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SEUL: Auto-detecting hardware

I am wondering, what kind of goals are there for auto-detection of 
hardware (not trivial or even close, I reckon), and for general 
convenience in the initial setup?  I can't really tell from the docs @ 
the website.  I think this is a nastier kertwang than any of the common-
look-and-feel sort of issues.  The only reason I am using Linux is 
because when I first installed it I wanted it enough to put up with all 
the nonsense.  First, there was the hassle of repartitioning with fips 
(sticking with the whole don't-spend-a-dime thing), followed by the 
unpleasanteness of setting up my XF86Config, and finally the rebuilding 
of the kernel for sound support.  And that was before any real effort 
toward choosing applications, setting up my window manager, and getting a 
PPP connection to work.  Hours and hours of reading on-line documents and 
obsessively digging through hardware manuals before you can boot up 
Linux, listen to a CD, and play some goofy game.  That kind of trouble is 
unacceptable to the average guy who just spend $1000+ on a new computer 
which has Windows 95 pre-installed.  Linux will remain out of the 
mainstream as long as it takes a week or two to get the machine doing the 
things that Windows 95 does automatically the first time you flip the 
switch and put in the CD that you just got in the mail from AOL.


Gregory Fall (gmfall@engin.umich.edu)
University of Michigan  
Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences

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