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A great post from Greg K-H about the Linux Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) work that’s going on:

It was basically a presentation from Kay Sievers showing udev and HAL working in real-time handing a very nasty chain of USB devices containing a bunch of usb-storage and card reader devices on a USB hub. The speed at which all of the devices were discovered, recognized by the kernel, and then properly named in a persistent way was amazing. The card reader also handled removal and insertion of media from it, destroying and creating the proper device nodes properly (thanks to HAL which creates a thread for every removable device, just like other operating systems do to handle devices that can’t detect media changes.)

This will be the next step in Linux gaining acceptance – especially on the desktop and laptop.

I look at my use of Windows and Linux on laptops – I plug in all variety of USB and Firewire devices; Windows tends to do well – recognising old and new iPods, CD/DVD writers, thumb drives, camera memory sticks etc etc. Generally everything works well – only the occasional ‘clunk – please reinsert device’. NLD 9 tends to be a manual hunt for the device, mount, umount and hopefully things work well. It’s a pain and totally unacceptable for the ‘novice’.