[Ardour-Users] OSX vs Linu

m.eik michalke m at openmusiccontest.org
Sun Aug 23 14:23:03 PDT 2009

am Sonntag, 23. August 2009 (22:18) schrieb John Emmas:
> My personal view is that driver installtion & configuration remains the
> greatest bugbear with Linux.  Apple has solved this neatly by heavily
> restricting the user's choice of hardware but Microsoft has the same
> problem on almost the same scale as Linux.

i beg to differ, honestly. try to run windows on an amiga, atari, sun sparc, 
ibm s/390 or your hardware router, to name but a few. i admit those are a 
little off the scope here, but microsoft is more or less exclusively 
interested in its os for the intel pc, whereas e.g. debian installs on all 
those architectures (and more: http://www.debian.org/ports/).

perhaps more relevant is that older hardware is less likely supported by newer 
versions of windows, nor will a huge amount of new components run with older 
versions of windows. and i've had my share of buggy drivers there as well ;-) 
the fact that gnu/linux is perceived as DIY is probably to an extend caused by 
the *ability* to get things working if they don't at first. if a driver is 
missing or too old in windows, you're simply screwed, which is of course less 

considering the market share of windows compared with the user basis of linux 
and seeing what both systems are capable of, microsoft doesn't really impress 

> Microsoft's approach has been to unify hardware and software manufacturers
> with its MSI installation strategy (the ubiquitous "setup.exe" file).  Well
> configured MSI installers have completely removed the pain of installing
> both drivers and apps under Windows

i haven't checked that for a while, but does this apply to the pain of 
removing them again without relicts as well? not to mention the pain of 
software updates (my windows experiences were always if update mechanisms were 
implemented at all, each program did it differently, and automation was 

> With the increased usage of package managers, installing applications under
> Linux has become similarly painless.

speaking for my experiences with apt i must say that package management unter 
linux is much more sophisticated than anything i have lived through with 
windows. i don't know a single windows user who managed to upgrade from a used 
2000 to XP and from XP to vista without formatting at least once because of 
the grown mess. and even if you decide to do a clean new linux installation, 
you just import the package list of your previous installed software and use 
your old home directory, and that's usually enough to go on where you stopped. 
in addition, under windows you can't just call to update every installed 
package at once, if updates are available, or call to install this and that 
program without downloading it somewhere from some homepage first.

i absolutely see it the other way round: there's been a lot of improvement in 
windows, but it's still a long way to go until software management is that 
comfortable as it has been under linux for years.

> Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for installing drivers.  There are
> probably as many different strategies as there are driver writers, which is
> a great letdown.

but nowadays there's rarely the need to install drivers manually, isn't there? 
this might by wrong for exotic hardware or proprietary drivers. they are 
usually a "simple" kernel module that needs to be loaded (can be managed by 
DKMS). at least in my office at work it's always the windows users who are 
fighting with drivers and installation cd-roms, where i just plugged in the 
new monitor, the new usb device or scanned the network for the new printer -- 
and then simply used it without installing anything. you can get used to that 

if you invest some time *before* you buy hardware, you can circumvent most 
showstoppers effectively. but that goes for every os, i think.

for instance, i bought an alesis i|o2 a while ago, to record ideas at home 
quickly. i plugged it in and it just worked on three linux systems (64bit 
desktop, thinkpad and samsung nc10). i've done three hour long uniterrupted 
recordings without hiccups. that is, there are success stories without digging 
in config files.

best regards :: m.eik

::: http://OpenMusicContest.org   :: music wants to be free
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