> I've happily used Slackware for servers for years, with not a GUI on the
> horizon. Mandrake 10.1 was my first venture into Linux on the
I use Slackware quite happily as my workstation.
I use slapt-get to keep the system up to date. I find it simple and easy
to use... _when_ things go wrong... I _don't_ have to spend my life
searching though layers of interdependant scripts to do something simple.
But, seriously, I find Slackware quite easy to use as a Desktop system,
if you are familar with this distro, then there is no reason to switch
over. Versions of Gnome, KDE, <fav util> are all modern and release
cycles are regular, but, not prohibitively so.
> All I wanted was a functioning trouble-free desktop to do my work. I do
> not expect to have to spend time fiddling with boot parameters to get a
> printer to work, when it works perfectly well if I boot into Windows.
I'm not quite so sure what I should say to that. Every system has warts.
Some may find Windows easier to use as a desktop, but, that is honestly
_not_ an opinion I personally hold. I find Windows irritating...
constantly installing things here and there, starting up programs I know
nothing about... getting easily perventable viruses....
You will enivatibly come up against _something_ using any system at some
point... which makes you say to yourself "Whats the point?".
If you honestly haven't used anything other then Slackware & now
Mandrake, then you loose nothing by experimenting with some alternatives
on the Desktop, or even using Slackware there, I find it suits my needs
well enough for now.
> certainly do not expect to have to compile and install a kernel.
I suppose that's where we differ. The _ability_ to do that, when things
go wrong (as things invariably will) is one of my _prime_ motivators to
> a USB problem in Windows required a user to compile and install a
> new Windows kernel we'd all fall around laughing.
To be fair. If you had a similar problem on Windows, you simply wouldn't
have that recourse..... you'd be completely stuck with your Windows XP
kernel version (blah) and propiatery printer driver (x).
My assertion is that if one gets the latest vanilla (a choice one cannot
have in propiatery OS-space) and can replicate bug(x), in this case an
alleged USB bug , then a bug report can be sent to the relevant
kernel development list, or perhaps a patch. The worst case you would
have to wait, is a hell of a lot less then the six years it took
Microsoft to come up with a stable 32 bit OS....
I can live with the Linux-specific warts, safe in the knowledge that I
have a _choice_ in how I approach fixing those bugs... in Windows, that
is emphatically _not_ the case.... In fact, propiatery lock in and
_lack_ of choice, is the _core_ tennent of Microsoft's business model.
That truth is self evident, in my opinion.
The world has moved on from propiatery lock in, Sun is open Sourcing
Solaris for god sake !
> What I can't understand is that this USB problem appears to be one
> that a significant number of users have encountered, and yet there is
> nothing (that I could find) from Mandrakesoft about it.
I don't speak for Mandrakesoft. All I can say is that you have many
options, to approaching problems, with a system in the Linux world,
where if you were using Windows... you'd be sh*t out of luck !
 Though it's worth noting a bug which we have only been able to
postulate may be related to an esoteric patchset from a particular Linux
based distro vendor.
 Debates about the validity of the CDDL's lock in to only using CDDL
code, in the CDDL aside.
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