Kmail notifications

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Thu May 5 20:08:33 BST 2011

John Woodhouse posted on Thu, 05 May 2011 05:00:49 -0700 as excerpted:

> On open/closed source as far as drivers are concerned I strongly favour
> companies that produce good linux drivers. Open or closed source. I wish
> there were a lot more of them as more people would be inclined to use
> linux. Eventually linux drivers would become standard as mac drivers
> have now become. As things stand I have no other alternative to running
> windows some where or the other. It's unrealistic to expect the open
> source community to keep up with the myriads of things that can be
> plugged into a pc. ;-) No doubt we will never ever agree on this subject
> Duncan.


As for being standard, tho, it's difficult for me to see how any driver 
can be much more standard than a driver shipped as part of the mainline 
Linux kernel, pretty much by definition.

And the alternative to running a servantware platform and drivers 
(whatever the brand, certainly not just MS) is to do the research and 
spend one's money wisely, voting with one's wallet in a very literal way.  
Then email or fill in a feedback form or whatever telling the companies 
exactly why you did so.

I actually credit my activity a bit in that regard, some years ago, for a 
rather large and visible change.  This was back when AMD was the only one 
out with amd64/x86_64. Intel wasn't doing it yet.  And while there were 
beta/preview amd64 MS Windows (not to be confused with the X Windows 
System which antedates it) releases, MS had no released product for it 
either.  So it was Linux or one of the BSDs.

Well, I was in the market for my first dual CPU system, back then, real 
dual socket, not the multi-core we have today.  It was also to be my first 
64-bit system, a dual socket Opteron.  Obviously, these systems didn't and 
don't come cheap, compared to your run-of-the-mill single-socket board, 
tho they're not as high grade as the quad-socket and higher boards 
either.  We're talking a $400 plus mobo, tho.  In that price range, 
they're not spread like the leaves of autumn, so a company is perhaps a 
bit more likely to respond to feedback from a single customer (especially 
knowing the multiplier effect, where one customer complains there's a lot 
more who never bother -- they simply spend the money elsewhere).

With that as the setup, I was looking at, originally, four board models, 
four different brands.  Out of the four, one had no Internet site or 
presence that I could find at all, and I forgot what the problem was with 
another, maybe it was only in Chinese or some such.

That left two on my short list.  One was the Tyan board I eventually got.  
The other was an MSI.

When I went to the MSI site, all the documents, BIOS updates, etc, were in 
MS executable format (again, keep in mind that this was BEFORE MS had an 
official release for the product, only Linux and the BSDs, thus, there was 
absolutely NO reason to have everything packed in MS executables) -- 
presumably self-extracting-exe (zipped), but, for all I knew, the site had 
just been taken over by malware and all the links to documents, bios 
updates, etc, were now malware.

By contrast, the Tyan site had the expected mix of standard PDFs, zip-
files (for BIOS updates and the like), plain-text documents, etc.

Tyan also SPECIFICALLY mentioned Linux support and certification on 
several leading distributions (again, Linux being the leading OS on the 
platform at the time, since MS hadn't shipped), had a specific Linux 
support FAQ, a specific Linux support mail alias, and, as a BONUS, even a 
specifically tailored sensors.conf file for lm_sensors, which I still use 
to this day (with a couple very minor format tweaks over time).

So I found the feedback link for both MSI and Tyan and explained all this 
as my reason for going Tyan.

I don't know.  Perhaps a number of other Linux users did similar.  What I 
*DO* know is that within about six months, MSI had proper document formats 
back up on their support site.  It was too late for my purchase by then of 
course, but there were number of others on the Gentoo/amd64 list that 
chose MSI boards, very possibly as a result.

Regardless, I made the right decision.  I'm still using that board, 
purchased in 2003, today, almost 8 years later.  I fully expect it'll be 
in service a decade by the time I'm done with it.  Tyan even updated the 
BIOS to support the dual-cores when they came out, a big factor in why I'm 
still running the machine as I've topped off the CPUs with the best that 
ever came out for socket 940, dual dual-core Opteron 290s (2.8 GHz).  The 
machine doesn't have PCI-E (it has PCI-X plus AGP video) and still has the 
legacy PS/2 mouse/keyboard ports, USB-1 only on-board (tho I have a USB-2 
card plugged in), serial/parallel ports, floppy (which I used for BIOS 
updates and for an emergency grub boot disk when an upgrade killed that on 
my main disks).  It does have 4-port SATA, tho only SATA-1 operating at 
UDMA-100 speeds, but I'm running a 4-way kernel/md-RAID setup on that, and 
two legacy IDE/PATA ports (4-devices max), on which I have a couple ATAPI-
based DVD burners.

The fact that I have to find AGP cards for it bites a bit, and the 3-digit 
Opteron series didn't have virtualization instructions so I don't get to 
play with the fancy hardware assisted KVM, etc, but those factors are 
counter-balanced by how well I know the machine by now -- custom compiled 
kernel with all the necessary drivers built-in, of course, I'd have to do 
quite a bit of research on a new system to get to the level of knowledge I 
have about this one, and really, 4 cores (dual dual-cores) @ 2.8 GHz with 
quad-drive SATA-based RAID and 6-8 gigs RAM (could be upgraded to 16 if I 
really wanted to) isn't all /that/ shabby, even today, nearing a decade 

I doubt I'd still have been running the MSI, had I chosen it, instead.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:
More info:

More information about the kde mailing list