[LinuxBIOS] Recommendations on Fully Free Workstation hardware

Segher Boessenkool segher at kernel.crashing.org
Mon Nov 27 09:10:46 CET 2006

>> This doesn't solve a _problem_.  Oh, and there are plenty of
>> binary patches you can find around the web that do such things.
>> They typically void your warranty *for a good reason* though.
> We don't really care about that, though, right :) Installing LinuxBIOS 
> voids
> the board vendor's warranty too, I'm sure.

Of course.  Note the "*for a good reason*" though.

>> It would be nice to have, yes, but I think right now we have
>> much bigger problems to solve first.
> Sure. This whole thread is pretty hypothetical.

Ah good :-)

>>> Basically, having Free firmware for things like
>>> hard drives could allow some amazing innovation.
>> ...and will lead to *lots* of bricked drives ;-)
> Maybe video cards or network cards would be a better example here. 
> But, yes.

Most video cards already *are* programmed by (free) software.
Maybe not very well, but that's due to lack of specs.

Many (high-end and wireless) network cards can get the same
treatment, we just need more datasheets ;-)

>> I'm not convinced you can really; esp. not legally.  But yeah,
>> that "geek factor" would make me want to do it, sure -- except
>> I see a HDD as 100% a black box with no internals that I care
>> about (or want to care about).  I also don't feel like reprogramming
>> the ucode on CPUs, or even the ucode on a flash chip's internal
>> controller, etc.
> But your network interface? Video card?

Yeah.  Those devices directly access main memory so
there's fun stuff to do with their embedded CPUs :-)


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