The cost of using Linux on a laptop

Replies:

Parents:

  • None.
I bought my laptop[0] one year ago, and installed Linux on it[1] as
soon as I got it.

Little by little, I got everything working on it: first the screen
(X), then the sound (required Alsa, then was integrated in the
kernel), then USB (had to wait for a backport in the 2.2 kernel), now
the jog dial (in a 2.4 kernel).

Basically, one year later, I have everything working. Well, not quite
everything: the MemoryStick reader can't see my memory stick[2], my
modem is a winmodem and has no driver under Linux[3].

So there is a cost to owning a laptop running Linux: the chances that
you can use all the cool features of your brand new beast are very
low.

No, I am not going to switch to Windows (especially now that my laptop
is 1 year old), but there are times when I wish I didn't have to carry
a PCMCIA modem card or that I could write to my memory stick without
having to use my IR port and my Clie's RAM...

 0. http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/products/pc/notebook/pcgz505je.html
 1. http://larve.net/people/hugo/2000/07/linux-vaio
 2. http://larve.net/people/hugo/2000/07/linux-vaio#ms
 3. http://larve.net/people/hugo/2000/07/linux-vaio#modem
--
Hugo Haas <hugo@larve.net> - http://larve.net/people/hugo/
Done and done.

Re: The cost of using Linux on a laptop

Replies:

Parents:

Hugo Haas wrote:
>
> I bought my laptop[0] one year ago, and installed Linux on it[1] as
> soon as I got it.
>
> Little by little, I got everything working on it: first the screen
> (X), then the sound (required Alsa, then was integrated in the
> kernel), then USB (had to wait for a backport in the 2.2 kernel), now
> the jog dial (in a 2.4 kernel).
>
> Basically, one year later, I have everything working. Well, not quite
> everything: the MemoryStick reader can't see my memory stick[2], my
> modem is a winmodem and has no driver under Linux[3].
>
> So there is a cost to owning a laptop running Linux: the chances that
> you can use all the cool features of your brand new beast are very
> low.

Arnaud LeHors reprimanded me for using Linux. He said that Win2k
was stable and that everything works with Windows AND you can
run your favorite Linux programs either by using Cygwin or
some other emulator/server software (about which I remember little).

I wasn't convinced and went with Debian. But I agree, there
is a cost. I took me more than a week to get everything working.
But now, everything does work. And well.

_ Ian

--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Cell:                    +1 917 450-8783

Re: The cost of using Linux on a laptop

Replies:

  • None.

Parents:

At 17:36 8/1/2001, Ian B. Jacobs wrote:
>Arnaud LeHors reprimanded me for using Linux. He said that Win2k
>was stable and that everything works with Windows AND you can
>run your favorite Linux programs either by using Cygwin or
>some other emulator/server software (about which I remember little).

Win2K is a nice OS: however, the apps typically suck, are bundled to the OS
in nefarious ways, and are too proprietary. This is the why I want to move
off of it -- and I'm not proud as a user given MS's history as a monopoly,
nor attracted by its future (IPR control and format bundling in XP).

I see the picture from the other side of Ian who's already undertaken the
cost. I have a checklist of things that I need to get working before I can
make the move, and I spend a lot of effort trying to get them checked off,
and it's taken me longer than I expected. That's why I was happy to find an
encrypted file system for linux that met my requirements this week [1]. This
past year, Amaya has gotten to the point that it satisfies most of my
requirements for an HTML editor. Kmail is good enough as a Eudora user.
Unfortunately, Palm device synchronization (particularly over USB), with
various conduits (particular local KMAIL or pine/mutt folders) looks to be
one of the biggest/frustrating costs right now.

[1] http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/linux.htm
--
Regards,          http://www.mit.edu/~reagle/
Joseph Reagle     E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65  BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E
MIT LCS Research Engineer at the World Wide Web Consortium.

* This email is from an independent academic account and is
not necessarily representative of my affiliations.

Re: The cost of using Linux on a laptop

Replies:

  • None.

Parents:


On Thursday, August 2, 2001, at 08:59 AM, Jeremy Stemo wrote:


On Wednesday, August 1, 2001, at 03:36 PM, Ian B. Jacobs wrote:

> Hugo Haas wrote:
>>
>> I bought my laptop[0] one year ago, and installed Linux on it[1] as
>> soon as I got it.
>>
>> Little by little, I got everything working on it: first the screen
>> (X), then the sound (required Alsa, then was integrated in the
>> kernel), then USB (had to wait for a backport in the 2.2 kernel), now
>> the jog dial (in a 2.4 kernel).
>>
>> Basically, one year later, I have everything working. Well, not quite
>> everything: the MemoryStick reader can't see my memory stick[2], my
>> modem is a winmodem and has no driver under Linux[3].
>>
>> So there is a cost to owning a laptop running Linux: the chances that
>> you can use all the cool features of your brand new beast are very
>> low.
>
> Arnaud LeHors reprimanded me for using Linux. He said that Win2k
> was stable and that everything works with Windows AND you can
> run your favorite Linux programs either by using Cygwin or
> some other emulator/server software (about which I remember little).
>

Although I too have found Win2k to be much better than its predecessors,
I went with a PowerBook G4[1] and MacOS X[2]. The G4 is as
feature-filled as any notebook that I'm aware of - USB, Firewire, a
cheap ($149 Ca) 802.11 option, and a really  nice widescreen display.
Under OS X, I run MacOS 9 apps like MS Office, OS X apps like IE5 and
Opera, command-line Unix programs (the developer tools CD includes
Apache, Perl, Emacs, etc), and Java 2. Apparently, you can even run X on
it [3]. Using my digital camera was as simple as plugging it into the
USB port. TCP/IP networking is similarly easy. To a large degree, Apple
has realized its promise of adding Mac-like ease of use to Unix.

Of course, its not perfect. My current complaints:
- some operations like opening a folder or launching an app are really
slow. This is supposed to be addressed in the next version (10.1), due
in September.
- There's no DVD playback under OS X. Again, supposed to be fixed in
September.
- there is no native Palm desktop software, and the IR port doesn't work
under OS X for  hot-syncing.

1. http://www.apple.com/powerbook
2. http://www.apple.com/osx
3. http://www.xdarwin.org

-Jeremy
>

HURL: fogo mailing list archives, maintained by Gerald Oskoboiny