On Mon, March 31, 2014 10:46 pm, Eitan Adler wrote:
> Hi all,
> Some of you may have seen my posts entitled "Story of a Laptop User"
> and "Story of a Desktop User".  For those of you who did not, it can be a
> worthwhile read to see what life is like when using FreeBSD as a desktop.
> In short, it is an educational experience.  While FreeBSD
> can be coerced to do the right thing, it is rarely there by default and
> often doesn't work as well as we would expect.
> The following are issues I haven't brought up in the past:
> Battery life sucks:  it’s almost as if powerd wasn't running.  Windows
> can run for five hours on my laptop while FreeBSD can barely make it two
> hours.  I wonder what the key differences are?  Likely it’s that we
> focus so much on performance that no one considers power.  ChromeOS can
> run for 12 hours on some hardware;  why can't we make FreeBSD run for 16?
> Sound configuration lacks key documentation:  how can I automatically
> change between headphones and external speakers?   You can't even do that
> in middle of a song at all!  Trust me that you never want to be staring at
> an HDA pin configuration.  I'll bet you couldn't even get sound streaming
> to other machines working if you tried.
> FreeBSD lacks vendor credibility: CUDA is unsupported.  Dropbox hasn't
> released a client for FreeBSD.  Nvidia Optimus doesn't function on FreeBSD.
> Can you imagine telling someone to purchase a laptop with
> the caveat: "but you won't be able to use your graphics card"?
> In any case, half of our desktop support is emulation: flash and opera
> only works because of the linuxulator.  There really isn't any reason for
> vendors to bother supporting FreeBSD if we are just going to ape Linux
> anyways.
> That is why on this date I propose that we cease competing on the
> desktop market.  FreeBSD should declare 2014 to be "year of the Linux
> desktop" and start to rip out the pieces of the OS not needed for server
> or embedded use.
> Some of you may point to PCBSD and say that we have a chance, but I
> must ask you: how does one flavor stand up to the thousands in the Linux
> world?
> Eitan Adler
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I don't understand the gripe about sound. OSS works well. If you install
the verson in ports, audio/oss, you get a more elaborate set of tools.
(you can use the tools with the OSS drivers in base, its possible to
remove the base OSS system and *only* use the updated OSS system however
there are some caveats that may cause serious issues with a 'user', if you
don't want to get your hands dirty don't mess with that.)

Anyhow, last I went through a few month period of experimenting with sound
and picked up a bunch of hardware on ebay, different cards from various
vendors, ie asus, creative, etc. Its possible and not too difficult to
have four or five cards on the machine and use them simultaneously. I
didn't notice any problem switching from speakers to headphones while
music is playing.

Maybe this works on other operating systems, i haven't tried.

The thing about sound, the card is a digital-to-analog converter, and
vice-versa. It uses PCM data. (PCM was actually first 'invented' in the
1800's - no fools joke). Digital audio/Sound has never really gotten
better, it has only gotten cheaper.

Waitman Gobble
San Jose California USA

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