Monday, June 19, 2006

Open Source Issues

I've been touting Free and Open Source software for a few months now. By October, it'll probably be a year. I installed Fedora Core 4 (Red Hat) Linux, and have learned a lot since then. While a free operating system, office software suite, video and mp3 players and organizers, super fast internet browsers, 13,000 free software titles are really nice, Free and Open Source software isn't without it's problems.

Linux works great, most of the time. I'll wager that it works on 90-95% of hardware out there. I don't mean computers, I mean individual pieces of hardware in the computers. In that respect, something somewhere in a computer is bound to not work, or take a lot of effort to get to get working. Most distributions have problems with something. Usually, it's something just slightly annoying -like the mic not working on my Ubuntu installation- or a bigger issue -like difficulties with WiFi cards an all Linux machines.

But, good news; I've found a section all about WiFi in Ubuntu, so I'm a good step closer to getting it working. That, and a souped up -or soup can in this case- antenna, and these will be some kick-ass machines. I think whoever recieves these machines will be very surprised at how nice Linux works.

But, this is about the problems.

One problem that plagues Free on Open Source Software is the fun factor. It's fun to create software that everyone uses, or at least everyone will want to use. It's not much fun creating software for the behind-the-scenes hardware that is greatly needed. More people work on the fun stuff, while only a few say, "Okay, I'll work on the WiFi."

In the near future, that won't be much of a problem. More hardware makers will write drivers for Linux. My hope is that one day, drivers will work equally on all systems; Windows, Mac, Linux. Then, we won't have to bother with waiting for new drivers.

Progress on my Bossman Project is slow, but in forward motion. I'm trying to get all the necessary components together to give out a good computer. It's good practice for me.

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