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Re: Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

Gene Heskett wrote:
On Tuesday 18 May 2004 17:18, Sean Estabrooks wrote:

On Tue, 18 May 2004 16:21:10 -0400 (EDT)

"Luc Bouchard" <luc 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 extensions.

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.


I fell into this trap in December. While ordering a new computer I specified an ATI card after seeing that there was a Linux Driver on the ATI WWW site. After fighting for almost a month, I purchased an nVidia card and was up and running with full GLX support in less than 30 minutes.

I also thought that nVidia was working on getting all their cards to use the same base driver software which would make support easier than in the past.

One problem with Open Source is dropping support for older cards as the manpower isn't in place. I have had this happen with XFree86 drivers in the past.

My feelings are if the Closed source drivers are supplied free of charge I can deal with that. I would also prefer that the drivers were included with the distribution as it is pretty hard to download the required drives if you don't have a working Internet connection because of lack of drivers.

The biggest problem is in how the laws in the US have opened the floodgates to fill lawyers bank accounts with DMCA cases. I hope that the government changes the law enough to stop many of these cases.

I am very happy with my nVidia hardware as it works.
Robin Laing

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