I chased it down the road a ways.
Compatibility is better than it used to be by an order of magnitude. But it's still a long way from perfect. I think a bunch of enterprising Linux geeks could lay off starting up a new distro project and devote themselves to creating Linux drivers for popular hardware. I know I'm going off-topic and the last thing I want is to start a ruckus -- but really! They're dropping support for 386 chips, fine. The only folks still running hardware that old probably live in third-world countries and may even be so far off the grid that they can't get (or can't afford) Internet service. And the last thing -- the last thing the world needs is another new Linux distro. Somebody could make a lot of dough writing drivers, though. . . .
I had similar hardware incompatibilities several years ago w/ Linux (even Linux Mint, I think) and had to slink back to Windows, so I get it. In my case, I slowly divested myself of the incompatible motherboards. Now Linux likes my motherboards and sound outputs okay. Linux also recognized my printer, an OKI 5200, after I did just the tiniest bit of research on Google. I had to enter a command in the Terminal to install it, I think. I forget what it was that I did. That's one thing you have to do if you take the Linux road, be willing to research on the Internet, because with the OS being free, there ain't no 1-800 number. If you love tech like I do and have the time to invest, then it's not quite so bad really. I should ask whether you have been hitting the search engines for solutions to your hardware difficulties. I do it all the time, but then I did it for Windows too, you know, because Windows doesn't always work right either, and there are definitely hardware problems in Windows too.
The worst problems I had with Linux in 2012 was, first and foremost, connecting to my Windows shares on the home network, and second, getting that ATI proprietary driver installed and configured correctly. I wanted to use the latest version, so I was trying to download it from ATI's site, which didn't work out too well...eventually I just went with the one available on the repository. But there are some commands that must be entered in a terminal to verify correct installation and to setup xorg.conf.
Linus Torvalds oversees the crew that writes the hardware drivers that get added to the Kernel. Some manufacturers cooperate in releasing specs more than others. I'd say ATI is not as cooperative as it should be. If the guys at AMD/ATI had a brain in their head, they would cooperate 100% and give every last bit of pertinent technical info to the open-source coders, so that the Linux driver would be that much better and Linux users would have a powerful reason to buy ATI products. As it is, we have a situation where there's the proprietary driver for Linux that ATI releases, and it's usually got some issues, and there's the open-source driver which is good in some ways, not others. Although I finally got the proprietary driver installed on my rigs, it took me a lot of time researching the right method, and I've read about the limitations of the driver. I will think twice before buying anything AMD / ATI again. You could say, who cares, Linux users don't amount to a large percentage of the market place, but guess how many people ask for my recommendations when they are in the market for a new computer? The truth is that the Linux community influences the market more than our numbers would suggest. Today, AMD is in a lot of financial trouble, and the investors are scratching their heads wondering why. Well, who knows, it is probably a lot of things besides just this, but better outreach to the Linux community couldn't hurt either. I read that ATI assigns just two coders to support the Linux driver.
I think if you want Linux, then you should gradually transition to hardware that is Linux-friendly, and sell the other, less-compatible hardware to Windows users who don't care and will be happy with it. I've slowly moved in that direction over the years. In the future, I'm going to give a lot of attention to reviews where users discuss their Linux experience.