[sclug] Nvidia and Ubuntu.

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Sun May 21 11:14:18 UTC 2006

On Sun, 21 May 2006, ed wrote:

> RMS does not like ATI, and I suspect he dislikes NVidia equally:
> http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/rms-ati-protest.html

<http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=9350> and search for
'NVidious'. :-)

Moreso, I should think, given that at least ATI *started* out being
co-operative. In their defence, I suspect there are at least three reasons
why they've now switched to the nVidia-style binary blob:

1) Publishing source code exposes them to some legal risk (e.g. patent
infringement lawsuits from nVidia or other rivals) that only publishing
binaries does not, or does so to a lesser extent (security through
obscurity, I know, but...)

2) nVidia get away with it with little-to-no apparent detriment to their
sales, and producing binary blobs is probably less work (i.e. less
expensive) than producing clean source code or coherent documentation.

3) <http://www.advogato.org/person/mharris/diary.html?start=5>. If you went
to the effort of writing a Free driver for a sexy new piece of hardware
you'd like to sell, and it didn't get into shipping distros until that
hardware was nearly obsolete and being sold at clearance prices, wouldn't
you be somewhat frustrated?

I may buy a Radeon 9200 or 9250 before they disappear entirely (or maybe an
X300 which has early reverse-engineered Free drivers), but after that, I
expect to use Intel on-board GPUs in future, unless I have a specific
requirement that they do not meet ("high FPS for games" isn't one of them,
for me, at least).

Best Regards,
Alex Butcher         Renew for Freedom! Renew your passport in May 2006 and
Bristol, UK          resist compulsory UK ID Cards and National ID Database
PGP/GnuPG ID:0x5010dbff                    <http://www.renewforfreedom.org>

More information about the Sclug mailing list