Hardware that Requires software WAS: TL-WN722N support

Martin G. McCormick martin at server1.shellworld.net
Thu Aug 28 16:15:41 UTC 2014

Paul Kraus writes:
> It is helpful to understand the why of something, and explain such, 
> rather than just condemn it as bad.
> The move to host based software for things like printers, modems, 
> scanners, and other various hardware came about because the performance 
> of the general purpose computer was increasing at least at Moore?s Law 
> rate, if not faster. By moving the processing of the raw data into code 
> the device (printer, scanner, modem, etc.) could use onto the host OS you 
> got two big advantages:
> 1. As the host systems got faster so did your device
> 2. Your device was likely to remain useful for a longer period
> There is a third advantage, that the device can be less intelligent and 
> less powerful, making it cheaper.
	It's a short-cut. What you say is true and if someone is
willing to make the tradeoff between being forced to run a
specific OS and having something that will work for you on any
OS, then go for it.
	I wish I could be OS agnostic but it is not as simple as
one would hope.
	As a computer user who happens to be blind, I have found
that unix-like operating systems generally work better, assuming
you can get access to the standard output. In at least one OS
which is in wide use, there is no standard output.
	The screen readers and Braille output devices on unix
systems can be made to work more easily with countless
applications which were written with nary a thought to screen
readers and access technology and that is a good thing. The less
you have to worry about as you write a program, the less there
is to go wrong and cause somebody to fall in to a crack.

	If there is a device out there that I need to do some
task and I find out that it only works under the OS with no
standard I/O, then I have two choices. Forget it or spin up this
other OS, buy the screen reader that works with it and maybe or
maybe not will give me access to control this device. I may find
out that it doesn't work with the screen reader. Talk about a
leap of faith.
	The best screen readers for this widely-used OS are very
expensive commercial products so One would almost need to go to
where a similar device to what I want lives and see if it would
be worth the time and effort.
	I am not a fan of host-based devices nor am I a fan of
javascript and other client-side job sharing. With such
applications as firefox for the gnome desktop, life is a hundred
times better than it used to be but there are still sites highly
optimized for Internet Explorer that simply lie down when you
need them the most.

	When I vote in an election, our voting machines use
Windows CE. Since all I am going to do is vote, I don't care
what OS it uses as long as the knobs and buttons work. If I am
going to buy a piece of amateur radio gear which does wonderful
things but the drivers are for the OS with no IO, I'll skip it
until something with more universal design comes out.

Martin McCormick

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