Easiest desktop BSD distro

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Thu Mar 31 18:08:33 UTC 2011

On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:05:36 -0400, Jerry <freebsd.user at seibercom.net> wrote:
> On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 00:12:26 +0200
> Polytropon <freebsd at edvax.de> articulated:
> > On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 13:12:23 -0400, Jerry
> > <freebsd.user at seibercom.net> wrote:
> > > On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:32:29 -0700 (PDT)
> > > four.harrisons at googlemail.com <four.harrisons at googlemail.com>
> > > articulated:
> > > 
> > > > Once you've scaled the learning curve, you will appreciate how
> > > > easy it is to achieve things with FreeBSD compared to other OS
> > > > which attempt to make things 'easy' for you (wireless networking
> > > > springs to mind - in my experience if Windows can't do it
> > > > 'automagically' then you haven't a hope in hell of finding out
> > > > what's wrong and fixing it).
> > > 
> > > You have conveniently left out the part that if the OS does not have
> > > a driver for the wireless card, specifically "N" protocol cards,
> > > then you haven't any hope of getting it to work, period.
> > 
> > Although this is correct, you're concluding the wrong
> > thing, in my opinion.
> So you are concluding that if it doesn't have a drive it will work?

No, this was the introduction for my further arguments,
given below the quote of your last paragraph.

> > > In any case, the easiest way to get any wireless card to work in
> > > Windows, at least up to Win-7, was to deactivate the Windows
> > > wireless utility and use the one that accompanies the device,
> > > assuming that it does come with a configuration utility. I have not
> > > seen any of the top rated ones that did not. If for some reason
> > > that did not work, you could still manually enter any of the
> > > specific information manually, assuming that you actually took the
> > > time to learn (where did I here that term before) how to accomplish
> > > it.
> > 
> > So what are you doing, basically? You're taking the operating
> > system's responsibility to interact with hardware. I know there
> > are different approaches. One approach is to let the system
> > interface with hardware, usually by its kernel and the
> > corresponding (loadable) modules. A different approach is
> > to use "drivers" to do that. Those drivers traditionally
> > come from the same source as the hardware comes. Advantage:
> > The hardware vendor doesn't have to pay attention to
> > existing standards. He just has to made sure that his
> > "driver" works with the system - depending on his target
> > audience, this may be only one special system (version) in
> > particular. You furthermore suggested to explicitely BYPASS
> > the system's means of accessing hardware and to rely on what
> > the hardware vendor provided.
> You have stated before that you don't use Microsoft.

Sadly, I have to deal with it from time to time, but this
is related to customers who still use it (usually outdated

> Fair enough, but
> now you are displaying your total ignorance of what I was referring to.
> The Windows "Wireless Access Tool" is a simple, rudimentary
> configuration utility. Its primary function was to assist users in
> entering user-names, passwords, etcetera and in discovering available
> wireless networks. Most high quality vendors supply their own tool
> which is more specific to their device.

I do not understand "specific to device" when we're talking
about established (even wireless) networking standards. For
example, is there a need for a hardware-specific ifconfig
program that is required for NICs of brand A, while brand
B uses the default ifconfig program, but needs a hardware-
specific ping program?

If an operating system supports standards (and it SHOULD do
that), it should make it easy to do so from a user's point
of view so any manufacturer-specific tools are not needed
to interact with; the only kind of software would be drivers,
but those usually aren't interacted with.

> Unfortunately, in early
> versions of Windows, ie, XP, if the user were to start the Windows
> "Wireless Access Tool" it could interfere with the vendors own tool.

That doesn't sound good.

> Newer versions all prominently display that another utility is running
> and ask which one to shut down. Since most vendors want their own
> utility running full time to manage the wireless network, shutting down
> the Windows version is the usually accepted protocol.

I see. But I don't understand why it should neccessary to
give control over networking from one blackbox to another...
oh, never mind, I'll return to that statement later on.

> The Windows
> version was only created to assist users who were attempting to use
> devices that did not have such a tool. If you knew anything about
> Windows and how it handles wireless devices you would have known that.

I've fought with "Windows" in this regards. Thanks, but NO

> It was not, and never meant to be a driver for said device.

