Win98 -- all kidding aside

Marcin ‘Qrczak’ Kowalczyk qrczak at
Wed Jul 30 17:25:27 UTC 2008

2008/7/30 Mumia W. <paduille.4062.mumia.w+nospam at>:

> Ubuntu tries hard to work "out of the box," but it often misses. And
> frankly, Linux has been making some dumb decisions recently, such as
> establishing dependency upon udev (unreliable device manager),
> asynchronous device driver loading, and xrandr1.2 (X random
> configuration--ignore the user).

I disagree. When I started using Linux 10 years ago, I had to search
over the Internet to find out what magic to write in which
configuration files in order to be able to type and see letters like
ĄĆĘŁŃÓŚŹŻ, to make X working with my graphics card and monitor, to use
TrueType fonts, to let programs make sound (ah the joy of
isapnptools!), and to connect to the Internet (here we have a chicken
and egg problem and I had to learn by browsing WWW on Windows). When I
wanted to use a Zip drive, I had to edit /etc/modules.conf and
/etc/fstab. Even one year ago I had to edit /etc/fstab in order to
make filenames in my phone appear as UTF-8 in Linux (not Ubuntu).

Today every distribution comes with TrueType fonts with Polish letters
and a Polish keymap, I don't have to fiddle with ranges of horizontal
and vertical frequencies of my monitor, and an USB drive or a network
connection generally starts working when the cable is plugged in. With
UTF-8 filenames in the phone. I did not have to touch /etc files after
a fresh Ubuntu installation except for a little fix in
/etc/init.d/ to silence a VirtualBox warning.

This is definitely an improvement. There are things which don't
currently work for me:
• suspend or hibernate with Nvidia driver (a known issue here)
• Menu key (has the same keycode as Fn key)
• internal microphone (I don't know why yet)
but this is not the fault of attempts of automatization.

What is sometimes missing is an "Special configuration" button to
tweak settings on a lower level. E.g. network-manager has no place to
add custom AT commands, so a bleeding edge version of network-manager
must be used with GSM modems I think.

Marcin Kowalczyk
qrczak at

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