Splatter – March 2008

Hardware issues are the greatest challenge you will face during Linux installation. It isn’t because Linux lacks in driver support from the open source community. Linux actually has more hardware drivers than any other operating system, including Microsoft Windows. This is in part due to the number of platforms for which Linux is available. The hardware manufactures that have proprietary drivers that only support Microsoft Windows are the real culprits. The worst offenders are the manufactures of WiFi cards, and video cards. What life really exciting are those manufactures that change the chipset on the card, but don’t change the model number. As the number of Linux users grows, the number of manufactures that support Linux grows.

To solve hardware problems, I depend on the knowledge of others who have already dealt with this issue. You can always use Google to track down information on the Web. It really helps to add the word Linux to the search search to reduce the noise. Each distribution of Linux also has support mailing lists.

Support mailing lists often have over a 100 messages a day, which really fills your inbox fast. Google is great, but you have to be aware that lot of the information is dated. I prefer forums to find the latest answer to a problem. In fact, for each distribution that I have on my machines, the forum for that distro is the default URL for the browser.

There is not a shortage of forums for Linux. You just need to search for Linux Forums on Google, and you will find the one that interest you. Some of my favorite forums are:

The above list is enough to get you started, and then just explore and explore. Of course, I have mentioned newsgroups, IIRC, or instant messaging. Besides our Wednesday Night Technical Net, there are probably other nets that focus strictly on Linux. I really need to explore the world of EchoLink. Anyone have a day stretcher, as I am running out of hours in the day.

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