[conspire] video drivers (was Re: "madwifi" is proprietary sludge (was: driver))

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Thu Jun 29 10:53:17 PDT 2006

begin Rick Moen quotation of Wed, Jun 28, 2006 at 03:20:24PM -0700:

> It's obvious where that perceptual distortion originated:  It was the
> dot.com crash, whereupon just about everybody in computing _but_ gamer
> kiddies stopped purchasing hardware, hunkering down and either trying
> not to get laid off or skirting the ragged edge of starvation.  
> The result?  Both purchasing and discussion of Linux hardware was suddenly
> dominated by Win32-oriented gamer punks, contemptuous of open source,
> using framerate as their sole criterion, and generally managing to shout
> down all other considerations.

Meanwhile, for non-gamer boxes, more and more of the
hardware on the PC continued its inexorable migration
to the motherboard.

The first Linux box I ever built had:
  IDE card
  Sony CDROM adapter card
  Sound card
  Video card
  Ethernet card

The last Linux box I built had:
  Sound card
  Video card (an old Matrox dual-head)

If I had built it for a regular office environment
and not my home office, it would just have had the
video card.

As regular PCs get cheaper and cheaper, there's room
for fewer and fewer "identity preserved" brand names.
Besides cost, other factors driving the motherboard
migration include, on the server side, the desire to
make a board 1U-able by putting as much as possible
onboard, and on the desktop side, the desire to reduce
assembly time.

Intel has already eaten the sub-pro sound card market.
A logical next move is to eat the lucrative video
card market.  I predict that the next generation
of common video hardware will be part of some Intel
branding campaign/chipset, on the "Centrino" model.
Fortunately Intel seems to be playing ball nicely
in the area of open source X support.  We had a good
discussion of that at FreedomHEC:


(Anybody remember the Diamond/XFree86 beef?)

Don Marti                    
dmarti at zgp.org           LinuxWorld: August 14-17, 2006, San Francisco

More information about the conspire mailing list