How fitting that my first post here should be about GNU/Linux. 🙂
My ultimate goal is to remove myself from using Windows altogether, for many reasons (this is another rant for another day), and switch everything to GNU/Linux. I’ve found, as with my last notebook, that a wireless driver is the one major sticking point in this plan. I have a Fujitsu S7020D notebook with Atheros AR5006X chipset. Madwifi purportedly works with this, according to notes one newsgroup, but I have yet to get it to work properly. There are several package dependencies, which I believe I have satisfied, and after some time and trouble I finally got Madwifi to compile and install. (It comes with Kubuntu, but apparently this version is not new enough.) However, once it is installed and I run modprobe ath_pci, that’s the end. I try to run wlanconfig and GNU/Linux doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Ugh. I’ve been working on all of this as time permits (I don’t have a whole lot, admittedly) over the last few days, to no avail.
It’s niggling things like this that keep GNU/Linux off the end user’s desktop. But between the instability, security holes, viruses, trojans, spyware, and adware, not to mention the bulky and time-consuming updates that Windows seems to need with increasing regularity, I’m fed up. I do it for a living all day, which I don’t mind too much because it’s my bread and butter. But at home I become my customers; I just want to use my darn computer without getting hung up by such things. Despite my wife Nickie’s initial exasperation with the complexities of GNU/Linux, her exasperation with Windows has grown such that she said today that if I can get the wireless card working in GNU/Linux she will switch back to GNU/Linux again.
Between the frustrations of both of these, I can see why so many people are running out and getting Apple machines instead. But Apples come with their own set of frustrations including comparatively high pricing for their equipment, along with compatibility problems with other systems, in turn requiring high-priced equipment to resolve, which of course only Apple can supply. Some people don’t mind going this route. I’m not sure I’m one of them.
At this point, I’ll keep fiddling with Madwifi and wait for them to smooth the rough edges off of Wine (a program that can make some Windows applications run under GNU/Linux.