Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Tue May 18 21:44:09 UTC 2004

On Tuesday 18 May 2004 17:18, Sean Estabrooks wrote:
>On Tue, 18 May 2004 16:21:10 -0400 (EDT)
>"Luc Bouchard" <luc at luker.on.ca> wrote:
>> Sean Estabrooks said:
>> > So, to the question of how to promote more open source adoption.
>> > It seems to be well accepted that the market place _rules_ and
>> > every dollar spent is a vote.   Being simplistic then, the more
>> > "votes" that companies get because they support open source
>> > (intel seems to be a pretty good actor these days for example) 
>> > the better.    The fewer "votes" that companies who don't
>> > support open source get (NVIDIA in this case) the better.
>> You are forgetting one thing here Sean, economies of scale.  Let's
>> assume that NVIDIA
>Not forgotten.  You're right of course, but that doesn't mean it
> wouldn't help if everyone who benefits from open source made an
> effort to support open source companies.   It would be enough to
> allow some company to carve out a niche market for itself and
> survive.    IBM or Intel might be more motivated to make a real
> contribution in this regard if people seemed a little more willing
> to stand up for open source principles.
>> But I will keep using everything I can to have a workable machine
>> at home as a linux desktop.
>My point is just that your attitude is very prevelent and therefore
> there's no hope of making much of a real market even for a niche
> player.   ATI for example has really backed off of open source and
> it may be because Nvidia got just as much Linux business without
> doing the same (this is a complete guess)

IMO ATI has shot themselves in the foot regardless of any "intentions" 
to support open source with their initiative to build a GPL driver 
for their top of the line cards a couple of years ago.

What happened to me probably happened to many others, who were looking 
for a decent card, read a review on a linux site that said mid-range 
priced card so-and-so was a pretty good card.  So, we run right out 
and buy this ATI card so-and-so, which on the face of it, and from 
looking at the box, is identical to the pictures the reviewer has on 
his web site.

But is the card in the box identical?

Donbesilly.  Its the next generation off the production line, and has 
a whole new chipset on it that is absolutely incompatible with any 
and every driver except the windows driver on the cd in the box.  I 
call ATI, and basicly get told to fsck off.  So I took it back (for 
the second time BTW, both boxes said it had the chipset I wanted, but 
that *wasn't* what was on the cards) and got an nvidia based card.  
Using the nv driver, it Just Works(tm) for everything but the GLX 

ATI will sell me another video card if and when it comes with fully 
capable linux drivers that are not married to a certain specific 
kernel available only from a certain distro.  And says so on the 
friggin box.

>Just wish fewer people felt so compelled to support closed source
> companies. While understandable, it's really a shame.

So, who in the video card business supports linux/opensource?  Go 
ahead and post a list, I'll wait.  I think I might have 10 more years 
if I'm lucky.


Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
99.22% setiathome rank, not too shabby for a WV hillbilly
Yahoo.com attorneys please note, additions to this message
by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2004 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

More information about the fedora-list mailing list