[Full-Disclosure] A real-life story (no analogies) Was: Anti-MS drivel
From: Radule Soskic (rms_at_telekom.yu)
To: email@example.com Date: 23 Jan 2004 13:24:45 +0100
Hi, list users,
I am rather new to this list. Following the two recent threads that deal
with comparing linux and windows I found out I have something that I
could disclose, too (this is full-disclosure list after all). Readers,
please, bear in mind a fact that can help: English is *not* my native
language, so it might happen that I said something what I didn't mean.
I also apologise for the verbosity of the story, TIA to ones that endure
reading through it to the end, there's a (kind of) moral at the end,
Story begins like this:
After a long time, I found myself in position of an average home
computer user (a.k.a Joe Average): I bought new digital camera, made
some shots and wanted to copy the photos to my comp. Now, my story forks
into two scenarios. Believe me, I repeat, this all is real, not fiction
nor analogies. So, the first one first:
1st Scenario: WinXP Professional
1.1. I took the CDs from the pack (2 of them, one with
drivers/utilities, other with a demo app) and start driver/utilities
1.2. The above failed - it reported there's another copy of the same
driver active in memory, so the installation can't resume.
1.3. I temporarily went out from my "Joe Average" role, back to my
"pro/guru" alter ego, so after an analysis I discovered that there is a
conflict of the drivers between my new camera and my old scanner
1.3. Scenario now forks in two branches: one for giving up old scanner
for a new one, in hope that the new drivers would behave differently,
the other for buying a flash card reader, and stop trying to connect
camera directly to USB.
1.4. Going for the flash card reader (cheaper than a scanner).
Connecting it to my USB hub. I got a complaint from my WinXP about "a
high speed device being connected to a low speed device etc". Deciding
to ignore and continue, I got the next complaint about "high energy
consuming device connected to a device that can not supply enough power
etc" or something of that meaning.
1.5. Started re-arranging my usb cables in order to connect this
"high-consuming" reader directly to my root usb, and moving scanner
cable into the external usb hub. (definitely, not back to my Average Joe
1.6. Now power consumption issue disappeared. I managed to connect the
reader, copy the files etc. I was ready to live on with plugging my CF
cards "in and out" for the rest of my Average Joe's life, BUT...
1.7 When I connected my scanner to the USB hub, my WinXP recognised my
old scanner as a *new hardware device* and started a wizard in order to
enable the new device (good old plug and play). It finished its job, but
surprisingly enough, I ended up with two apparently identical scanners
in the device list - the old one and the new one. No problem, one should
say, two is better than one - but here's the bad news: none of the two
1.8 Story continues again by my "alter ego" involvement.
1.9 Reinstalling scanner did not succeed, tried deinstallation both
camera drivers and scanner drivers, installing again, d/l newest drivers
from vendor web site, etc, etc, ...
1.10.Story doesn't stop here. I know the next thing is to reinstall
complete win from scratch. My "alter ego" did it many times before, but
now it is not possible. Because, now this comp is dual-boot (or, should
I say multi-boot), so my winxp install procedure won't continue. It
fails and exits since "there's no valid partition" found. The other OS
that is found there is known as Linux. God knows why, but XP refuses to
reinstall itself since I resized its original partition and installed
Linux on the free space. Never had such problem with Win98 or 2k. But,
XP is abbreviation for "experience", as we all know.
1.11. No support can help, no hope here. No one to blame, either. It's
all me and my own choice of one or the other equally radical measure.
Average Joe is stuck in the middle - camera works, FC reader too,
scanner doesn't. But, since the latter is older than its warranty
period, no possible complaint to anybody. Period. The Joe's alter ego
(the expert) is stuck, too. There's too much work to do, with uncertain
result. Backup, reinstall, restore, educate poor Joe, etc...Unless, of
course another expert is willing to charge poor Joe for whatever of the
following: new scanner, new external usb hub, new SF reader, SW
installation/configuration service etc.
It is time now for something completely different.
2nd Scenario: SuSE Linux 9.0 Professional
2.1. I plugged my FC reader in my root USB hub (the one on the comp.
housing). Short beep, and I discovered new device icon on my desktop.
Click on it - there it is - all my photos are there, nicely thumbnail-ed
in Konqueror. Cut, copy, paste whatever, all nice and simple.
2.2 I plugged my scanner into my external hub. Short beep, and here's my
scanner on the desktop again. (Yes, it was installed before, but note
that it was nothing new to the OS when my scanner appeared on the
external hub port, instead on the root one - compare that to 1.7. above)
2.3. The scenario normally ends here, since all works. Note that there
was no any alter ego involved - all healthy, without developing any any
schizophrenia at all.
There, I couldn't help the guy known as "Joe the Curious" from coming
into the game. So, some playing with the fire started, and here's what
2.4. I plugged out my reader from the root hub and plugged it in the
external hub (the one that can not supply enough power, remember?). And,
guess what? Beep, and everything worked. Suddenly, there's enough power,
2.4. Now, my "Joe the Curious" became "Joe the Courageous" and plugged
the camera into the external hub, altogether with the above mess of
cables. Short beep, and here it is - a new icon on my desktop (a nice,
small camera picture). Click on it - guess what - all works...
The second scenario ends here. The user did all he wanted (and even
more, he satisfied even his curiosity, and even learnt something). No
driver conflicts, no false alarms or any errors. Also, he discovered
that he did not need to buy FC reader nor to use the CDs supplied with
the camera. He did not need to perform any (de/re)installation at all -
just plug and play. Just as it should happen.
After the above experience, I am convinced that it's time to definitely
stop making statements such as:
- Linux is for geeks/nerds/gurus - Windows is for average user
- Linux is for geeks/nerds/gurus - Windows is for enterprise
- Linux is for servers - Windows is for desktop
- Linux is hard - Windows is easy
People, remember, this wasn't about OS installation, setting network
services, firewalls, routers or sending Rovers to Mars. This wasn't even
about security. This was just a simple "scanner and camera" case.
The truth is out there:
Linux started on solid and healthy ground, developing slowly and
gradually, all the way obeying the clear and open rule-sets of good
design and proper implementation. With time, it offered more and more -
and just the things that users wanted to have. There was no marketing
force behind it, with its overly expensive projects that perform
low-level formating of users' brains.
And, yes, most of previous paragraph's content doesn't apply to Windows.
Now - my favourite lin/win statement (flame, please):
1 - Linux is for people that don't have problem with permanent process
2 - Windows is for people that don't have problem with being just
consumers of whatever the industries sell.
3 - No one of us is clearly just one or just the other of the above two.
It's the delicate mixture of the two that makes everyone of us so unique
and so important. :-)
4 - Funny to see the two fighting so often. ;-)
Full-Disclosure - We believe in it.