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Reasoning for closed source

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Gizmot View Post
    are you saying that AMD finally released *ALL* the technical specs needed to create a ''perfect'' and ''complete'' driver for every card?
    No, not all specifications are available. Enough to create a great and very-close-to-almost-complete driver, though.

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    • #22
      To the business model of a hardware manufacturer, it is not a piece of hardware, it is a "product", and you as a consumer are only supposed to be interested in the "product", not the hardware. By locking up the firmware/driver code, companies can create different "products" by enabling/disabling different sets of features on what is essentially identical hardware, and then sell them at different prices to different market segments.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
        To the business model of a hardware manufacturer, it is not a piece of hardware, it is a "product", and you as a consumer are only supposed to be interested in the "product", not the hardware. By locking up the firmware/driver code, companies can create different "products" by enabling/disabling different sets of features on what is essentially identical hardware, and then sell them at different prices to different market segments.
        ^^ this

        and also stupid management.

        and wrt bios, i find it amusing that sgi in the early 90s had a graphical bios which ran a windowing environment in 1280x1024 or higher with a point and click interface while sun has had openboot for ages with a built in programming language to allow scripting (and even debugging for the brave) which you can enter at any time (even while solaris is running) by pressing a key combination.

        now it's 2010 and the average pc bios is still an ugly ncurses-style interface with extremely limited capabilities. i think a good bios would be like tinycore linux with a nice point'n'click interface for the simple things and a web browser and chat client (and emacs of course ). traditional bioses are ridiculously limited.

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        • #24
          You need a gui bios? Try EFI with mouse support. Like for ASUS:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUvrXJ2fT_M

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          • #25
            Browser and chat in bios? Yikes, I can see the headlines... "Bios flash failures up 450% from last year, users say they needed to update their Pidgin & FF"

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            • #26
              Browser in a bios try the ASUS P7P55-D-E_Deluxe it says it has something like that, I have (and are not likely to) tried it though.

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              • #27
                Splashtop is NOT in the BIOS, it is on hd or internal (with my script also external) usb drive. Only a small part of it can be in the BIOS to show the menu selection early. Basically it is a fake menu, it is not much more than a graphical boot menu, nothing else has been loaded at this time.

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                • #28
                  Why do hardware vendors code closed-source drivers? Because that's the status quo. Drivers have been closed-source for decades and breaking away from that tradition requires effort that's a hard sell to investors. Patent / IP pitfalls, NDAs, DRM, plus a WHQL validation process that generally frowns upon code that can be modified by anyone. (If you are a hardware vendor, you *really* want your drivers to have the WHQL mark).

                  Moreover, it come us a surprise to many in the open-source community that most managers are actively hostile to open-source. Traditional management will attempt to hoard every single item that might provide a competitive advantage in the market, as small as that might be. Nvidia is a prime example of such management - to them, releasing source code would be akin to suicide, their market advantage (drivers) would evaporate (that's how they think, at least.)

                  A non driver-related example, that illustrates this mentality: my last boss was a software-engineer with some excellent management skills and an uncanny knack for reading the market and squeezing money out of it. In short, he was talented.

                  Even so, he simply couldn't grasp what open-source development is and why someone would wish to engage in it. This came up during my interview and he was stunned that I would release half-a-million lines of code to the world just like that - I mean, what kind of suicidal business model is that? Your competitors can just take your code and sell it!

                  The only answer he would accept was that I was trying to unseat entrenched competitors and provide a "professional", paid version later on. No way I was doing that for the experience and the pleasure of building a community!

                  Strange world...

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