Impossible Laptop

Levi Pearson levipearson at gmail.com
Fri Nov 18 22:18:31 MST 2011


On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 8:29 PM, Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:

>> Someone linked to it earlier in the thread. It is indeed defunct, since the
>> official ACPI project stance is that these problems amount to bugs in their
>> code, since regular users can hardly be expected to figure out loading of
>> those tables. On the other hand, I imagine the number of platforms they can
>> manage isn't huge.
>
> Somehow I think just saying the problem is the hardware isn't really
> going to fly with a lot of potential linux users.  Windows deals with
> the bugs, so why can't Linux do it also?  Seems like a cop out on the
> part of the devs.

Either you misunderstood me, or I'm misunderstanding you.  They
dropped the DSDT repository because they agree with this principle.
Hardware bugs that can be worked around in software are essentially
software bugs, so they treat them as such and fix them, which is
essentially what Windows does.  But any way you try to solve the
problem, you run into the fact that Linux has a miniscule fraction of
the installed base of laptop operating systems, so it doesn't make a
lot of sense for anyone to employ armies of testers with various
hardware samples to fix the issues. Windows is just going to have
better support for the majority of laptops, except for rare cases were
large numbers of influential Linux users converge on some laptop
model.

One of the attractive things about Apple hardware, from a Linux-using
perspective, is that it's a relatively narrow set of targets that
doesn't change terribly often.  They've got a very different take on
the PC sales model than most manufacturers, who have huge product
ranges that are being constantly updated.  It doesn't take a huge
change to throw off some small hardware-related feature of a laptop,
so platform stability is a highly desirable thing if you're trying to
make all the hardware features work well.  Even when the Titanium
Powerbook G4s were fairly new, Linux worked really well on them
because everyone who had one had pretty much the same thing, so
everyone hit the same pain points and fixes helped everyone.

I haven't actually tried running Linux on a recent MacBook, so I don't
know if the experience is still as far ahead of the PC laptop Linux
experience I get now with my Thinkpad as I remember it being, but I'd
rather get used to a different keyboard than have a stupid laptop that
won't reliably sleep and wake on demand.  I'm probably weird that way,
though.


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