[linux-elitists] eee-pc 900 FLOSS impurity [was Re: attack of the low-cost ultra-mobile linux boxen]

Tony Godshall togo@of.net
Mon May 19 14:32:15 PDT 2008

On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 11:37 AM, Dave Crossland <dave@lab6.com> wrote:
> 2008/5/19 Tony Godshall <togo@of.net>:
>> 1) ASUS has, in its manual, a list of devices qualified to work with
>> it (mostly USB devices) including normally problematic things like TV
>> tuners.
> Are these because of non-free kernel modules though? That might even
> be non-redistributable?

Yes, quite possibly.  But I'm willing to accept
baby steps in our direction.  While fully GPL-free
drivers are very much the ideal, I'll take BSD-free
as two steps forward, and semi-proprietary as
one step forward away from Microsoft-world.

I think this strategy is more effective than the
FSF-style all-or-nothing confontational approach.
It's more in line with Linus' and Ubuntu's
approach and look where it's got them vs FSF.
Heck, even Debian is not hostile to proprietary
software; they just say it won't be in Debian.

Anyhow, there's no pure Libre laptop in this
class and I think it's a huge step ahead to
(a) have Linux installed and (b) see the
manufacturer cooperate with and document
other peripherals not of its own manufacture
that work with it.

>> 2) It has voice activation included for launching apps: you say
>> "computer, notes" and it brings up a sticky note.  You say "computer,
>> clock" and it brings up a world clock app.
> Again, is this proprietary software? :-(

I hope not, but I'm not such a purist that
I'll avoid all proprietary software: I think
infrastructure (OS) should be Free, and more
importantly, that file and network standards
should be Free, but I don't mind letting the
market decide about apps, as long as they
don't do the MS monopolistic lockdown on

Anyway, the voice activation is just a toy,
as is the multitouch zoom feature which
doesn't even work in Firefox.

I'll certainly have more opportunity to report
just what is and is not ideal from a FLOSS
standpoint when I get around to installing
and booting other distros (SD card)

Best Regards.
Please keep in touch.
This is unedited.

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