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LinuxPlanet: Editor's Note: Slashing My Wrists on the Cutting Edge

Aug 15, 2000, 02:54 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

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"I'm not much of a hardware geek, but I must admit that my new laptop is a real beaut. A Sony Vaio, the PCG-XG28, with enough candy to bring tears to the eyes of even the most casual computer user. DVD drive, 128 megs of RAM, a gorgeous TFT display, a 12-gig hard drive, and a carrying weight of 6 pounds (sans DVD drive)....it is to die for. I acquired it this past weekend--the same time my family acquired a seven-week-old Golden Retriever--and I must admit that I don't know which I love more: my shiny new laptop or my perfect puppy."

"...I know from monitoring the newsgroups that by and large the components of the PCG-XG28 are supported by Linux, including the NeoMagic graphics card and the Rockwell internal modem. So I naively assumed that Linux installation and configuration would be a breeze. Naively."

"Now, I'm not going to argue that I'm a hardcore techie, but I do know my way around a Linux system, and if it took me that long to find an installation and configuration option that included some commercial applications that are not easily available to the average Linux user, imagine how an average user new to Linux would react. More than likely they would have given up relatively early in the process. They wouldn't have had a couple of Linux distributions to choose from, and they wouldn't have known enough about the intricacies and obscurities of X to fiddle around as I did with both commercial and noncommercial applications. It was a sobering reminder of how far Linux has to come before it's a truly mainstream, commercial operating system that can fit the needs of the great unwashed masses. We need to remember that as far as operating systems go Linux is still the equivalent of my seven-week-old Golden Retriever puppy: barely housebroken, still leaving little surprises throughout the living room, sometimes unruly, but with a massive growth potential."

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