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Re: how to buy hardware

On Sat, Sep 22, 2007 at 01:02:35PM +0300, wanderlust wrote:
> Well, there are two ways, and 1 of them you found.
> The second way is to check whether device is supporting for work in
> Linux with the manufacturer.
The problem here is that Linux hardware support from vendors usually
means having binary blobs in either kernel modules (see nVidia, ATI) or
closed source userspace drivers (see Epson, HP) and having to compile
your own kernel modules, ghostscript or saned or whatsoever to even get
this binary only crap working. The consequence being that they won't be
included upstream - ever - for good reason, of course.

This adds an additional maintenance burden, especially in large
environments, where you have dozens of different printers, scanners,
etc. and don't want to have different software versions around, just to
support this broken concept of a "driver".  It furthermore defeats all
the added flexibility you get from free software:

a) being able to maintain a driver for as long as you need it
b) being able to upgrade to newer versions whenever you want to
c) being able to fix bugs the vendor doesn't fix (at least as long as
enough specs are available)

The certification ideas of http://linuxwireless.org/CertificationIdeas
make lots of sense especially as it would enable non geeks (as found in
the buying departments of large organizations and companies) to choose
and buy Linux friendly hardware. Vendors should really start putting
"open source linux drivers available" stickers on their products.
 -- Guido

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