Topic: Linux will NEVER "Just Work"
After trying at least 20 OS alternatives, I have come to the conclusion that Linux will never have a mainstream user base, and will therefore never be accepted as an alternate OS (as compared to WinXP, OSX). Although much progress has been made since 1994, that is now 12 years, and there is still no plug-and-play variation of Linux that 'just works'.
Even the most simple task of installing your 3D card's drivers is complex, convoluted and downright flakey.
HAL and UDEV are at best quirky, and no-one has attempted to compile a worthwhile database of vendor/product IDs so it can work properly.
The closest I have come to a perfect OS was FC3 and/or Ubuntu Dapper 6.04. A kernel recompile was required for FC3 for modem/graphics card support (and possibly other things). Dapper worked out of the box, except printer drivers were not available for my MFC printer/scanner/copier.
It is most certainly the peripheral support that is lacking with modern distros, and the fact that there is no time to fix peripheral support between major releases of kernel/Gnome/KDE etc. etc. means that these are never fixed and incorporated into a final release of the distro.
VLOS is very close to being perfect too, except for XGL. It is Gentoo based (Portage) but with Anaconda graphical installer, ala Fedora Core.
Backward compatibility is an issue for me, and most of my software relies on libstdc++6.05.blah blah... which is impossible to install, and even if it could, would be beyond the reach of the average to advanced user.
Anyways, there are some reasons why I have dumped Linux, maybe only until FC5.02 comes out, but even then - probably the same old problems will continue occurring. Maybe my brother was correct, maybe a console CLI based linux is the way to go... he can still play movies and mp3s... heck, he can even use Groff etc to design newsletters etc.
Here's to WinXP and OSX - Operating systems that "just work" !!
Celeste and Electronic Super Joy