Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4656 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Mac OS X and Linux Product inter-compatibility?
  • From: M Harris <harrismh777@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2007 11:16:11 -0600
  • Message-id: <200701271116.11562.harrismh777@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Saturday 27 January 2007 06:33, Hylton Conacher(ZR1HPC) wrote:
> The IT world is faced with 3/4 main desktop operating systems, each with
> its own quirks and therefore each has hardware which will or wont work
> on it. I would specifically like to find out, as a non user of two of
> the OS's, if any of the OS's can be likened to another in terms of
> functionaility ie how they address and work with hardware. The main
> operating systems(OS's) I talk about are Windows, Linux, Apple oe
> Macintosh and of course UNIX.
Linux, Mac OSX, and Unix are all very closely related in that they are all
unix-like operating systems. Windows is all alone in an inferior world by
itself, as an operating system. But your question relates to hardware and
that is another story. Linux runs on *many* different hardware platforms.
Until recently Mac OSX only ran on a PowerPC platform... now it also runs on
Intel based hardware. The cool thing about unix-like systems is that the user
doesn't need to be concerned necessarily about the platform... for instance
printing... Common Unix Printer Services handles the job... and CUPS is CUPS
is CUPS. ---a little more further down.

> We are all painfully aware that the Windows software does much of the
> hardware management, whilst Linux, relies more on the hardware to
> perform, mostly independantly from the OS and I would assume that UNIX
> is similar. I cannot comment on Mac as I have never owned/used one.
Your understanding is not quite correct... let me explain. All operating
systems manage hardware resources and unix-like OSs are certainly no
exception. What Windows does is to use software to emulate actual hardware
functions so that proprietary *windows only* hardware can be built that will
only run on windows. This is an evil monopolistic practice put in place by
greedy M$ to force the use of their OS. This is the primary reason I will
never use M$ products again. ever. (Win modems, and Win printers are
exasperating examples). I purchase platform independent hardware, and I
purchase hardware supported specifically by unix-like systems... HP is an
excellent vendor of Linux and Mac friendly hardware.

> Hardware, specifically printers, include a list of operating systems
> which the product is known to work. For example purposes: Windows and
> Mac OS X are supported and no mention is made of Linux or UNIX.
This is also an evil M$ monopolistic technique (some call it FUD, fear
uncertainty, and doubt) to make the public suspect that ONLY the listed OSs
will work with the hardware... when in fact the hardware is completely
platform independent or has drivers available for it that support every
platform. Again for Linux printers HP is the vendor of choice bar none...

> I would like to purchase the product and see that it is not supported in
> the OS I prefer to run ie Linux.
All you need to do is to look through the list of supported drivers for the
printer you are interested in. You will not be disappointed in the HP line
of laser printers... I have three different HP laser printers and two
different HP color jet printers and they all work great with Linux... which
is all I use by the way. I have never had a problem with an HP printer.

> Can I assume that a product that works on Mac OS X will also work,
> perhaps with limited functionaility, on Linux, eventhough it was not
> stated on the box?
Again... that depends on whether a driver for that printer is available. To
my knowledge only windoze was ever brazen enough to coerce vendors into
manufacturing a printer that would only print on a windoze machine... with
closed (proprietary) drivers. Many printers these days are going usb and work
well on any machine that supports usb. I can print from my Mac OSX box to
any of my HP printers on the network... works great.

I print using three different techniques... I'll tell you about all three.

1) Network Printer. The HP Laserjet4 is plugged directly into the switch
(RJ45 connector) and my linux boxes print to it via cups as a network
attached printer. (my favorite)

2) Network Printer attached through a linux cups host. The HP Laserjet 4L is
parallel attached to one of my headless Suse servers running cups. All other
linux boxes print to that printer as a hosted cups printer. The down side
here (if at all) is that the host machine has to be up and running to use the

3) Network Printer attached via miniature print server. The HP Deskjet
870cxi is parallel attached via a printer server (a small box about the size
of a VHS tape) in my case the HP JETDIRECT EX Plus. This little box allows
you to convert any standard parallel printer into a network printer. And HP's
print server supports several protocols... I use tcp/ip.

Honestly, the best way to print these days is directly to a network printer
attached through a hub or preferably through a switch. Many machines these
days do not even have parallel printer ports installed. None of my
production workstations have an attached printer. All printing is network
printing. But that's my shop.

Kind regards,

M Harris <><
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