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Heavenly Hardware Support

Sep 26, 2007, 00:30 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Amiel Heyde)

[ Thanks to Amiel Heyde for this review. ]

Printer, camera, scanner--all detected and configured in less than 2 minutes. PCLinuxOS has knocked my socks off!

I thought it was about time I upgraded the aging Ubuntu 5.10 installation that was running on my mum's laptop. She used it from time to time, but mostly used Windows, especially since she bought a new HP Laserjet 1020. According to the OpenPrinting Database it was possible to configure the printer but it certainly wasn't simple.

I had planned to give mum OpenSUSE 10.2, since I have been very pleased with it overall for my own use. However when the printer didn't want to work, I didn't have time to mess around for hours.

"I had heard that PCLinuxOS had good hardware support, so I thought I would put it to the test. After installation I went to the Control Center and went to attempt to install the HP Laserjet 1020. I was pleased to see that it automatically detected it, but my surprise came when a message popped up telling me that the printer required firmware that needed to be downloaded from the internet. I gave it the OK to get the firmware, and within a minute I was printing! I did not have to set any options, select any ports, or models.

What really got me excited was that when I went back to my laptop running openSUSE 10.3 beta, CUPS had automatically detected the printer on mum's laptop and I could now print over the network with absolutely no configuration on my part.

I decided to try our Canon scanner and Kodak camera. Xsane instantly detected my scanner and after connection of my camera I was prompted to download the pictures in digiKam. I was very impressed!

If I was configuring these devices in Windows, I would have had to find the discs or download the relevant drivers and go through a lengthy install process (most likely including system reboots). It is obvious that Linux has a long way to go, but this experience shows that in some areas Linux (PCLOS in particular) far outperforms Windows in terms of ease of use. I will be recommending PCLinuxOS from now on, and am looking forward to see it bring Linux to the masses.

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