[Scribus] [OT] Windows instability/drivers

Craig Ringer craig
Mon Mar 27 07:35:15 CEST 2006

hovergo at net-tech.com.au wrote:
> Scribus crashing in windows off topic

Hi. Thanks for trimming the digest instead of quoting the lot. It'd be 
good if you could change the subject too when replying to a digest, so 
people can see at a glance what you're asking about.

>> That really changed when the NT-based OSes (NT, 2k, XP) went mainstream. 
>> These days it's ASDOA - Always Suspect Drivers Or Applications. 
>> Especially drivers. If you get a bluescreen (STOP error), the chances 
>> are VERY strong that it's a driver, or flakey hardware like an 
>> overheating CPU or video card. Program crashes are likely to be just 
>> that, though they can certainly be caused by things like old/flakey 
>> video drivers, particularly broken spyware, etc.
> I would like to know more about this and where to get less suspect 
> drivers, and what drivers to look for.
> We have several machines some very new  from Dell some 3 years old range 
> from Dell to generic shop built, none have any problem on Linux.

You may have better luck clean-installing the machines with a "vanilla" 
copy of WinXP, then hunting down drivers from the chipset manufacturers 
or using the drivers from Microsoft Windows Update. Usually you can get 
most drivers from Windows Update, then pull down a few critical ones 
(like the ATi Catalyst, Intel Extreme Graphics, or NVidia Detonator GPU 
drivers) from vendor websites.

While you'd expect drivers from the big OEMs to be stable and well 
tested, they don't seem to be as good as you'd expect. More importantly, 
they tend to be OLD ... and that's a real problem when running some new 
apps that are very demanding and rely on features that were buggy in 
older versions of a driver.

Avoid using the drivers supplied by hardware vendors on the CD that 
comes with the hardware. Let Windows fetch a driver, or failing that get 
one from the company that made the underlying part rather than the 
vendor whose name is on the box. They're usually more up-to-date and 
haven't been butchered. Graphics drivers are a CLASSIC case for this.

Of course, you also need to ensure you have suitable anti-spyware and 
anti-virus software. Beware, though - some antispyware, antivirus and 
firewall software is worse than the problems it claims to prevent. I use 
Grisoft's AVG, the XP SP2 built-in firewall and LavaSoft Ad-Aware on all 
Windows machines (work & home) without issues. By contrast I've found 
recent versions of Norton cause more problems than the viruses and 'net 
attacks they're supposed to prevent.

This is all just my personal experience of course, and YYMV.

Hey, this is even kinda-on-topic now Scribus runs on win32 ;-)

> On the last Newsletter I edited and designed, in changing over to 
> Scribus I actually saved 200 hours icluding learning Scribus from scratch.
> I'm a volunteer and give my time to the newsletter,  so saving 2-3 weeks 
> was wonderful.

That's pretty cool, and it's nice to hear things like it. When working 
on Scribus I tend to see rather more of the broken bits than the bits 
that work smoothly, so it's easy to lose sight of what can be done with 
it and related applications. Thanks.

Craig Ringer

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