>At one time nVidia used to design to be out of the box compatible with Windows.
I guess I'm still not clear on what you mean by this. I've never seen an nVidia video card that would work fully without drivers. On the other hand, I know that ALL video cards do have some basic, standard functions that always work the same. This is why the BIOS can display messages on the screen without having to install a driver first. This why Windows can run in Safe Mode, and use the video card without loading a driver. This is why any OS can be booted up for the first time, and use the video card in some limited fashion, until a driver is installed to get the full functionality of the card.
Disk controllers, keyboards, mice, and many other hardware devices have similar standard, basic functions that allow them to be used by the BIOS, or by any OS without drivers. However, all of these limited functions are just that: limited. They are not "full functionality."
>Some of the extra chips on modern video cards (like the FX chips etc) need additional code to what work fully, they aren't covered in any of the standards yet, so they need extra drives to utilise the special effects as against providing basic graphics.
And of course, the reason we pay good money for video cards, sound cards, etc., is to have all these additional functions that aren't covered by any standards and that require drivers to make them work. Thus, I am still lost on your suggestions that some video cards are designed to be compatible with Windows, while others aren't, and that Linux can somehow provide "full functionality" with an nVidia card, without any drivers.
Also, you never answered my question about your definition of "full functionality." Do you really get full functionality, meaning dual monitor support, 3D acceleration, etc., in Linux without any drivers?
>Standards, this has been thrashed to death in another thread
That could very well be true, but I haven't seen this other thread, so I am not aware of what was said.
>Think organisations like IEEE, ASA, etc - think TCP/IP, and Plug-n-Play, etc.
I am familiar with all of the above, but I had never heard that any of these organizations had standards for video cards that covered every detail of every operation a video card could possibly do, to the extent that any video card could be built to have full functionality with any OS without using a specialized driver. I don't believe this is even possible, because technology changes way too fast for any standards organization to possibly keep up with. Furthermore, you even said yourself that drivers are needed to access the more advanced functions of video cards. Why would I pay $200 or $300 for a video card just to have it function as a 15 year old, standard VGA card?
>NT used to have a user security set up better than the Vista UAV, also the OS itself had a lot less built in vulnerabilities too.
It is true that NT had a lot less of everything, compared to Vista. I suppose an argument could be made that if the OS can't do a particular function at all, then it probably can't be attacked by exploiting that function.
For example, my Apple ][ computer can't be attacked by a virus on a USB drive, because it doesn't support USB. It can't be attacked by an Internet worm, because it can't connect to the Internet, doesn't support TCP/IP, doesn't have an Ethernet port, etc. It can't be attacked through a vulnerability in QuickTime, or Adobe Reader, because it can't run those programs.
In the same way, my first car, a 1966 Mustang, couldn't have a problem with the power steering, because it didn't have power steering. It couldn't have a problem with the air conditioning, because it didn't have air conditioning. It couldn't have a problem with the Electronic Engine Control computer, because it didn't have an Electronic Engine Control computer.
Clearly, the more features that are added to anything, the more possibilities there are for something to break.
>I worked most of the 1990s in places with NT networks and they worked very well.
I seem to remember the 1990s a little differently. I remember people thinking NT was a joke compared to Novell. I remember NT machines crashing all the time. My experience has been that modern versions of Windows work way better than NT ever did.
>Rick, feel free to keep spending thousands of dollars on MS software,
Personally, I don't own that many computers to spend thousands of dollars on MS software... unless maybe I made a habit of always buying full versions of everything at full list price, and went on re-buying software I already owned, instead of just re-installing the same software when the time comes that I need to re-install something.
Quite frankly, I spend A LOT MORE on 3rd party software than I do on MS software. To me, the cost of MS software is a pittance compared to the cost of first replacing all my other software with something else and second, the cost of the time and effort it would take to re-learn everything I know and redevelop all the skills I have with using the software I use now. More importantly, much of the software I use has no substitute in the land of Linux. The only real alternative for me would be to switch to a Mac, and that is certainly not going to save me any money.
Beyond that, I earn money with my MS software skills. I can't earn money with Linux skills, since virtually no one uses Linux, except for computer geeks (who aren't going to pay me to work on their computers when they can do it themselves) and people who don't want to spend any money (who also aren't going to pay me to work on their computers because they don't want to spend any money). So, for me, I would actually be losing money big time if I were to give up my Windows-related skills.
>One advantage I do have with my Linux is when I get infected emails from people they do no damage
First of all, I almost never get any infected e-mails, since pretty much all e-mail servers these days are equipped with anti-virus software of some type that almost always strips out infected attachments, or blocks malicious e-mails from even being delivered. In the rare event that something gets past that, my anti-virus software will almost always catch anything malicious that does get through. And then, even if the A/V software fails, I know better than to run an exe file or click on an unknown link in an e-mail. This is why I have never had any computer I own get infected with anything in 30+ years.
>At the moment Linux and open source software can do things the MS equivalents can't,
Such as? Anything that would be of any value to me?
>The ability to get a longer working life out of peripherals,
I have computers, printers, and other hardware that I have been using for many many years without issue. I simply cannot buy into your suggestion that using Windows somehow limits your ability to use old hardware for as long as you feel like using it.
> I know one place just had to payout a lot of money to get some old files on twelve year old contract negotiations printed out for a court case. They were created in MS Word and Excel, but none of their current versions of MS Office can open the files without corrupting them, however Open Office does it nicely.
So why didn't they just download Open Office themselves? I know for a fact that Office 2003 can open documents created with Office 97. Office 2007 is supposed to be able to do it, too, but I have to admit I haven't actually tried it myself.
>Oh, I nearly forgot, I haven't had a BSOD or system crash since I switched to Linux, except for a major power outage taking the system down because the UPS had died too. I did have on item of hardware die, but the rest of the system kept working OK. When I got the new hardware I powered down and replaced the item. My system is usually on 24 / 7.
My Windows server runs 24/7, but I don't have the money to burn leaving all the rest of my computers running 24/7. 90% of the time, we either Sleep, or Hibernate our computers. So the net result is that it is similar to running Windows without actually rebooting for long periods of time.
It may very well be true that Linux can run longer without crashing than Windows can. But, as I said before, what does that really buy me? If Windows can easily run for a year without crashing, what does it mean to me to be able to go two years without crashing? Maybe if I was running an online service that needed to be up 24/7, it might make a difference then. But for my purposes, and I believe for most people's purposes, having a computer crash once or twice every couple of years is not that painful, compared to the cost of changing to a different platform, having to replace expensive 3rd party software, having to relearn and replace many years of experience, and so on.
Again, Linux is probably fine for people who just want to surf the web, read e-mails, type a document, etc. But as soon as you get beyond some very basic things, making the switch becomes a much bigger deal for a very limited return on investment - or, in my case, a net loss of income.
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