But a tool for interaction. The driver is not such kind of

> > If you haven't lost control
> > by the OS choice yet, you have lost it by the "driver".
> Seriously, do you have a clue as to what you are talking about?

Yes, I have. It's a typical discussion about the advantages
of open source software vs. proprietary and closed stuff.
It's not worth debating it here as the end of the discussion
is obvious.

> > If you don't care for having control about who plays foul
> > with your system (which you can't either notice or even
> > test for), also fine.
> Again, do you have a clue? You are babbling about a technology that you
> have no working knowledge of. Worse, you simply repeat what you have
> heard without any factual basis for doing so. It would be like me
> explaining neurosurgery.

I'd be interested in hearing about that nice topic. :-)

The average user, no matter on which system, usually is
neither interested in, or able to find out what happens
behind the scenes. You seem to be a professional. You know
that 90% of email transferred is spam. You know that whole
"subnets" are used for espionage and "cybercrime". You
should know WHY this is. It's because if "I don't care."

> > Dealing with "black boxes" is what
> > the main target customers of the home PC area are used
> > to. They accept it as being normal. They don't know that
> > there are different ways of doing things.
> Neither is it nor should it be their problem.

Maybe... it's the problem of those who want to use the Internet
for professional work, and the most normal things aren't
possible anymore. Tried to send a mail from a dynamic IP
recently? Tried to use standard ports? For the reasons of
your observations, refer to the paragraph above.

> The most important fact
> that you continually ignore is that the end user wants his/her
> system/device to work correctly.

Oh, I do not ignore that. I KNOW that this is a wish, a noble
wish, but in many cases, it won't be magically fulfilled. A
skilled professional is often needed to get the "easiest"
things working. This may be even as easy as doing what's
written on the screen.

> Time is money.

That's debatable. I mean, the word "is" is debatable here.
Time is often represented by (!) money, or valued in money,
but it is (!) not money.

> The average user has no
> inclination to spend X number of hours wasted on a project that can be
> completed in a few mere minutes with minimal user intervention.

If he gets it done, well, no problem. But experience teaches
that it's often NOT the case. Even this simple interaction -
in some cases it's really simple and obvious, in other cases
it's complicated and arbitrary - sometimes must be done by
a professional, because the user either says "I don't care"
or "I'm to lazy". This may be a honest statement, but it
does not help to solve the problem.

But keep one thing in mind: The users *I* have to deal with
may be very different from the ones you know. Maybe yours
are smarter, more honest, and less willing to pay for their
inability to simply click the right buttons.

> On of
> the major advantages of a non-win system is that it allows those with
> time to waste the experience of maximizing that time to its fullest.

Very interesting statement. I admit that I had to read it
three times to fully understand it and its implications.
One of them is that you seem to put nearly no value in
knowledge or learning, and its effect to keep the brain

> > And: As long as everything works as intended - no problems.
> > But diagnosing and SOLVING problems - the not "easy" parts
> > of the story - you are lost without knowledge and proper
> > tools, and basic skills, of course.
> That doesn't take and Einstein to figure out. And why do you keep
> saying that there are no tools for diagnosing and solving problems?

Because a closed system does just offer a limited set of
onboard means that often don't help. Utilities can help
here to some extend, and if it's just a nearby Linux
laptop running Wireshark to show you what's actually
happening when the hourglass is displayed.

> Could it be because you are simply ignorant of the system, or worse,
> just to lazy or stupid to learn?

I've been wasting my youth, my health and my spare time
learning. Learning the things others are to lazy, to
stupid, or to rich to learn them. Considered to what
you'll find in the box "IT professionals" here in Germany,
one would consider me a genius. :-)

Honestly: I've got NO problem learning new things, I can't
even afford this in my role. But I have to judge which
kind of knowledge is extendable, portable, universal and
re-usable, and which is just arbitrary and exchangable,
only valid for a short time and in a limited setting.
So you are not wrong saying that time is (at least
valuable in) money.

> If you don't want to use a non *.nix
> system, that is your right.

In fact, I do use a lot of non-UNIX operating systems, I've
been doing so in the past and will surely continue in the

> To propagate FUD as fact is disgusting and
> only goes to exemplify your ignorance.

You should always try to read between my lines. From how I
express, you can easily conclude if the statement is an
individual experience, a fact, a logical conclusion, a
guess or an established opinion.

