On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 23:02:33 +0000 (GMT), Paul Jakma <paul at clubi.ie> wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Nov 2004, John Madden wrote:
>> > NForce ethernet is working fine with the NVidia binary only drivers.
>> What happens when NVidia EOL their support for NForce3 and stop
> providing drivers?
This is a problem that I came across quite a lot when shopping for
wireless ethernet cards. You will see equipment that is marked "linux
compatible", when in fact often what that means is that the
manufacturer put together a binary-only driver in an rpm on the
installation CDROM. Now, as John says, it's good to see that Linux
attracts enough attention that such drivers are provided, but in some
cases the "support" is really quite shabby. For example, the binary
driver may only work on linux 2.4, and then there may not be a 2.6
version available (for any number of reasons: lack of manufacturer
interest, change of company philosophy, product planned to be
IIRC, I saw this in the case of some software modems and also some
wireless ethernet cards, though it may be more common.
In a way, such "support" is _sometimes_worse_ than none. There may be
two components on the shelf. One with a penguin on the box, one
without. The one with the penguin includes an
unsupportable/out-of-date binary only driver, the one without uses a
chipset that has a community-developed driver in the main kernel tree.
I know which one I'd rather buy, but to make that correct choice can
take a lot of homework.
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