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Re: WSJ - Article on Linux netbooks

Gene Heskett <gene heskett verizon net> writes:
> We will never convince the Lexmarks of the world to give us working
> driver writing information until we are a more significant piece of
> the market, one they will have to play with on our terms IF they want
> to sell us their printers.

I'm told by an engineer there that the problem with Lexmark (and I
assume every hyper-cheap printer) is that the even very low-level stuff
is done by the host computer.  There are things the printer can do that
will break the printer.  We are talking about things like how long to
heat the little wire to flash-steam the ink etc.  Do it for too long and
you damage the wire.  On the mickysoft driver, this is all buried in a
binary blob and while folks could in theory binary edit it, they won't
for the most part.  In the OSS world, if they released sources, that
almost certainly wouldn't be as true.  This puts Lexmark in a very bad
position.  If they open it up they would need to figure out a way to
tell if a modified driver caused damage and not cover that damage under
warranty repairs.

Now there might be other issues too like BS patents, where everyone and
their brother has patents on all the obvious ideas surrounding printing.
Exposing the software when you know that the competitor is claiming
patents on half a dozen things you are doing isn't going to make the
legal dept very happy.

Wolfgang S. Rupprecht              Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and Fedora-11

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