> In windows, as in *.nix,
> etcetera, there are plenty of tools available. Of course, you have to
> look for them. They don't magically appear.

There are (limited, but often useful) onboard means, but
most stuff needs to be installed afterwards, especially
when you need to diagnose "bare bones".

> > And if something doesn't
> > work, the typical customer does not try to solve the problem.
> > If he doesn't delegate it, he buys something different and
> > tries again. Trial & error, if you want. And it's not even
> > a financial problem as such hardware costs nearly less
> > than nothing.
> I have installed and used network cards and devices that cost hundreds
> of dollars (US) as well as cheap foreign imports. Your statement is
> another example of your total disregard for the facts.

Come to Germany, look at it yourself. I've seen (attention, this
is category "individual experience") many people buying
wireless networking hardware for relatively few money,
trying to install it, maybe trying it the wrong way, being
angry it doesn't work, buy something else. You don't just
see this in home users, you can see it in business as well.
In many cases, it's "trial & error" which is because of the
fact that those who make the actual decisions often don't
have any clue: They buy the shiny racks, the incredible
offers, the brand names, the box with the same color as
the other boxes in the shiny rack, and so on. The test
if it WORKS is done AFTER it has been bought.

> > The targeted customers have been trained
> > to "think" the following: If I invest time in getting this
> > working, I loose money. Instead of doing that, I invest
> > money into a different product which hopefully will work.
> Once again you display your ignorance.

No, I'm displaying the average user's ignorance. :-)

> By the way, would you like to
> supply a citation for that totally absurd statement.

I can just name myself as the source, that must be sufficient.

> > What does it imply? If the "Windows" can't bring up the
> > wireless network, the manufacturer has to do it using his
> > black box "driver". If this also doesn't work (maybe because
> > the "driver" is not compatible to the "Windows"), the product
> > gets discarded, and a new one is bought.
> That statement doesn't even make sense.

Oh I'm sure it does.

> You are simply displaying your
> total lack of how Windows works. If you don't have a clue how Windows
> works, and that is self evident, why do you continue to make a fool out
> of yourself? Would you by some chance suffer from a Narcissistic
> personality disorder?

I have other "disorders" that I could put on display, but it
won't make you any happier. :-)

> In the future, please don't waste others with your rants about an
> operating system that you neither use (your own admission) or first hand
> knowledge of. For that matter, even a simple working knowledge of.

If you would know which impossible things I could already do
for customers with this "Windows"... things that aren't even
supposed to work, so I may say I actually have some knowledge.

Please take a break and read this short paragraph:

	Veteran Unix admin trait No. 8:
	We know more about Windows than we'll ever let on 

	Though we may not run Windows on our personal machines
	or appear to care a whit about Windows servers, we're 
	generally quite capable at diagnosing and fixing Windows 
	problems. This is because we've had to deal with these 
	problems when they bleed over into our territory. 
	However, we do not like to acknowledge this fact, 
	because most times Windows doesn't subscribe to the 
	same deeply logical foundations as Unix, and that 
	bothers us.

Full article here:

> It is people like you that give FOSS a bad name.

I don't think so. In opposite to you, I at least try to stay
polite and stick to facts and knowledge whenever possible,
trying to avoid wild speculations, and if, mark them properly.

> I assume you are aware
> the the move by the German foreign Office has decided to ditch *.nix in
> favor of Windows.
> http://linux.slashdot.org/story/11/02/22/0244242/German-Foreign-Office-Going-Back-To-Windows
> http://techie-buzz.com/foss/german-foreign-office-back-windows-xp.html
> Upon further investigation, they will be converting to Windows-7 and/or
> Windows Server 2008 or 2010. That decision had not been finalized.

That's interesting, but shows how tax money is wasted.
As I would assume that you've never seen the innermost
parts of german administration, you don't see the WHY
for this move. The articles are very low on explainations,
but if you're able to read between the lines, many things
come up. I can surely assume that you don't know how
economy works in Germany. It has nothing to do with
healthy thinking or a free market.

Oh, and let's see what happens in 2014 when... you know... :-)

> As long as there are people like you that fail to see the flaws in the
> *.nix driver development and deployment system, things will only get
> worse.

