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GNU is Not Unix

GNU Hardware Cooperative 69

dfelznic writes "With the support of several leaders in the free software community, Spindletop is in the process of becoming the first (and only) GNU Cooperative, supporting the hardware needs of end-users of free software such as GNU/Linux. Spindletop is based in the birthplace of free software, Cambridge, MA." Allright, I'm a skeptic, but it if it works, it sure would be great.
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GNU Hardware Cooperative

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  • MIT is currently working on project "Oxygen", which uses FPGA technology as its foundation. The FPGA project is called "RAW"

    The idea as I understand it, is that as chip complexity increases, circuit pathways grow longer and longer, creating inefficiencies. So the folks at MIT have designed a repeatable CPU core (RAW project) that is highly parallel in nature and uses FPGA technology. As transistor density increases, more power can be added just as easy as new blocks can be added to Lego, because the design is modular.

    Here's some URL's for y'all:

    Scientific Article on Project Oxygen: /08 99issue/0899dertouzos.html []

    MIT's Oxygen website: []

    MIT's RAW website: []

    One of the best documents on FPGA technology and it's existing state in the RAW/Oxygen projects is this PDF document: edu /pub/raw/documents/RawSpec99.pdf []

  • anyone who could possibly disagree with what I said about spindletp *SLAP*

    Ok, smarty-pants, what's your solution? I notice you didn't provide one. I would have said "", but lo and behold! it's taken.

    Complain all you like, but until you provide an alternative, you're just so much background noise.


  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @11:31AM (#621918) Homepage
    I've seen a few people complain that they can't view the article because of the slashdot effect.

    We have a copy of the article posted by Lucas on Kuro5hin [], complete with everything you need :-)

    Happy to help. Have a nice day.
  • "plus anything that allows the kernel to work" means just that, anything that allows the kernel to work. /etc/inittab (or similar init scheme) is needed. ls is not. ld is.

    But inittab is not GNU :-) For my current system, the GNU software that is required for the OS consists of glibc (although I could recompile the kernel to use a non-GNU libc) and ld (not sure if this is GNU). Also required, but not GNU software is lilo.

    To me, an operating system at least has to be something that can do *something* without the aid of additional software.

    This is Microsoft think. Get Windows out of your head, and look up operating system in the dictionary. Operating systems do not include the applications that run on them. Even shells do not count as part of the operating system, otherwise Linux with bash would be a *different* operating system then Linux with tcsh, which would be different than Linux with ksh, etc.

    There's an old saying that Unix is not an operating system. What GNU refers to as "operating system" is actually an operating environment, a completely different beast. You don't name an operating system after the software that runs under it.

    If all Patrick Volkerding (as an example) did when creating Slackware was to take an Official GNU System CD, remove HURD and replace it with the Linux kernel, then the name "GNU/Linux" would be very appropriate. But what happened wasn't even close.
  • Most of these motherboards have an *option* for you to disable the onboard components. In my experience, these options only give you the warm fuzzy feeling that you have solved the problem -- they make the function go away, but they do *not* make the component invisible. Good luck trying to get the new component you just installed to work -- your software will, like as not, still see only the original built-in, working or not.
  • This is a necessary step to make sure that large corporations won't be able to arbitrarily control our access to the media of our choice. Many companies are already making noises about migrating content control to complete hardware solutions, trying to make it as difficult as possible for those nasty "pirates" to get their grubby little mitts on the data streams.

    All it takes is one reliable source for hardware which DOESN'T cooperate with them, and the entire scheme will fall apart. And the tighter they try and control everything, the alternative automatically sells better, since given a choice, consumers will pick the product which gives them more control. (This is assuming that the product is competitive in features & price, of course.)

    Worst case, an organization like this can provide chips and/or boards and instructions which can be used to replace and/or hijack the electronics in the "content controlled" machines (just in case they try and do something like use non-standard laser-reading hardware, or any similar hard-to-duplicate approaches).

    And if the companies try and get legislation passed to prevent this kind of hacking, then the organization can devolve their hardware spec. to something general & programmable, and leave it up to the net to squirrel away the downloadable code necessary to run the machines.

    Of course, it's in the best interests of companies who want to control such things that a strong organization capable of creating such hardware be discouraged.
  • On the other hand, my "dirty" Asus board with built in IDE and ultra SCSI2 has had exactly zero problems for the last 2 years. If these parts had been purchased separatly, it would cost 2 to 3 times as much. In fact, I believe the cost of the equivalent Adaptec card was nearly equal to the cost of the MB.

