[ubuntu-uk] Non-default driver

Rowan rowan.berkeley at googlemail.com
Mon Mar 2 08:58:25 GMT 2009

Just a couple of after-thoughts, Al:

One, the thing already installed some of the auto-updates, then got 
stuck, because it had disabled the interface and couldn't download the 
rest, so I shall have to tell it to stop complaining about this fact 
until I am sorted.

Two, in fact, it appears the machine was not purpose designed, with or 
without "bleeding edge chipsets" (lovely phrase!) - it was designed and 
built in Japan to run Vista, and these LinuxCertified people just 
rebranded it.

Alan Pope wrote:
> 2009/3/2 Rowan <rowan.berkeley at googlemail.com>:
>> Tell me, do you think there is any good reason, in anybody's minds but
>> the LinuxCertified engineers, to use a non default driver at all? Is the
>> "instability" in the r8169 driver a matter of common knowledge, or just
>> something they dreamed up to make life more confusing?
> Unfortunately it's actually not _that_ easy to fulfil Linux-type
> customer requirements such that all of the following are true:-
> a) provide a wide range of diverse hardware at low cost which all
> works with linux
> b) support all of those systems through any possible software upgrade path.
> Those might be ideal, but they're really hard to achieve. a) has
> problems in that as a small-time Linux Laptop vendor, you are at the
> behest of the hardware vendors and manufacturers as to what chips go
> in them. If the hardware vendor uses some bleeding edge chipset which
> only has a stable driver on windows then you're screwed. The vendor
> can of course also change chipset from one revision of a device to
> another
> b) is near impossible with a small vendor because whilst they could
> test the next version of each distribution they ship on every machine
> they ship, this would be quite a workload.
> I'd say the reason they shipped the non-default driver is so that you
> have something that _works_. If they didn't then you'd have received a
> laptop which (out of the box) failed to connect to the network. Whilst
> there may be side effects to this - such as some manual labour
> required after a system update, the primary goal of a Linux hardware
> vendor is surely to ship a device that works from the factory.
> I seriously doubt there was any malicious intent, it makes no sense
> whatsoever for them to deliberately screw machines up for customers.
> Cheers,
> Al.

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