Don't you ever think it's possible that I see those
problems? In fact, I would like the situation to be
better, but sadly, this is not as easy to achieve.
Of course, given enough money, advertising and lobbying,
it would be NO problem.

In fact, it would be great to simply buy any wireless
equipment, multifunctional printer or cheap digital
camera and just plug it in; the system identifies the
standardized means to access the hardware and everything
works out of the box. If something needs to be installed,
it will be suggested.

Sounds familiar? It exactly is how you do access SCSI
hardware: SCSI disk, SCSI optical drives, even SCSI PDs,
and SCSI scanners. It is so easy that I would say it
should be so easy everywhere.

STANDARDS are the way to get it working.

> Only a fool (you perhaps) wants to waste his/her time getting a
> machine to work.

Don't say "waste", say "invest" instead. With the means
I now have available (through learning, experimenting
and testing), I can put machines into a running and fully
functional state at a very fast speed. Sit infront each
PC and manually hold the installer's hand? Reboot serveral
times through hours? THAT I would call wasting time.

> They want to use their machine to accomplish whatever
> task they are attempting to do.

That's the users point of view, correct. In fact, the user
is not using an operating system. He often isn't even using
a particular program. His scope is the RESULT of an action
which develops its magic _during_ doing (or never). You would
be scared if you knew some of "my users": Treating a modern
PC like a worse typewriter, and even considering all the
technology that you're waving the flag for, they don't
get the simplest things done without handholding. Now you
may claim that those aren't the majority. See what I've
seen, and you'll think again.

> Microsoft has proven, and Apple to a
> lesser extent, that there are methods of getting devices running
> without wasting countless hours of valuable time.

This is easy because if intensive cooperation between MICROS~1
and the hardware manufacturers. I could say: Plugging in a
network printer that is capable of Postscript is easier than
even installing things (drivers, utilites, auxilliary programs,
and sometimes crapware) from a DVD.

> Fortunately, some,
> although not all non-window's based OSs have started to realize that.
> Trying to reinvent the wheel is a useless and wasteful concept.

Trying to put outdated arbitrary concepts on life support also is.
In my opinion, even MICROS~1 have done significant improvements
to their operating systems, but very often, users don't want
that. They are annoyed of means that should lead to better
security, and also protect THEM from doing stupid things.
First action taken? Switch the good things off. Then install
crapware because of the dancing bunnies, some toolbars,
and enter the account number and PIN as the PC says.

> Finally, it is apparent that you are not even smart enough to follow
> the simple instructions I place on the bottom of my list posts
> regarding being contacted directly.

Sadly, I sometimes really click the wrong button. Yes, I really
do. This is since I moved from Sylpheed with Gtk to the one with
Gtk 2 which I find slower and less accessible. Instead "Reply to
mailing list", I hit "Reply to all", and this is the reason of
what you're experiencing. Be patient, and I'll try to pay more
attention to that little detail. Luckily, as a programmer, I'm
sure I can change the program to follow my habits, instead of
changing my habits in order to make the program feel good. :-)

> Now, you are free to go back to the forum and post how all those rotten
> vendors, etcetera won't kiss your ass and use their valuable resources
> to satisfy your needs.

Sadly, you don't seem to understand what "free market" is.
Each vendor absolutely has the right not to support the OS
of my choice, as he has the right to produce his products
made for the OS of *his* choice. So *my* choice is to NOT
buy his products, and it really is that simple. Can you
imagine why I've got a used office-class laser printer
at home, instead of a multifunctional inkpee device?
Less trouble, less money, better results (for my use).

Hardware manufacturers go where the big bucks are. They
also go where smaller bucks are, but more often. This
also has benefits for all users of that hardware: As
more money is gained, development is improved, innovations
can find their way to professional and home users faster.
If SSDs wouldn't be so easy to use, nobody would buy
them, and they would still be too expensive to be any

The downside, however, is that history shows that proprietary
technology is doomed to die, even if it is superior to
other technology. Often it isn't, sometimes it is.

You should find out more about PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE. It
can be done in hardware, and more effectively in software.
Releasing drivers for system A(n), and no drivers for
system A(n+1), as well as no drivers for systems B and C,
as an example.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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