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Debian Chooses A Reasonable, Common Sense Solution To Dealing With Non-Free Firmware

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  • #21
    Originally posted by mulenmar View Post
    Remember Cyrix
    Yes I do when I read that the number 150 popped into my head as I was thinking which one of them chips did I have, sure enough Google tells me that was a model number produced by them 27 years ago in 1995. Time flies when your having fun... And I am rather shocked the Debian Developers showed some practical common sense in a vote, in the many years I followed their mailing lists before giving it up as useless activity there was little evidence of any of it being around the place.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Waethorn View Post

      No, because it never happened.
      I was there. I tested two Cyrix chips, an M-II PR150+ and, iirc, an IBM branded PR133+ vs the Intel era-equivalents they were aiming to compete against. Cyrux outperformed Intel clock-for-clock on everything but FPU operations, on the same motherboard, with the same RAM.

      You can go find videos on YouTube if you want to be skeptical. They were immensely popular as upgrade paths for people who didn't want to throw out an entire motherboard just to use a new CPU, too, further back in the 386 and 486 days.

      Originally posted by user1 View Post

      Sorry, but with this kind of mindset, Linux would've been as niche as Haiku/ReactOS/OpenBSD or other half dead OS at worst. Or, it will require proprietary / out of tree blobs for everything at best.
      I didn't say "don't allow firmware to be used at all", as much as I'd prefer that. I said "don't require it". An acceptable compromise is having the hardware perfectly well able to function at full performance without firmware, and then being able to give it instructions to work around their lazy slipshod pile of dogshit, Intel-style. nVidia's "lock everyone out" is not. WiFi manufacturing industry-standard "microOS in a driver" is not. Pre-AMD ATI in the bad old fglrx days wasn't great, but at least it was possible to make your own driver and interact with the hardware!‚Äč

      I'd still be pissed off, obviously, that the manufacturer couldn't be bothered to do the equivalent of proofreading and checking the math of the design before putting product in front of me.

      If any of that sounds contradictory, well, I'm neutral to the idea of firmware. It has benefits. The problems I have are manufacturers making defective hardware, making it impossible to fix in the open, and leaving all sorts of room for intentional backdoors in proprietary obfuscated jungles of code. Which then either I pay money for and only find out about the problems months or years later, well past warranty return periods... or which I have to do without because NOBODY makes hardware to my specifications in my budget.
      Last edited by mulenmar; 02 October 2022, 12:25 PM.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by mulenmar View Post
        I was there.
        You were drunk.

        There was no MII-PR150+. It was an M1R or M1L. MII's didn't start until the PR166-MMX and the Pentium 166MHz MMX wiped the floor with it.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Waethorn View Post

          You were drunk.

          There was no MII-PR150+. It was an M1R or M1L. MII's didn't start until the PR166-MMX and the Pentium 166MHz MMX wiped the floor with it.
          Whatever, I concede that my memory of the exact PR rating number is off, but my memory of the benchmarks I did against the chips they were competing against (which were never, at any point in their production history, intended to be the top-shelf current chips being made by Intel) is pretty damn clear.

          And no, I wasn't drinking back then, nor more than a bottle of wine or six pack of beer a month since then, but thanks.

          And you know what else? They got the job done, at a fraction of the cost, without microcode or speculation.

          We didn't need it then, we don't need it now. What we need is to cut prices, wasteful churn, bugs caused by the rush to feed that churn, and power consumption -- and to stop letting PC [email protected] MEISTER RAYZE types dictate the course of hardware development.

          And I say that last part as someone who does most of my gaming on PC. Hardware hit performance metrics needed for that back in 2016, and anything past that only lines the pockets of manufacturers of 4k HDwhateveR panel makers and the electric company.
          Last edited by mulenmar; 02 October 2022, 01:25 PM.

