FreeBSD and SSD drives

Chad Perrin perrin at
Sun Feb 13 16:53:14 UTC 2011

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 07:38:01AM -0500, Jerry wrote:
> "Bloat" is a purely subjective term. What one user considers bloat
> could very well be a requirement for another use. For example, while
> you might consider it bloat to have drivers for modern wireless "N"
> protocol cards, many other users have a real need for them.

If one OS has about a gigabyte installed size and another more like
fifteen to twenty, and both are suitable to accomplishing everyday tasks
for a given user, the latter is bloated.  It doesn't matter if your
favorite 5% of the latter system is different from mine, and we consider
different parts of the system "bloat", it's still bloated to both of us.
This is why good design concepts like "modularity" are . . . good design

Well, it's *one* reason, among many.

Shame Microsoft never caught on to that concept.

> I have four PC present working in my home. Three are FreeBSD machines
> and one a Win7 one. The Windows machine is essential, if for no other
> reason than there is software that is just not available on a FreeBSD
> platform. Or if it is available, it is of very poor quality.

You use what you need.  I get that.  I never disputed it.  On the other
hand, needing something because of a particular couple of requirements
does not mean it's well designed.

> MS Office is a perfect example. Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS
> community has spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than
> a poor clone of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be
> usable someday; however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way
> it can be compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite. and LibreOffice offer functionality MS Office does not,
just as MS Office offers functionality they do not.  Different people
have different needs, and those office suites serve slightly different
needs.  On the other hand, and LibreOffice encompass more
MS Office functionality than MS Office does of and
LibreOffice functionality.  Since it became a household term (at least in
the open source community), for instance, has supported a
wider range of MS Office documents than MS Office, thanks to the fact
that despite its much-ballyhooed adherence to "backwards compatibility",
MS Office has tended to (intentionally?) break file format compatibility
between release versions.

Of course, office suites are collectively steaming garbage anyway.

> Until the FOSS can write applications that are not only compatible
> with, but as fully functional as MS Office and similar software, as
> well as provide drivers in a timely manner (and I am still waiting for
> Java to be updated to the latest version so that it will work with the
> FreeBSD version of Firefox, or for acroread9 to actually work and play
> well with others, etc), Microsoft will always be a requirement for many
> end users.

When your criteria for success are "identical to someone else's
software", you're just creating a rigged game, where the "someone else"
is the only possible winner -- because its efforts are in your eyes the
standard of excellence no matter what its efforts produce, and everyone
else just has to play catch-up.  It has nothing to do with actual
quality, usefulness, or productivity.

It's funny you are complaining about open source developers not doing a
good job by pointing out that closed source developers aren't doing their
jobs, by the way.  You are aware that both components of the complete
Java system and Adobe's PDF reader are both closed source software --

> This is in no way a condemnation of FreeBSD, or any other open-source
> product.

. . . aside from the part where you blame open source developers for all
the ills of the world above.  Okay, so I exaggerate -- but you seem to be
trolling rather than making a salient point.

> It is just a simple statement of fact. The majority of users, despite
> what they may publicly proclaim, want software and hardware that just
> works. I had installed an older nVidia GeForce GT 220 card in an older
> PC and then discovered that there was no sound being emitted by the
> machine. Wasting valuable time, I finally discovered that I had to
> modify the "sysctl.conf" file. Crap like that should just not happen.

I agree that there should be ways to handle such things without forcing
minimally competent computer users to search documentation for
information about how to use sysctl to make sound work.  Sane defaults
and reasonable levels of autoconfiguration, at least as *options*, are
good things.

On the other hand, I wish I had the option of searching documentation and
using a simple tool like sysctl to make graphics work on an MS Windows
system a few years back.  Instead, I ended up having to just use a
different 3D graphics adapter because the one I had refused to work
properly on a given motherboard with MS Windows.  I later discovered the
same hardware setup worked fine with Debian.

There's no use pretending MS Windows never has issues with the efficacy
of its autoconfiguration.  Most of us have used that OS quite a lot, and
know that problems arise -- and that, unlike with open source OSes, it's
actually fairly common to have no recourse at all when something does not

> Things should just work. If other OS's can accomplish that feat, there
> is no reasonable reason that FreeBSD cannot attain that level of
> usability either, unless its goal is to remain nothing more than a
> hobbyist's toy.

Things should not randomly stop working either.  If FreeBSD can manage
that level of sanity, in the aggregate, there's no reason MS Windows
should not be able to accomplish the same feat -- except, of course, for
bad design.

> For the record, I have never played "Guild Wars", although there are
> many fine games available that are not available on the FreeBSD
> platform. And no, I am not going to blame the authors of said software
> for that since they have an absolute right, well maybe not according to
> the EC aka ECUSSR, but in a normal and free business climate to write
> and publish software in whatever OS language they desire. 

Of course, they have a right to do so.  I wasn't even blaming them.

I was just pointing out that, because my needs are more productive and
less entertainment-oriented, there might be some difference in how I
comparatively judge the quality of OSes.

On the other hand, I have a FreeBSD laptop with Neverwinter Nights on it,
and until she got tired of it my girlfriend had a Debian laptop with
World of Warcraft on it, and we both use our respective systems to watch
TV shows on Hulu from time to time.  Neither of us has played computer
games much lately, but there's some evidence to suggest that even for
time-wasting purposes our open source operating systems can serve
admirably -- even achieving better frame rates for the games we've played
than equivalent systems running MS Windows.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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