more lockup laptop problems with dapper

Brian McKee brian.mckee at
Sat Sep 2 03:55:20 UTC 2006

On Thursday 31 August 2006 00:02, Eric S. Johansson wrote:
> Brian McKee wrote:
> > On Wednesday 30 August 2006 04:57, Wenzhuo Zhang wrote:
> >>> radeon locks up after a couple of hours.  vesa reduces resolution of
> >>> the screen.  Doesn't seem to be able to display the full 1400 x 1040.
> >>> You now, one would think that for something so important as the video
> >>> driver, there would be a fund-raising effort to pay the developers to
> >>> do the damn job right.  Volunteer work is fine for noncritical stuff
> >>> like open office or gimp.  but something like device drivers, we really
> >>> need some mechanism to pay people to do the job right and then hold
> >>> them accountable to those who paid.
> >
> > Right - important stuff like the kernel maybe?
> > And accountable quality like Microsoft?
> > Me thinks you need to review the free software principles a bit...
> you got the wrong side of the Snark.  I've been living open source since
> I wrote Kermit for the 200X at computervision and forth for the same
> machine.
> Quality is not necessarily a function of who does it and how they do it.
>   I suggest you look at Watts Humphrey's work at Carnegie Mellon on
> personal and team software productivity.  The guy does amazing work at
> improving software quality in a predictable and repeatable way.  cat if
> you learn from him, your daily job would be a 9-to-5, a low panic
> effort.  The hardest part of your work would be convincing your manager
> to leave you alone.  All these improvements in the software development
> process explains why he's mostly ignored.
> Microsoft suffers the same lack of accountability as the open source
> projects do.  There is no way to close the loop and inflict the
> appropriate feedback on Microsoft.  This is a fundamental problem with
> all commercial software development efforts.
> With open source systems, the only time you get feedback is when the
> project is popular enough to be noticed.  I've encountered an awful lot
> of dead projects that are really really nice ideas but nobody noticed
> and as a result, the developer fatigued and walked away.  Good project,
> poor feedback mechanism.  Many times the worst failing of the project is
> a lack of PR by the developer.
> on the other hand, you have projects like Samba which get lots of notice
> but nobody tells them that the user interface is designed to fail if
> touched by anyone with less than expert level knowledge.
> So be careful.  there are problems in both communities.  Neither one wins.

Well, I was snarky, I'll grant you that, but your follow up is quite different
than you initial remark.  Your initial quote clearly says it takes paid 
developers to create quality accountable work.  That isn't true, and there
are many examples which you must be aware of.

I am not claiming that simply NOT paying developers is all that's required
either...  So far I think the various open source models are producing many
quality products, but that doesn't mean every one started is going to succeed,
and it doesn't even mean that it's the easiest way to develop those products.
Heck, waving money around will always produce code a heck of a lot faster and 
consistantly than asking somebody to donate time, but it hurts quality, not 
helps it.

Hoping your driver mess is fixable,

If your Internet access seems sluggish, just blame slow readers at the
National Security Agency - Robert X Cringley

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