Monday, June 2, 2014

Shortcomings

I've finally realized something about the various operating systems that I have been playing around with for the past few months.

People keep saying that Windows is on it's way out. And the desktop is dead. But there are currently no suitable replacements (except for Mac OS X).

I consider the ability to print photos to be basic functionality. This is not new technology. People have been printing photos for years. I have a Canon all-in-one printer. It prints great photos... if you're using Windows or OS X. But if you're using Chrome OS or any flavor of Linux... forget it.

Chrome OS just isn't mature enough to have that functionality. And the Linux driver for my printer is so buggy that if I specify any paper type other than "plain paper", it just doesn't print. No really.

This is 2014 right? It is absurd that people think an operating system that doesn't support mainstream printers is actually usable. I could probably hunt down a different printer that has better Linux support. But it's not like Canon is some obscure brand.

I've deliberately scaled-back my requirements for operating systems that I mess with so as to be as tolerant and undemanding as possible. That allows me more room to play. However, one has to draw the line somewhere. And "can't print photos" is a bit of a show-stopper.

But here is the punchline. The first hit that comes up when searching for a list of printers with good Linux support is a list of recommended printers from the free software foundation. Great! Unfortunately it also states that the list is "currently unmaintained". And that... is the story of Linux in a nutshell.