The most common question I see on mailing lists is
“I bought XYZ recently, and now I can’t get it working under Linux. Can anyone help me?”
Given the fact that Linux is only a second priority for most vendors when it comes to driver support (especially for consumer items), wouldn’t it have made sense to check whether the item you are about to purchase is supported under Linux before you spend your money?
I have used digital cameras, scanners, PDAs, printers, network cards, modems and what not for years. I use brandname stuff, cheapo stuff, brand new stuff, age old stuff….
I have *never* faced a situation where a piece of equipment I had bought was not supported under Linux, and for a damn good reason – I make Linux compatibility a make or break decision at the time of purchase.
This may sound 1337, but it isn’t. It is simple prudent buying. It doesn’t cost me any more or less – if item A is supported under Linux, and its competitor isn’t, the choice is simple.
In terms of effort, time and money, the research usually costs me 5 minutes of internet time, or an email to a mailing list, but usually a simple
is all it takes to ensure that I do not get into trouble with an equipment purchase.
For example, when I was contemplating buying a Kodak DC290 digital camera, I ran
As you can see (if you click the link), I instantly got a confirmation that this camera was supported under Linux and that I would have no problems with it.
If only people would be as careful about spending money on equipment worth thousands of bucks as they are about buying vegetables for a fraction of that amount!
It would make this world a much better place, and would once and for all kill the lame “Linux has limited support for hardware” refrain that people keep chanting.