AMD deciding _now_ what to do about Linux

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Sun Jun 17 15:59:52 UTC 2007

On Sunday 17 June 2007, Larry Hartman wrote:
>On Sunday 17 June 2007 12:12:01 am Gene Heskett wrote:
>> On Saturday 16 June 2007, Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> >On 16/06/07, Gene Heskett <gene.heskett at> wrote:
>> >> On Saturday 16 June 2007, Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> >> >On 16/06/07, Earl Violet <ejviolet at> wrote:
>> >> >>  Where do I contact them?  I looked at their site but am not sure.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Earl Violet
>> >> >
>> >> >This page has all their contact information:
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >Dotan Cohen
>> >>
>> >> Thanks Dotan, a rather lengthy plea for support has been submitted, now
>> >> we wait.
>> >
>> >Very good, Gene. I can just imagine what _you_ wrote to them. I hope
>> >you weren't to harsh! And don't forget, those California folk don't
>> >understand much West Virginian.
>> >
>> >Dotan Cohen
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> I pretty well stayed out of the vernacular, figured them silicon valley
>> folks would have enough trouble understanding english with a midwestern
>> Iowa accent..
>> But I did replay my history with ati cards, which has been far less than
>> stellar if you get my drift.  Being told once that support for card #
>> so-and-so was perfect, I went and bought one the next day, only to find
>> that the card in the box had a new, completely unsupported chipset on it
>> without so much as changing the color of the dot over any i on the box or
>> its packing.  That cost me about $125 by the time I gave it to the
>> neighbors to get it to somebody that could maybe use it.  Then x got rid
>> of the support for the next one I bought, a 9200SE-256 I bought new at
>> Circuit City 4 years ago now, so I had to go buy an nvidia 6200 which I'm
>> using now.
>> But that use of the nvidia binary makes my kernel tainted, and with the
>> exception of Ingo Molnar, who is interested in the scheduler test reports
>> I send, the rest of the kernel crew just tells me to go pound sand, and
>> rightfully so.  After the false start of the open src video card, which
>> seems to have stumbled and fallen before production could even be priced,
>> we are beholden to nvidia and they're throwing of binary blobs over the
>> fence if we want anything with a reasonable rendering speed.
>> No one in his right mind thinks that is a good deal, but damnit, its the
>> best we've got, and its one hell of an achilles heel...
>> I pleaded for a complete API spec, under NDA if the lawyers insisted, but
>> complete so we could write our own fast 3d drivers, that way they would
>> get the linux driver for free.  Using the we of course in the mouse in my
>> pocket sense since it won't be me who does the code, my days of coding up
>> something that fancy are long past.
>> I also pointed out that if they were to do that, they would inherit the
>> linux users almost en-mass _once_ we had a driver.  They would be able to
>> see a genuine uptick in sales with the extra going to linux users.
>> So like I said, now we wait.  If 1000 other linux users felt strongly to
>> go bug them about it, maybe.  But if 250,000 tell them the same thing, can
>> they still refuse a market like that?  They are at the end of the day,
>> interested in selling the chipset to the card makers.
>> --
>> Cheers, Gene
>> "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
>>  soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
>> -Ed Howdershelt (Author)
>> <Knghtbrd> I can think of lots of people who need USER=ID10T someplace!
>Yeah I can concur about experiences with ATI bugs.  Two versions ago I
>couldn't log-out without restarting I can not switch to other
>virtual terminals.  arghh.  I think I will spend some time this week to
> write a note myself.  If marketing principles are sound, my vote ought to
> be representative of a thousand people or so.  Or am I thinking too much of
> myself--maybe they only see me as half a person?

The last time I tried to get in touch with them I was told to go away, we 
don't support linux.  That was several years ago.  I think we are now, too 
big a market to ignore, and that like using a railcar jack, we will get some 
motion eventually.  Lets put it this way, I think if they ignore linux now, 
that the backlash will show simply because people like me don't get mad, we 
get even, meaning the next box I build may not have an AMD heart, but an 
Intel one.  And that next box isn't more than 6 mo to a year in the future if 
I don't fall over first.  At 72, that's always a possibility you know.

I've always been partial to AMD because I have a tendency to support the 
underdog, and I think I have a hell of a lot of company in the linux field 
who think likewise.  If they tell us to go pound sand again, they _will_ see 
it not only in card & chipset sales for cards, but in cpu sales to geek 
builders like me as well.  Down to zip that is.  If their sales people don't 
grok that, well...  It was nice knowing you AMD, but I'm taking the next 
corner to Intel.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin
when you get what you want.

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