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Thread: What Linux Users Need To Know When Holiday Shopping For PC Hardware

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    No then I go look for another solution or develop one as it did not fit my needs. Simple as that.



    You are right, you fail to see it.

    If I decide to eat KFC chicken with it's secret 7 herbs and spices with my home grown potatoes the net result is that I get a meal that I enjoy. The difference being is that my potatoes don't come with a sign that prohibits me from combining the two in my meal and sharing it.
    KFC is consumer fast food right... well that analogy only re-enforces your consumer label

    suppose you have an idea about a great new program that involves the video card. However the closed sourced graphics driver you are using will not allow your idea to work so how will you make your idea work?

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    No that is entirely up to the discretion of the manufacturer.


    I'd expect a moderator to know more about the Secure Boot issue than just talk nonsense....

    Microsoft has MANDATED that all OEMs shipping Windows 8 x86 hardware (which in essence applies to all non-tablet form factors) who wish to quality for a 'Certified for Windows 8' label must provide options to disable or manage Secure Boot.

    The only hardware where SB is mandatory and non-manageable by the users are on ARM devices shipped with WinRT. And face it, nobody gives a rat's ass about installing a new operating system on locked-down ARM devices whose OS are so tightly coupled with the SoC used within.

    That said, I have nothing but respect for the level of maturity you displayed in handling the 'open vs closed' discussion that spanned a couple of pages. It's very rare to find people who can think rationally and use the best tool for the job regardless of its license.

    In my opinion (which is probably worth less than half a cent in a place like Phoronix) there is absolutely nothing wrong with proprietary tools if they are the best choice for getting the job done. My own professor had 'this' to say when I asked him about the feasibility of adopting desktop Linux as a stepping stone to understanding how to manage Linux servers one day:

    "That would be silly. Desktop and server Linux are two different beasts, even if they are packaged together in one distribution. Granted you will be able to understand the file hierarchy and some basic commands better than someone else who came from a full Windows background, but that's about it. And ask yourself, is it worth dealing with the potential driver issues for your existing hardware and losing the ability to run Visual Studio and SQL Server, along with many other Windows-only programs? Of course, the call will still have to be made by you, but in my opinion a Windows user with practical experience in setting up a Linux home server and using PuTTY to manage it remotely will beat you in this game soundly."
    Last edited by Sonadow; 11-24-2012 at 11:03 PM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by D0pamine View Post
    KFC is consumer fast food right... well that analogy only re-enforces your consumer label
    And my home grown potatoes mean what? Must be a developer. I still get a full meal and happy guests enjoying the meal that was prepared because nobody was telling me that I implicitly can't. If there was then sorry guests.... guess you are stuck with only the KFC with no fixings.

    suppose you have an idea about a great new program that involves the video card. However the closed sourced graphics driver you are using will not allow your idea to work so how will you make your idea work?
    Suppose I wanted to use my video card and utilize openCL to take advantage of the hardware. I cannot do that with the FOSS solutions despite the API being out there for 5 years. I can sit and whine that there is no open source solution or I can install the blobs and take full advantage of my hardware and enjoy the benefits of it. Is the FOSS way making use of my hardware that I want to use? Is it providing a solution before the hardware becomes antiquated?

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by D0pamine View Post
    KFC is consumer fast food right... well that analogy only re-enforces your consumer label

    suppose you have an idea about a great new program that involves the video card. However the closed sourced graphics driver you are using will not allow your idea to work so how will you make your idea work?
    The driver is just an enabler.

    You can do anything you want with your application to have it leverage the graphics card's capabilities through the driver. Heck, you can even release the program you are working on as a open source project as long as you do not expose any of the GPU driver's secret sauce in the process. How do you think games get made all the time?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    I'd expect a moderator to know more about the Secure Boot issue than just talk nonsense....

    Microsoft has MANDATED that all OEMs shipping Windows 8 x86 hardware (which in essence applies to all non-tablet form factors) who wish to quality for a 'Certified for Windows 8' label must provide options to disable or manage Secure Boot.
    You are right, that is a requirement now I see looking at the later revisions of the requirement. That being said, works great in practice but not in theory as my recent experience with Acer has shown. I've already voiced my concerns with Acer and they are unwilling to help out regarding the disabling of Secureboot.

    That said, I have nothing but respect for the level of maturity you displayed in handling the 'open vs closed' discussion that spanned a couple of pages. It's very rare to find people who can think rationally and use the best tool for the job regardless of its license.
    Having worked on both sides of the industry I can appreciate both efforts and philosophies but like so much else in the real world to get anything done most of the time compromises have to be made to achieve the end goal. Theory vs practice.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    And my home grown potatoes mean what? Must be a developer. I still get a full meal and happy guests enjoying the meal that was prepared because nobody was telling me that I implicitly can't. If there was then sorry guests.... guess you are stuck with only the KFC with no fixings.



    Suppose I wanted to use my video card and utilize openCL to take advantage of the hardware. I cannot do that with the FOSS solutions despite the API being out there for 5 years. I can sit and whine that there is no open source solution or I can install the blobs and take full advantage of my hardware and enjoy the benefits of it. Is the FOSS way making use of my hardware that I want to use? Is it providing a solution before the hardware becomes antiquated?
    or something simple like kernel mode switching? last i heard those franken-gpus didn't work with the proprietary drivers either

    this mix of both free and non-free gpu drivers being available and neither utilising the hardware to its greatest potential is toxic to say the least

    if one has to go then it'll have to be the non-free every time for me as I use GNU for the freedom it gives me - not out of some ideology or political stance - one is shit and the other is not, it really is that simple!

