Reaching out to hardware companies

David Fletcher dave at
Sat Oct 23 08:41:20 UTC 2010

On Saturday 23 Oct 2010, Anthony Papillion wrote:
> I know the old line about 'it's not Linux's fault, it's the hardware
> vendors' and I understand that. But I'm wondering what kind of concerted
> effort is being made to reach out to those vendors that do not support
> Linux?  I'm sure Canonical is actively working with many vendors but
> could the community do more?
> I'm considering starting a group with the specific goal of doing
> hardware outreach. We'll interface with companies that don't support
> Linux, we'll lobby them, we'll work with them in whatever capacity they
> need us, and we'll even write the drivers if need be.
> I'd like to get everyone's opinion on this approach. Is it something
> worthwhile to pursue? What do you think?

18 months ago, I posted to the Kubuntu list about this. As I said at the time, 
I've always fancied having an astronomical telescope, and the self aligning, 
computer controlled models that Meade make look attractive. I could afford to 
buy one but the problem is that the little hand held computer that drives the 
beast can only be updated by using W, which obviously I don't want to be 
dependent on in order to use what is a fairly expensive gadget.

What I wanted to do was drum up some support to lobby Meade to provide a Linux 
facility to update the controller, but basically nobody seemed to give a 
damn. Steve Cook sent a link into sourceforge for a remote control system, 
Dotan Cohen sort of wished me luck I think, and that was about it.

One letter from me isn't going persuade them that it needs to be done, and 
sure enough it didn't. Not that it's a difficult thing to do, I suspect. 
Surely all it needs is a small application to download from a server at Meade 
a file of updates for, say, newly discovered comets, and write it into flash 
memory on the autostar unit.

So, your suggestion is a damn fine one, but I'm afraid that in my experience, 
just like trying to get folks to commit to helping with stuff at my local 
LUG, Apathy Rules.


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