    Whoops, I forgot... I'm a Luser because I don't run *nix...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I normally don't comment, but this was an outright lie, and probably a troll. There is one compiler, one compiler alone that can compile the linux kernel. It's called gcc, the Gnu compiler. If you need further confirmation, check out in one of the recent linux-kernel mailing list archives. Alan Cox wrote that the kernel "wasn't ready" for the new Gnu compiler since there were ugly parts that even depended on the gcc version used to compile it.

    I could go on about the other parts, but people have to determine these things for themselves.

    Out of curiosity, who are you to define things today? That's the problem with moderation; all someone has to do is put forward a definition forcefully enough and everyone falls for the mindtrick.
  • So it's impossible to even begin to replace gcc with another compiler. More lies.
  • The fact that you can name institutions in the Boston-area does not make it any less interesting that the Free Software Foundation is located in Cambridge.

    Nothing you mentioned has anything to do, specifically, with the area. If I went to any other major city in the US, I could say the same thing about their sports teams. Or their highway infrastructure. Or their museums. Or their malls. What do you have against Boston?

    And, in fact, the only thing about the Boston-area that has anything to do with the Free Software Foundation, is one of the things you neglected to mention: MIT. Stallman was at MIT when he started the foundation. If Stallman had been at Oberlin, he would've started the foundation in Ohio, but he wasn't -- it's got nothing to do with MA, for better or for worse.

  • Huh?

    "I guess they just mean LINUX right now."

    What about the BSDs, Apple's Darwin, and a dozen or so other OS's depending on the usage of "free"?

  • Any ideas when something like that will be easily available? It could have unlimited uses in the chip arena. Where can we get more info?
  • []

    Read through the list of their software. See Linux? No? Check the list of other software covered by the GPL. Linux is there. Linux is not GNU, dammit! >:( If I compile and use GNU utils on Cygwin, does that give me GNU/Windows? Of course not. GNU/Solaris anyone? Linux could not be the phenomenon it is today without GNU...but Linux is not GNU.

  • Moderate me as off-topic, as it is a bit off topic, but at least hear me out.

    I cant get to the article right now (/. effect again) but it seems that people are pissed about the whole GNU/HURD/Linux she-bang. And from what I can gather, it seems that Stallman is having the same sort of problem that organizations like PETA, The Sierra Club, etc. seem to have.

    They take what would normally be a good idea, then get so worked up about it, that they alienate everyone who might have liked their idea into hating them. Cruelty to animals is wrong, however, when PETA says that animal shouldnt even be owned, leashed, or put in a zoo. When the Sierra Club tries to protect the wilderness, I'm all for that, I love to hike, bike and be outdoors. However, the wilderness is not just for the Sierra Club and its members/affiliates.

    Free software is a beautiful thing, it enables software to be built not to corporate standards of obscurity, but through public standards of 'everyone checks the code, and it doesnt go out till its READY'

    Just because Stallman wants GNU to be a pure/virginal thing for him to put his name on, doesnt necessarily mean that that's what WE want.

    This sort of infighting that I see over stupid stuff like a NAME should stop, or it will destroy this cool thing called 'Open-Source' (I paid a royalty to JonKatz to use the term).

    It took M$ almost 20 years of gluing stuff to DOS to get to the semi-stable Windows2000. Last I had heard, Linux as a whole has been stable since about '93 or so. That means that it only took 2 years to get Linux to hold up like the big corporate stuff. Now, imagine what would happen if everyone stopped bitching and started writing cool software WITH each other? There are easily a hundred times more Free software programmers than there are windows programmers, yet the industry still doesnt take our kind seriously, and this is the reason why.

    Let's start working toward that common goal that hear so much about.

  • I'm not going to waste my time listing the stuff Stallman's done or how much of the code on your box was either written by him or responsible in some way to him.

    I am going to point out what a jerkoff you come across as, one of those creepy little freaks who feels some sort of instinctive need to badmouth anyone else accomplishing anything because their own dicks are too small to amount to much.

    Bust me the moderation points, I don't need 'em anyway and everyone once in awhile it feels good to blast a few of these dungflies that are starting to hang out around here.

  • the CambridgeSide Galleria (an upscale mall with very expensive stores and even more expensive parking)

    Uh, I've been to CambridgeSide, and the stores there aren't that expensive. (They've got Best Buy, fer crying out loud). You want expensive, go across the Charles into Boston, and visit the Prudential Center. THAT is expensive.

