Feisty and a shiny cube – updates

There was a time when I could not get Linux working on my machine. This was circa 2003. This was possibly because I was totally incompetent and that fact that I picked Gentoo for my first install.

Then, things got better. I installed yellow dog linux. For the first time, I had Linux on my machine. It worked decently. I could browse on the internet. I could listen to music. Life was good. Then, rpm-hell caught up with me, and I moved to Debian.

Debian was very nice to use, once you set it up. And I did a lot of setting up. I would recompile my kernel so many times. It got to the point that I was ‘setting up’ my machine more than I was using it. Of course, it was not Debian’s fault as Debian is the Universal Operating System. For everyone, and for all architectures. However, it was not working out very well for me.

Then Ubuntu, came along. There was not much new learning to be done, as in the previous cases. See, cause Ubuntu was based on Debian and worked exactly the same way. And it was setup for mostly correctly. It did come with binary blobs for video cards, but that was a useful compromise. A stopgap arrangement, I thought.

The stopgap arrangement was necessary only till a free driver comes around to liberate us all. And in some cases, it did come. For example, the Broadcom drivers were reverse engineered.(though it still uses binary blobs). The Ralink wireless card come with a completely free wireless driver. I personally must have done a lot of sales for ralink, cause I recommended those cards to everyone I knew who was in the market to buy a wireless card.

It is going to be a long war to give you the right to much around with the hardware/software you paid for. It is not going to be an easy thing to do. And we were making progress, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

However, I really like Ubuntu very much. It seemed like the right vehicle to fight the battle from. The community was good, and helpful. And for the first time, I felt like contributing to the Ubuntu community. And I think I did. I spent a lot of my free time on Ubuntu IRC channels, helping new users who were brave enough to install Linux. Once I even helped a nice lady in New Zealand on IRC to recover partitions on her son’s computer. The community grew by leaps and bounds, just because Ubuntu was easier to use. Every release was better, because it was better to use. And a bit more free to use.

Dapper came out, and it was the best Linux distro I’ve used. Everything worked. Great tools like network-manager were available. Good documentation. Life was good.

Then, I heard about the Accelerated-X Spec

I have no issue with people choosing to install binary drivers. That is their choice. Heck, I even maintain EasyUbuntu (though I dont use any non-free software on my home machine). The key point is people choosing what they want to get.

I am a card carrying Ubuntu user and a member of the community. I will fight this issue from within, take up the issue with the Community Council. But, if Ubuntu takes this step towards binary drivers by default, I would be left with no choice, but to not use Ubuntu.

About robotgeek

Pragmatist, Linux lover, geek, hacker (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_%28hobbyist%29) and an optimist.
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One Response to Feisty and a shiny cube – updates

  1. papyromancer says:

    Whoa. That’s heavy. At least Ubuntu will be a nice step for users like me who want to learn linux before moving on to more challenging free software.

      

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