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Additional lesson: knoppix and floppies is a bad combination [Thursday 12th May 2005 at 12:16 am]

Additional lesson: knoppix and floppies is a bad combination. Why can't linux just work with floppy drives? Noooo, you need to either tell it to mount the disk, or rely on an automounter that never behaves when you want it to.

I'll say this for Windows: hardware generally Just Works (assuming that whoever makes the hardware can 1: make decent hardware and 2: write decent drivers. Some large companies apparently think they're exempt from those rules).
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From: pewterfish
Wednesday 11th May 2005 at 11:21 pm (UTC)
*linux hat on*

Hardware generally just works under Windows because the relevant companies have comprehensive (and expensive) agreements with Microsoft that allow them to access the internal API. Back-engineering the external API (software in user- and kernel-space) is hard enough: imagine the complexity involved in doing it to the internal API (kernel-space and cold-iron) without any documentation. All things considered, it's surprising that quite so much hardware DOES play ball with the Linux OS.

Of course, this all assumes the hardware manufacturer actually gives a fuck about Linux in the first place: if not it's down to the community. And they ain't fast...

This probably doesn't help much, but I figured I'd pitch in and make a nuisance of myself anyway :)
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Wednesday 11th May 2005 at 11:36 pm (UTC)
On the flip side, you get manufacturers that go out of their way to write drivers for Linux. And things like the floppy spec were created and set in stone before a certain Bill Gates was thinking of writing an operating system.

Granted, Linux has improved (Knoppix detected the graphics card without any problems and happily started in 1024x768x24@100), but I'd expect stuff like removeable media to work without mystical incantations or goat sacrifices. I've got no idea why some part of Knoppix apparently decided to cache the floppy drive (put in disk #1, clicked on "floppy" icon which brought up KDE's explorer with the contents of the floppy, swapped disk #1 for #2, hit F5, linux didn't even attempt a read and just showed the same directory listing) for both reads *and* writes. Granted, it's a slow media, but it doesn't take much time to, say, check the FAT hasn't changed (or even just the FAT serial number).

But anyway. I can't be bothered to rewrite the fat driver just to copy a few files from a USB disk to a floppy disk (the drivers for a PCI IDE controller, needed for a fresh install of Win2k onto the disk on said controller). I shouldn't have to jump through hoops just to achieve that.
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From: pewterfish
Wednesday 11th May 2005 at 11:40 pm (UTC)
Hmm, this is true. KDE does have its little foibles, but the whole removable media trick under Linux does get quite frustrating. That you have to tell the system that the media in question has been changed strikes me as somewhat retarded, certainly. I suspect the trouble may lay in the fact that Linux and co are not really designed around dynamic hardware structures: hotplug is a hack at best. Any time the physical architecture of the system changes, Linux is gonna hiccup.

You're quite right, of course. Hoop jumping should not be a required skill in system administration.
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