Unfortunately, I'm a consultant on the side. I'd rather play the guitar, for a living, but, the bills have to be paid, you know. In the course of tryin' to realize my dreams, I've purchased (at vast expense) many gizmos to attach to my PC, which I built myself knowing how poor in support the people at Dell, Acer, Gateway, Compaq, etc. are. Hey, if you wanna be out here, I guess Bill Gates wants you to earn it. Go figure. I would think the easier it is to get on the 'Net, the more customers to buy consumer goods, but, what do I know? I'm just a flaky right-brained artist.
8 months ago, I bought a 4x-2 CD-R from Turtle Beach to record my music for $550, so I don't have to get whored by the record industry. Noble in concept, but, in practice, not quite useful. Support for NT? Nope. Customer support? Uh, uh. Call them, and their people don't know what a computer is. 5 minutes on the phone after the 45 minutes on hold (long distance call) will be enough to tell you that.
It worked okay on my Western Digital hard-drive under Win95, but, after I installed NT, they said, sorry. Not enough customers on NT. We're not tryin' to sell our product to people who want a (marginally) stable operating system. We'd prefer our customers to be blithering idiots. Good thing I didn't call them when I'd finally made the full migration to Linux..... Of course, by that time I didn't need support. Dejanews, and software developers themselves provided the needed guidance from there.
That's fine, Bill; I'm tryin' to steal your software? Personally, I don't care for your unstable operating systems, why would I want to poison my $8K PC w/ your 95, or NT virus, anyway, let alone transmit your Office virus either? Solution: Linux.
Sorry, I was doggin' Turtle Beach, which basically, gets Advansys in cahoots for their software drivers, and SCSI adapters, (which work, awesome, BTW). Corel CD Creator served me fairly well on Win95 for 10 disks, or so, but, when I tried to copy one of my Ded Serius cd's one night on NT, it blue-screened me. That BTW marked the end of M$ O/S, or any other software on this particular Internet server (which is also my workstation). In a previous tirade, I derided Corel's software, but, in recent learnings on Microsoft lore I'm inclined to believe M$ didn't exactly send the correct spec on the LUN expectation on cd-writing software to Corel in supporting their development of the Software, which is typical. Ricoh (with a 5 year seek time on their, 4X cd, using M$ software) burns my CD-s under cd-write using Linux without more than 5 seconds hesitation.
Well, the previous flame on these guys was correct, at the time, I think we can all agree that recent events in the (Microsoft Department of Justice) MSDOJ tial have revealed some interesting tactics, including (I wouldn't doubt) sabotage of their Office productivity software, including WordPerfect.
Truth is, I've used WP since 5.0 on DOS 3.2, and, have found it useful in producing some pretty professional documents. Unfortunately, on one contract at a law firm, we received very little support from their help desk in trouble-shooting the installation of WP 8.0 in a Microsoft Networking environment. On reflecting on this, I have to attribute that to the lack of support Corel (Probably, then, Novell) received from Microsoft in source code dissemination. Go figure. I rescind my previous blast on Corel, and embrace the company's acceptance of Linux and applaud it's support via producing software for Linux
Don't send a flurry of e-mail to me chiding me for falling into bed with Corel, just because they are porting to Linux. As you can see from a view source, this document was created and last modified using kedit 1.0.1 (a very simple text editor), and I'm quite pleased with my StarOffice 5.0. It truly rocks. I'm simplify correcting a previous wrong by blasting Corel for something that was probably caused by lack of information forthcoming from the Redmond Giant.
Now, if I had 2 days, I could do this spiel some justice, but, I don't have enough living time remaining on the planet for these guys. You want to share modems? Blow it off dude, you're wasting your time. You can buy Winport/Faxport for the winport (why not the fax port?) option for a mere $150 to share one modem on an NT for your LAN. Theoretically. It doesn't work. Back to Novell.
What basically happens is, you send, Lansource your cash, then, they in return send you a CD. The installation instructions are quite cool. A fun 20 hour project, but, not a functional one. By the way, the end result after installation is a Dr. Watson error. Kewl, huh? I didn't think so, either. So, you go through this, and, then, you check the docs to find out your support options. Take a peak at www.lansource.com,or, even, try their fax back number. Wait, all you want, but, you won't get a fax. Hey, they already have your money, why do they care?
They also give you this nifty tech support number in Toronto. (Yeah, that's right. Not only long-distance, but, in a different country. Also kewl.) After 4 calls that you'll have to wait on hold 45-60 minutes and spend 30-60 minutes (out-of-country long-distance applies) with one of their talented technicians. They won't be able to help you.
Listen, take my advice. If you just pick up an extra modem for each machine, and an extra phone line, you won't have to pay someone like me $100/hr for 4 hours per machine to figure this out. You do the math. Better, yet, drop $400 on a router and DSU, and, you'll be better off. Lansource? Not a solution.
Or, better yet, buy a $100 486/66Mhz with 8 Mbytes of RAM (or 4) and install slakware (now 3.5) and compile your kernel with ip forwarding and masquerading, install diald, set the ip fwd rules to the ip of your LAN, and voila! I've done this for 5 different clients on 7 different machines, one of which didn't even have a CD-ROM, so, I installed the Slackware over the network from this machine. It wasn't a dedicated Internet server then. I've been called a total of 6 times since then.
They're Japanese. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but, one wonders who really lost the war. But, seriusly, they built a scanner SCSI card, that works sometimes, given, you don't want to plug anything into your PC besides a mouse. If you want NT, or UNIX support, folks, sorry. They just want the sheep tryin' to (run?) Win666. You're screwed, here.
The sad part is the scanner originally went for $800 and, is no longer supported, regardless of the operating system. Oh, well, I guess I should color myself fortunate. I'm one of those funny types who has just a buttload of money to spend on vendors who don't support, or appreciate their, customers. And, as a consultant, I prefer to steer my customers toward these kind of vendors. Not!
If anyone else would like to share their horror stories, or signal their interest, in the OSS orLinux project. I welcome your comments.