On Sat, Aug 08, 2009 at 10:12:16AM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Sat, 8 Aug 2009 15:38:25 +0200
> Roland Smith <rsm...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
> 
> > On Sat, Aug 08, 2009 at 07:53:40AM -0400, Identry wrote:
> > > >> Looks like your hardware is dying/dead.
> > > >
> > > > Sadly, I agree.
> > <snip>
> > > > I'd get to the point of swapping hardware one at a time until it
> > > > fixes, or until you exhaust your options.  Have any kind of
> > > > support contract with the OEM?
> > > 
> > > I do have a support contract and I'm going to dump this right in
> > > their lap. Two machines we bought from them -- pretty expensive
> > > ones -- and both have had hardware failures. And they are only a
> > > couple of years old. I'm not too happy with them at the moment.
> > 
> > For computers, that is already old these days. At $WORK the Dell
> > computers (both desktops and servers AFAIK) that we use are ditched at
> > the first problem after the warranty runs out which is after three
> > years, I believe.
> > 
> > Roland
> 
> Given the concept of: "Planned (?) Obsolescence", that is probably a
> wise decision. The problem is that FBSD does not always either partially
> or fully support new hardware. Updating in such a scenario should
> therefore be undertaken with extreme care. 

True. Therefore I don't like getting systems from builders like Dell who
focus on MS windows. I prefer specifying which parts go into my
machines, because I can check for compatibility beforehand.

> For example, nVidia cards
> with 64 bit drivers are not supported in FBSD. Personally, I love nVidia
> cards; however, this problem has caused me to put off updating my
> systems temporarily. However, if this problem is not rectified soon, I
> might have to consider a different OS. Considering that nVidia is
> already shipping drivers for Win7, both 32 & 64 bit, the fact that they
> are not supported in FBSD is rather pathetic.

To be fair, nvidia requested (and were waiting for) some changes made to
the FreeBSD amd64 kernel. I think these changes are now in 8-CURRENT,
but I'm not sure.

However, NVidia choose to create their own unified 3D support
infrastructure instead of supporting the X developers with documentation
and specifications. That means that nobody but NVidia can maintain their
drivers. So instead of wielding the collaborative power of open source,
they choose to go their own way. IMHO that is not very smart. (and yes,
they doubtlessly have their reasons; NDAs with suppliers, "IP" borrowed
from others, whatever) I suspect they'll tire one day of doing all this
work themselves.

But until that day, I'll buy ATI or intel graphics hardware that _is_
supported by open-source drivers. So I'll not be left with unsupported
hardware if the hardware supplier chooses to focus his attentions
elswhere. Nor will I face bugs that we cannot fix because of binary-only
drivers.

Since I find it unacceptable to be a hostage to the whims of a hardware
supplier, I will not support manufacturers who stick to closed-source
drivers, and I would implore others to do the same.

Roland
-- 
R.F.Smith                                   http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsmith/
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