On the difference between Windows operating systems and Gnu/Linux distributions: An observation

I do like snappy post headings, but that isn’t the point of this post.

Over the Christmas period my parents came to visit and brought with them (among other things) an elderly scanner that had worked fine when attached to a Windows XP laptop but worked not at all with Windows 7. The scanner is a Visioneer 5800 and the problem is that there is no Windows 7 driver for this scanner.

I’d forgotten just how painful it could be to be dependent on proprietary drivers, but this isn’t the point of this post.

We eventually found a workaround over at Tom’s Hardware and the scanner is now scanning. We still have a problem, however, because the software appears to be losing the scanned image and then locking itself up. I suspect that the problem is a configuration issue and that the scanner software is looking for a hidden folder that doesn’t exist. And this brings me to the point of this post.

With the various Linux distributions I have used, configuration information is very easy to find and modify. The distribution works for me and the only limitations are my own ability and willingness to read the necessary documentation. Windows, on the other hand, works against me by hiding configurations here, there and everywhere and by making it pretty much impossible to poke around or to make any changes other than those explicitly permitted by both Microsoft and each and every device manufacturer.

My laptop runs Antergos and I do feel that I am in control of what this machine can and cannot do. A Windows user, on the other hand, is not in control of their machine and has, instead, been trained to accept that the way to solve issues is to buy more stuff.

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