Having used and developed for “real BSD” way back in ’90 when I was at Encore, I’ve always kept an eye on the BSD world and I’ve been particularly interested in trying PC-BSD some time. It was thus with some interest that I clicked through to an ExtremeTech review. Besides just being generally light on information, the review was based on installing PC-BSD within the Parallels virtualized environment, which I think is just stupid. As I said in the comment thread,

I’m sorry, but using Parallels to review a desktop OS is just silly. One of the most important things a desktop OS needs to do is detect and set up your hardware correctly. Does it install the right drivers for your video card, letting you use full resolution and features? How painful is network setup (especially wireless)? Does USB work for thumb drives and cameras and whatever else? When you run under any kind of virtualization, you don’t get any of those answers because you’re using a whole different – and much simpler – set of drivers. The review thus becomes practically useless for most readers.

…to which the author replied,

Parallels makes it easy to keep many different operating systems on one computer. There is simply no way to test for all possible system configurations or to account for individual components that folks might have. So we try to give a good overview of the OS and let folks get an idea of whether or not it’s worth downloading.

…to which I reply here: stop being lazy. Your personal convenience is not the only factor that should guide review procedures, and nobody’s asking you to review all possible system configurations. Most OS reviewers do native installs on reasonably common hardware and report the results, and that is an important service to their readers. While it doesn’t necessarily predict what any particular user’s experience will be, particularly with off-beat hardware, it does a far better job than a virtual install of letting them know what overall level of device recognition/setup maturity they should expect. If you don’t have a machine handy on which to do a native install for a review you just shouldn’t be doing OS reviews, and if the only information you intended to convey was how an OS works in the specific Parallels environment then get a damn blog.