Wireless interface

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Sun Jan 27 00:57:54 UTC 2019

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 15:28:45 -0500, Chris Gordon wrote:
> I think you hit the nail on the head of comparing FreeBSD
> more to Windows Server versions than the consumer desktop/laptop
> systems -- I’ll call these end user systems.  That is the better
> analog and what I think Rob was trying to convey.

Unlike "Windows", FreeBSD is a multi-purpose operating system.
It can be used for platforms from embedded, laptops, regular
PCs, up to big servers. It can also be utilized on "mixed forms"
of those system classes. Everything is included in _one_ consistent
operating system. As there is no "one size fits all egg-laying
wool-milk-sow", FreeBSD can of course only be a _basis_ to be
used to create such systems, more or less customized. The approach
TrueOS (ex PC-BSD) took was to preconfigure FreeBSD to work as
a workstation / PC / laptop environment.

> Things that are valuable and desirable on a server may not be so
> on an end user system and vice versa.  These are two different
> sets optimizations which often conflict with each other.  For
> instance, a GUI is most often preferred on an end user system
> whereas it’s more of a liability on a server (remember that in
> 2008  the “Server Core” in Windows Server 2008 finally introduced
> a server sans GUI -- something UNIX has had since the 1970s... ;) ).

This is correct. FreeBSD accomlishes to be multi-purpose by
narrowing the OS down to the _fundamental_ tasks an OS should
be able to do: install software, update and maintain it,
(re)create itself, manage things. The way it does this is
not entirely fixed. For example, you _could_ use GUI tools
to interact with a FreeBSD server, instead of using SSH, but
you could also use a web-based administration suite. FreeBSD
is about choice.

On the other hand, certain kinds of users will be entirely
happy with what they are given. "Windows" provides a commonly
accepted, not very advanced GUI, inconsistent in itself, and
hard to learn for new users (especially due to missing visual
clues for operations that should be trivial). Customization
is limited. But if you only want to treat your PC as a worse
typewriter, go to "Facebook" or watch "Youtube", it probably
is entirely sufficient.

For server use, the "what's good", "what's sufficient" and
"what's definitely not desired" is entirely different. :-)

> Now this isn’t to say you can’t use any of the particular
> operating systems for either end user or server functions,
> but in doing so you will need to compensate for the gap
> between the primary design purpose of the system and your
> use of the system.

This all depends on the OS being created with the goal of
being versatile in mind. If this hasn't been done correctly
from the beginning, it's hard to "add things" to turn a
server into a desktop or vice versa - a typical experience
you can get with using "Windows".

> There are plenty of people that use FreeBSD as an end user
> system (and work continues to improve the experience), but
> they also understand that they must bridge the gaps between
> server design choices and what they want from an end user
> system.  

This is also correct. For example, I'm using FreeBSD nearly
exclusively as end user system for me and for many clients
and family. It is not trivial, but in my opinion, it is
definitely worth it. No more calls "The printer stopped
working again!" or "I think I have been hacked!" ;-)

This is a consideration that often comes down to "time is
money". You buy "Windows" licenses - this is money. You
support buggy "Windows" programs - this is time, which is
money as well. You invest time to create a FreeBSD system
for a family desktop - time = money too, but it definitely
is a good investment.

> If you want to use FreeBSD as an end user system, I think
> the community welcomes you and is more than happy to help out.
> Just understand that it may take a bit more work than something
> purpose built to be purely an end user system.

I think this is a very good statement. "Purpose built", for
a single purpose, limited, narrowed down - sure, as a vendor
of software that is in tight contact with hardware manufacturers,
you can create a much better experience for the end user,
because you exactly _know_, for example, the specifics of
a given wireless network component in a laptop, and you can
use the manufacturer's documentation and your money to create
a driver for it. FreeBSD has limited resources and knowledge,
and it's still a welcome surprise every time some new kind of
device receives a driver that makes it possible to be used
on FreeBSD.

On the other hand, there is lots of hardware that stopped
working on "Windows" because no more suitable drivers were
provided. In today's throwaway society, this is received
as something normal, and used by industry (term: "planned
obsolescence") to sell stuff to the people - stuff they
already have and that could still work. I'm not even talking
about the immense amounts of garbage this creates... but we
must accept this as "the source of wealth in our modern
society", as it seems...

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

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