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SubjectRe: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...
>Henning P. Schmiedehausen writes:
>> But at least I would be happy if there would be a printing
>> engine that is entirely open source and all the printer vendors can
>> write a small, closed source stub that drives their printer over
>> parallel port, ethernet or USB and give us all the features, that the
>> Linux _USERS_ (and these are the people that count) want.
>Speaking as a Linux _USER_, if this happens, can I get said print
>engine working on my ARM machines with these closed source drivers?
>Can Alpha users get this print system working? Can Sparc uses
>get it working? What? I can't? They can't? Well, its no good to
>me nor them. You've just made the system x86 specific. Well done,
>thats a step backwards, not forwards.
>Oh please nice big corporation, can you please build said closed
>source stub for ARM? No? Why? You don't see the point?
>Ah, golly, I'll just have to throw my ARM machines away because
>we have some critical parts of the system which are closed source.


I have similar, though less acute, problems with PowerPC. Because it's
seen as a "smaller market", less work is done on it and less closed-source
software makes it's way onto it. Try to download a PowerPC version of
Netscape (4.x, not 6) - all you'll find are the MacOS versions, nothing for
Linux. Fortunately, distro makers manage to have extracted one for

As for 680x0... well I'd love to have been able to use my old Quadra 840av
as a router/firewall/server, but nobody knows how the *hardware* works well
enough to get either Linux or NetBSD working properly on it. So I wind up
using it as an IRC bot and scanner station, using the old, now unsupported
MacOS 8.1, which will never have it's bugs fixed because Apple considers
ancient hardware not worth it's while. Fortunately it works well enough
for the job, and I don't have to complain too loudly about it, which is
more than I could say about any (especially recent) Micro$oft product.

Even on x86 I have problems. I just bought ATI's flashiest new graphics
card - the All-in-Wonder Radeon - and installed it into my "workstation"
PC, which just happens to also have a Win95 partition. With a little
fiddling, I get the 2D and 3D output features running smoothly, if not yet
optimally, under the latest version of XFree86 and the Linux kernel. Much
the same goes for the Windows drivers.

Then I start looking for the software to drive the "extra" features, such
as the TV/video input/capture stuff, which is what distinguishes the
All-in-Wonder from the regular Radeon (and which makes it cost 2x as much).
I'll probably eventually find the right drivers for Linux - I know they
exist, if in uncompleted form - but so far I have not found them on the ATI
CDs bundled with the card! There's a video-editing package bundled, but it
can't do anything without the right driver.

Then I try to run the Video CDs - supposedly in DVD format - and I get
errors about "wrong region code" with no way of changing the region code or
working out which region code I even need, and then the "DVD Player"
crashes Windows solid. So much for the RIAA and closed source...

So, I have 9 computers in my bedroom. The Macs (mostly) run MacOS. The
PCs (mostly) run Linux. Strange that one of the Linux machines (the most
underpowered and overworked one) has an uptime exceeding 100 days, whereas
I've never had even 4 weeks out of any of the Macs despite the "higher
quality hardware" argument.

from: Jonathan "Chromatix" Morton
mail: (not for attachments)

The key to knowledge is not to rely on people to teach you it.

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