Monday, April 09, 2007

Microsoft (Hardware) Works With Linux

I'm trying, slowly, to get all of the drivers working on the Windows box (see the last few posts). One bit of hardware we have for the XP is the Microsoft Wireless Keyboard/Mouse combo. This is a USB dongle which broadcasts to a wireless mouse and keyboard.

I've installed the drivers for the thing, but Windows still can't find it. If I can find the manual, or the TeenagerTM who installed the thing in the first place, I can probably make it work, as it Worked Before, but it's not automatic.

On a whim, I plugged the thing into my Linux box, and, voila, it worked. (I'm typing this post with it.) No drivers needed be be installed, at least with Ubuntu Dapper, and, I suspect, most major Linux distributions.

The default configuration for Hal is to use a Microsoft USB Optical Mouse plugged into a PS2 adapter and connected through a KVM switch. It's never given me a problem.

Conclusion: Microsoft hardware works best under Linux.

Much later: It turns out that the dongle was plugged into a bad USB port. Linux & Things regrets the error. In any case, Microsoft hardware usually works quite well with Linux.