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Re: If you really want Free firmware...

On Mon, Dec 13, 2004 at 09:20:53PM -0600, Kenneth Pronovici wrote:
> > > I think what you're forgetting (or at least ignoring) is that designing
> > > hardware is not exactly like designing software.  The process is
> > > similar, yes, but it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.  At the
> > > least, this is because testing your hardware "implementation" is not
> > > "free" (as in beer).
> > 
> > Any commercial software company will tell you exactly the same thing
> > about software: testing is not free. We're *still* here. Consider why
> > this works (without resorting to things which are obviously not true,
> > like "current hardware doesn't ship with (many) known bugs", or
> > "proprietary software is more reliable").
> The difference is that software testing is often "free" in a capital
> sense.  I can volunteer my time to test or write open source software,
> and there is very little capital expense associated with it (my cable
> modem, my electricity, my PC, etc., much of which has other uses in my
> household).  

The commercial software companies use volunteers like this too, even
on pure-proprietary stuff, and it's not what they're talking about
when they say testing is expensive.

> Testing hardware of this sort requires actually manufacturing it (which
> is a capital expense) and requires various pieces of test equipment (the
> purchase of which would also be a capital expense).  One way or another,
> someone will have to bear these expenses.

And they say that about software too.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
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