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SubjectRe: Some experience of linux on a Laptop
From Android on Sunday, 24 June, 2001:
>>I have come to the conclusion that linux is NOT suitable for the general
>>desktop market.
>I have to disagree on this. It runs fine on most PC's, as they use standard
>devices. Just say NO to anything proprietary. This includes Toshiba. Makers of such
>odd machines should supply their own native drivers if they want to be supported.

I would have to concur, if it weren't for almost all manufacturers doing this.

>>5: Better support for toshiba computers... well try =)
>Talk to Toshiba. See if they are willing to part with "secret" information
>so that you can create specific drivers for Linux. After that, I bet your next comp.
>won't be from them. :-)

I've been talking sometimes on the Toshiba list, trying to get Toshiba
to support Linux officially (they do *unofficially*, as shown by the
inclusion of Linux in a lot of their website). However, it doesn't
look likely.
I'd like everyone's help pressing Toshiba to open up some more of
their specs. That'd be the ideal solution. I guess I'd go for
binary-only drivers, if they'd maintain them well. It's sub-optimal,
but it's a workaround for now. :)
If you have Toshiba hardware, *please* tell them to support Linux
every chance you get. Maybe after enough feedback from the
community, they'll wise up.

Oh, FYI, I am running the unstable distribution of Debian with
the 2.4.5 kernel. Everything on my Satellite 1605CDS laptop works,
with the notable exception of the scheiss-Winmodem. I've been
talking with Conextant (the winmodem chipset manufacturers), so
I'll see where that gets me. Be sure that if I get sufficient info
(and time!!), I'll post what I know and *maybe* even deveop a
pseudo-serial port driver. That'd require a *lot* of time, though,
and time is in very short supply right now. :)

Anyway, the basic message I wanted to convey was that you need to pressure
your hardware manufacturer of choice to open up their specs so that
*everyone* can use their hardware with whatever software they choose.
It helps find bugs ("your spec says X, but the hardware *really* does
Y"), and hey, they can hire only a minimal staff to do Linux support
(if they offload the driver development and maintenance to the kernel
developers. :)
If something doesn't work with Linux, given experience and the sheer
number of developers, chances are *very* good that the manufacturer
is hoarding the specs. Unfortunately, it's a common practice that
requires a good kick in the hiney. :)

"IBM were providing source code in the 1960's under similar terms.
VMS source code was available under limited licenses to customers
from the beginning. Microsoft are catching up with 1960."
--Alan Cox,
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