    The parking ain't that bad, either. I think it was ~= $5 or so for two or three hours. And this is in a fairly well-kept garage, just a short way from the mall proper.
  • Take a look at the Seven International Cooperative Principles [], and you will see that this is very much in the spirit of either Free Software or Open Source Software - argumentitive, members contribute to the whole both in money and in work, and the whole darned thing is about process. I buy my outdoor stuff at a national cooperative, REI [], I bank at a Credit Union [], I buy groceries at a wonderful food cooperative, New Pioneer [], and I am a member of Consumers Union [].

    This is not any political or hippy thing. I've just found that I get the best service from a business where I am part owner, part worker, part consumer. Likewise, I get my best investment from boxen about which I have knowledge.

    If this works, I hope there is an option for national membership. I would be willing to pay a slightly higher fee as a non-working member, or would be willing to do writing, etc. to help it fly.

    If you have not tried coops, give 'em a shot. It's amazing what happens when you participate in a business. Likewise, it's depressing to go to the monthly/annual meetings and find people who are driven by their egos, rather than the vision, or the day-to-day concerns. But somehow, coops still get the job done, and often at a better price and with better service than non-coops engaged in the same business.

  • From the Kiro5hin article:

    b.) Non-dirty. As an example, this means using more expensive, better- built, "clean" motherboards without built-in sound and video.

    What's wrong with having built-in sound and video on the motherboard? It makes slots available, reduces power consumption, and reduces the overall size of the computer. A lot of people would be more than happy with standard video/audio offerings, but this article makes it sound as if those people are losers.

  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @11:49AM (#621934) Homepage Journal
    GNU/Linux is GNU.

    Not true. GNU is the name of an operating system. What is sometimes called "GNU/Linux" is NOT that operating system. So what is the operating system? It's the linux kernel plus anything that allows that kernel to work. Nothing more. Compilers, editors, and other utilities, no matter how basic, are not part of the operating system. Every GNU program commonly distributed with Linux can be replaced with a non-GNU alternative.

    The Linux distributions are NOT an operating system (otherwise there would be 20 different operating systems). Instead, they are a collection of software that includes Linux the OS, Linux the infrastructure as created by Linus and friends, BSD daemons, GNU userland utilities, and a whole bunch of stuff selected by the distributor. The distributors put all this stuff together, so they get to name it.

    If you say "GNU/Linux" and mean "Linux operating system + GNU low-level user environment" you may be right. But if you mean "GNU OS with just a kernel swapped out" you will be wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Any good MIT student knows that dogs are supposed to be named "FIFO" and go "WERF"
  • They ought to cough up their first $2000 to WIPO and get that domain back, or something...oh wait, we're not supposed to do things things like that :-)

    Fist Prost

    "We're talking about a planet of helpdesks."
  • Wow, you sure pegged me, lunchmeat. I can give all the credit in the world to those who contribute vast quantities to his field of expertice and are approachable and humble. This tool is not. He's just an uglier Dan Bernstien, and awfully fortunate to be a talented coder (ooh, look, credit where it's due) or he'd be spending yet another Christmas alone with his ego.

    Stallman is a prick, and with drones like yourself swinging from his testicles, it's just more reason to inflate his filthy head even further. He has no reason at all to actually become approachable and helpful when there are sheep like you on the frontline defending his embarassing actions. Being a world-class coder is not enough, especially when he wants to evangelize Linux to a world of nonbelievers, and it doesn't mean I have to put up with his endless political crap because I use his software. If you were to use a single Microsoft product by choice (heaven forbid it's the best choice for any job), does that mean that you lose the right to criticise Gates' business tactics or personality? Oh, but that's different because he's the head of a corporation while Stallman is just a hippie with a bad attitude, right?

    By the way, if the "dungflies" you're referring to are people who aren't interested in toeing the Linux corporate line at all costs, you nailed it. You're probably one of those dorks who calls for an embargo on MSIE use just to spite Microsoft, aren't you?

    Now, it's time to give this the big "flamebait" moderation because I have the audacity to criticise Pope Stallman.


  • I've been toying with with the idea of setting up something along these lines in Sydney, Australia for some time. I had thought of it as somewhat unfeasable until I met someone who works at "The Bower Inner Sydney Repair and Reuse Co-operative," which has apparently been a roaring success, having been in operation since 1998, and now able to pay wages more often than not!

    My reasons for wanting to start something like this are partly based on my own loopy ideas about the desirability of working at something you think is useful rather than anything that comes along that's likely to get you money, and partly because I see some scope for applying the principles behind the GPL to working life in general; "Free Work," as well as "Free Software".

    I'm not 100% clear on how to go about setting up something like this. I hope to meet with some people from the Bower soon to talk about the legal and other hurdles they've come across. In the meantime, if anyone in Australia (particularly Sydney) has an interest in getting involved, please email me [mailto]. I also hope to have some sort of discussion paper up on my home page [] soon.