  7. #57

    Default Key-management will be the make or break issue

    Quote Originally Posted by tuke81 View Post
    There is nothing wrong with UEFI itself, it welcome progress over ugly old bioses. Secure Boot protocol is the thing what should be off by default, but microsoft wants mobo manufacturers to enabled it by default thus making booting linux now impossible.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    This. But isn't the option to turn it off mandatory? In which case, there should be legal action...
    That's the theory, anyways. It remains to be seen how well and how sensibly (and conveniently) this will be implemented. And if Microsoft didn't have such a recalcitrant record for behind the scenes dirty dealing, we'd be less worried about how many OEMs might "accidentally" mess it up.

    But I think the real issue will be how well the "key-management" provisions of the EUFI Secure Boot specification will end up being implemented under the aegis of MS's consumer PC Windows certification and Windows logo programs.

    Decent (ie. reasonable, competent and sensible) implementations of Secure Boot key-management in PCs will mean that users can easily choose which OSs they will or won't boot with or without Secure Boot enabled, even if they want or need to dual-boot or multi-boot.

    For example, A Windows user might want to easily boot Rescue/restore utilities from a CD or USB stick, or to use a Linux live distro for banking -- without having to tinker with BIOS/EUFI settings whenever they want to switch over. And a Linux user might feel the same about using Windows for gaming or speciality programs (eg. Adobe CS/Photoshop or Excel).

    Users won't want to fiddle with EUFI settings every time they want to switch operating systems. And they might not want to have to sacrifice Secure Boot protections to do so conveniently, either (especially on the Windows side).

    Poorly implemented EUFI key-management would be a real hassle, and a significant handicap.

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    No that is entirely up to the discretion of the manufacturer.
    At one time this was accurate, but no longer.
    Now, user control of Secure Boot functionality is MANDATORY for Windows 8 Certified or Windows 8 Logo-bearing Intel-type PCs. But FORBIDDEN for Windows 8 Certified or Logo-bearing ARM devices.
    (Microsoft's own words)

    Originally MS only required that Secure Boot be enabled for Windows 8 computers (and coyly alleged that any failure of the OEMs to implement any more of the still developing EUFI standard (including then fledgling Secure Boot provisions) than what MS required was solely up to the OEMs and thus of no concern to, and no responsibility of, Microsoft. (In view of MS's effective monopoly position and MS's long, well-documented history of back-room deals and dirty tricks, FOSS developers and Linux users found this position singularly unpersuasive).

    But when enough fuss was made, eventually, Microsoft grudgingly changed the Windows 8 Certification specification to specifically require (MANDATORY) the option for physically-present users to en/disable EUFI Secure Boot on Intel-compatible Windows 8 PCs (but the same features on ARM-based Windows 8 PCs are explicitly FORBIDDEN).

    And a little later, after yet more fuss, Microsoft grudgingly accommodated the demand that physically-present users must also (MANDATORY) be able to control (add, remove, blacklist and otherwise manage) the Secure Boot keys on their own hardware. And again, this applied only to Intel-type Windows 8 Certified PCs -- ARM-based Windows 8 Certified PCs once again were not only excluded, but actively and arbitrarily barred (FORBIDDEN) from providing users (aka "owners") these abilities.

    So it was originally up to the sole discretion (snerk) of the OEMs, but anybody who bought into this official line was either very young, ignorant, or horribly naive. Remember, the Secure Boot standard at this time was still just getting established, so this was basically a way for Microsoft to covertly hinder consumer adoption of alternatives to consumer Windows OSs while gaining "plausible deniability, as Microsoft knew quite well that even without MS encouragement, many (perhaps most?) OEMs wouldn't bother to provide consumer PCs with any better EUFI Secure Boot implementation than Microsoft required in exchange for Windows Certification and Logo Program benefits.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    You are right, that is a requirement now I see looking at the later revisions of the requirement. That being said, works great in practice but not in theory as my recent experience with Acer has shown. I've already voiced my concerns with Acer and they are unwilling to help out regarding the disabling of Secureboot.
    So, about that legal action...

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    [...]"And ask yourself, is it worth dealing with the potential driver issues for your existing hardware and losing the ability to run Visual Studio and SQL Server, along with many other Windows-only programs?"[...]
    I don't know... this just my view obviously but I feel there's more at stake than that. Microsoft wants people to to think this way and be utterly dependant on their products; we all know about that lovely thing called vendor lock-in. And that troubles me.

    Personally I cannot handle the thought of being a part of that system so I try where ever I can to avoid it. Sure this sometimes means I have to learn to do something differently but as I enjoy applying my learning power to such things I do not mind this. I know this isn't suitable for everyone though, especially if you're bound by bosses at a workplace or an educational institution which pretty much force you to do the task a certain way with whatever software they designate or you get booted outta there, which kinda sucks but what can you do.



    Anyway, more to original topic (which not surprisingly has deviated way off ), I'm excited about looking for hardware that actually supports Linux or at least is well supported in the Linux world. For years, like many people I imagine, I've always had hardware that was originally just your typical Windows PC, gaming system etc which I chucked Linux distros on.
    Which, credit to how far Linux hardware support has come, has always worked fine for me. But I've never actually aimed to buy hardware known to be completely compatible with Linux.

    Since I'm pretty much 100% Linux now (I deleted Windows once I was able to play TF2 etc natively in Linux; thanks Valve) I suppose it would make sense to buy this way, for the best experience.

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