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          • #25
            Thanks, Debian community, this is a great win for usability : )

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            • #26
              Originally posted by mulenmar View Post

              Whatever, I concede that my memory of the exact PR rating number is off, but my memory of the benchmarks I did against the chips they were competing against (which were never, at any point in their production history, intended to be the top-shelf current chips being made by Intel) is pretty damn clear.

              And no, I wasn't drinking back then, nor more than a bottle of wine or six pack of beer a month since then, but thanks.

              And you know what else? They got the job done, at a fraction of the cost, without microcode or speculation.

              We didn't need it then, we don't need it now. What we need is to cut prices, wasteful churn, bugs caused by the rush to feed that churn, and power consumption -- and to stop letting PC [email protected] MEISTER RAYZE types dictate the course of hardware development.

              And I say that last part as someone who does most of my gaming on PC. Hardware hit performance metrics needed for that back in 2016, and anything past that only lines the pockets of manufacturers of 4k HDwhateveR panel makers and the electric company.
              You won't hear me complain - I game on a PS5.

              And my 4K HDR 120hz TV does kick ass too.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by tachi View Post
                Thanks, Debian community, this is a great win for usability : )
                Indeed no wasted time finding out what the problem is when your hardware does not work because you stupidly forgot the broken default installer and did not search around for the one with the non-free firmware on it. That "feature" bit me a month or so ago when doing a Debian install and did not have a hope in hell of getting a video signal for the desktop without the AMD firmware available to load. Let alone be informed that the requirement for it was needed for the options for install I selected.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by mulenmar View Post
                  Or, and this idea might be shocking enough to make people need to sit down: change the kernel license to something that makes it a violation to require firmware for operation of the hardware.

                  Make your shit *properly* in the first place instead of rushing everything to market for your biosphere-murdering headlong rush of planned-obsolence hardware, and you won't need firmware.
                  The rantings of a true ideologue. "My way or the highway." That's why FSF is irrelevant to most people. The real world most people have at least some passing connection doesn't work that way. It never has and never will. That's what RMS and other ideologues don't get and likely never will.

                  Firmware is always going to be necessary. Firmware is just software stored in a more permanent way used to initialize the hardware and bring it to a functional condition. You've probably never even come close to studying how the hardware functions you're using to post your drivel. Firmware will have bugs. Hardware will have bugs. Software will have bugs. It doesn't matter how long you test it, you can't test every single possible option in complex systems before release.

                  Resources and time are limited. Someone is going to find something a production team will have missed. This is why firmware is easily upgradable these days even if it's on a rewritable EPROM on the device. Planned obsolescence is an artificial problem separate from software maintenance though closely related in the form of withholding bug fixes for new purchases of hardware. It could be solved by a subscription program - pay us a living wage and we'll continue to offer the bug fixes. People have to eat, even FOSS developers. But I'm going to assume you want everything given to you as a freeloader from the tone of your rant.

                  Next, as soon as you start issuing ultimatums from a position of weakness (and trust me, in this case with all the alternatives out there: FreeBSD, NetBSD, forking the kernel, etc. you're in about as weak a position as it gets, not to mention it'd legally require all past non-trivial contributers to explicitly sign off in writing on such a change) you'll have everyone telling you to shove off in varying ways from polite sarcasm to telling you where to shove it. I'd be one of them on the shove it side. In fact, the Linux kernel would be about as popular as the FSF's version of it that removes the very things your talking about. There may be a handful of people in this world of 7+ billion people that use it. Screaming popularity there.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                    And openSUSE agrees...
                    Yes openSUSE is quit strict about their distro being opensource.

                    I remember though while on openSUSE install you can add packman repository, then all audio files and vids should just play.
                    Last edited by Gps4life; 02 October 2022, 06:59 PM.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by ssokolow View Post

                      Yeah. It's kind of silly to use such a formal name for things like "Quiet in the Library", "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service", and "We Reserve the Right To Refuse Service" signs.
                      I first saw it in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", one of the favourite movies ever!

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