One reason I hate Windows and proprietary device drivers.

A new employee’s computer has been dropping it’s network connection (frequently). The cause (as best I can determine) is an IRQ conflict, something which M$ had supposedly resolved after Windows 98.
Of course, now that it is “solved” it’s impossible to fix when it does happen. Windows ACPI locks users (and Admins) out of anything even resembling low level device configuration.

The manufacturer’s proprietary drivers don’t help either, they just keep installing the drivers with the same problem, the inability to resolve IRQ conflicts. At least the NIC manufacturer’s diagnostic tools detect the IRQ conflict unlike Windows.

If I was having this problem on a *NIX box chances are 99% of the time I can change whatever settings I need to either through hand editing of configuration files (find the appropriate file, open in vi [or editor of your choice]) or a system configuration tool (like YaST on SuSE).

Open systems and software make the support tech’s job easier. Closed and proprietary systems and software make it harder.

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