stephen jackson wrote:
I have read briefly on FreeBSD and it seems to be the winner on speed and stability versus Linux and of course MS Windows. I have just experienced 2 days of never ending problems with a Sony laptop and Windows XP, which cannot run Norton 360 virus nor AVG. They need an XP 2.0 update which I downloaded, but it then refused to install. Even the Symantec CHAT and remote control of my PC couldn't get it working. I am about ready to wish unimaginable woe upon Microsoft...
If you're thinking of trying out FreeBSD, then this is the right place to come. A word of warning though: it's not at all like Windows, or even MacOSX. You will be expected to learn quite a bit about the low level nitty-gritty of the OS in order to achieve the best results. Of course, the "best results" are very good indeed, and in my humble opinion, well worth the effort required. Installing on laptop type hardware is a tricky proposition: it's very much luck of the draw whether your particular model has sufficient driver support to satisfy your requirements. You should check out this site to see what other people's experiences are with your laptop or similar models: http://laptop.bsdgroup.de/freebsd/
Anyway, how about you plus Google cash, and others (?), putting a simple easy partition of MS hard disks and FreeBSD install with a nice GUI. And getting Google to distribute it to the World. My question is, how much hardware can you produce drivers for. Presumbably Apple Mac OSX have most of the hardware drivers, so can you??
Distribution is not the difficult part. No need to involve Google -- the FreeBSD project already has a very good world-wide on-line distribution system. If you want a pre-packaged desktop oriented version of FreeBSD, then check out the PC-BSD project: http://www.pcbsd.org/ Driver support really is the kicker in all of this. Apple MacOSX doesn'thave this problem, since it only runs on Apple proprietary hardware. If the hardware side of Apple wants to, say, change to a new graphics card,
then the OS development team will be involved at an early stage and there will be a simultaneous release of the new hardware and of system updates so that hardware is supported. That's a very different problem than trying to provide support for all (or even a large fraction) of the readily available devices on the market at the moment, which is what FreeBSD faces. Even if Apple does have a driver for a piece of kit not already supported in FreeBSD, it cannot be assumed that Apple will automatically donate the code to the FreeBSD project. Apple is frequently constrained by proprietary agreements with equipment manufacturers. They simply can't reveal the low level information necessary to be able to write an effective driver. The Mach kernel and driver architecture in MacOSX are also significantly different to the FreeBSD equivalents, and it's not possible to just lift code from one and drop it into the other with minimal effort. Cheers, Matthew -- Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 7 Priory Courtyard Flat 3 PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Ramsgate Kent, CT11 9PW
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