  • We are now pleased to announce the GNU Food Commune. It came to our attention that hackers don't only need software and hardware, but food as well.

    Soon to come, the distributed effort of the GNU Housing Projects, so that all hackers have high-quality places to keep their computers without being subject to undue pressure to create evil non-GNU software to pay their bills.

    However, individual generosity is failing to pay for these expanded benefits. To these ends, we are forming the GNS Party (GNS is Not Socialism) and the backup GNR movement (GNR is Not a Rebellion) which will resort to GNV methods (GNV is Non-Violent). Resistance is GNUtile. Support our Brave GNU/World!

  • You've got it sort of backwards. The reason that Windows tends to crash more often than other systems is not because it supports more stuff, but that the implements this support by deeply binding it into the kernel. An IE crash can take down windows. A NS crash won't take down Linux, BSD or Solaris because NS isn't the operating system.

    But what does Windows support that Linux or any other free Unix does not? (general areas please, no specific applications, and certainly no Microsoft written software)
  • Check out DMOZ.ORG's list of links [].
  • Yeah, we've seen that one before. Slowly a crowd of bicycle-riding deadheads gather around the cooperative leaching off it for 'support' and the whole cooperative tumbles down.

    On a post elsewhere [] Lucas, the author of the article, mentions that Co-Op is probably the wrong word, but he couldn't think of another one.

    This company, Spindletop, will be dealing with equipment, not food, so they won't be 'supporting' anyone. And from what I understand, the only paid positions are like bookkeeping, and other grunt work that even volunteers won't do.

    That is just my understanding, feel free to ask them yourself.

  • The kernel does not use libc. That's insane.

    You could boot the kernel with init=bash and compile bash against a static (and non GNU) libc and have a usable system, however. Is that what you meant?
  • Every GNU program commonly distributed with Linux can be replaced with a non-GNU alternative.

    I'm not aware of the existence of a non-GNU Free Software replacement for the GNU C Compiler (gcc). In fact, even a proprietary replacement (which would be clearly unacceptable) wouldn't work, since the Linux kernel only will compile under the GNU C Compiler. Replacing it is impossible without also rewriting the kernel, so I'd consider it a pretty vital part of the system.
  • FWIW calling it "GNU/Hurd" is redundant, since Hurd is the kernel of the GNU OS, just like calling Windows "Windows/Win32" would be redundant. Now if you replace the official kernel with another one, then you call it "GNU/Linux" to indicate that it's the GNU OS, but with modifications.
  • How is this any different than VA Linux?
  • They should have named it the Free Hardware foundation - the obvious extension of the Free software foundation!
  • But gcc is not a part of the operating system. Even RMS has said so. All he has said was (paraphrase) GNU needs a free compiler so we will write one. It is certainly a wonderful component, and in the case of unices, almost mandatory, but the presence of GNU gcc does not make a system GNU. Otherwise we would have to call a certain system by the name of "GNU/OpenBSD", and Theo would have a cow.

    And to clarify my previous statement, even though gcc may be required to compile the Linux kernel, it is not required for the normal operation of the system. There are other free C compilers. They do not have the functionality of gcc, but they do exist, so even gcc can be replaced.

    None of us who object to the term "GNU/Linux" are disputing in any way the contributions that the GNU Project has made to the typical Linux and BSD distribution. We just feel that those who build the finished product get to name it, not those who built the majority of components.
  • The URL is missing the "o", but it still works. Then again, Spindle Toilet Paper would be good.
  • by lwagner ( 230491 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @09:32AM (#621950)

    I was wondering what happened when the router lit up like a Christmas tree!

    The full article is here [].

  • Its not missing, spindletop is owned by someone else.
  • There already was a Free Hardware Foundation, co-founded by my friend Jonathan Levine (it's even at I guess because they're Candadians - or maybe it's because they're related to NetBSD instead of Linux or the Cambridge GNU crew in Cambridge - they don't count...

  • Is it just me, or should they be supporting GNU/Hurd instead of GNU/Linux, given that Stallman won't accept Linux as the GNU OS?
  • It is no surprise that there is a ready supply of hardware, since this is the home of the famous MIT Flea market [], where you can buy anything imaginable, and a few things that aren't. the Fleas market is open every month during the warm weather months, and you can get some truly wild stuff there.

    I might even consider building a UFO from parts I can scrounge up from there.

  • by Ex Machina ( 10710 ) <jonathan.williams@gmail . c om> on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @09:42AM (#621955) Homepage
    THis idea was tossed around on []. Should be interesting to see. (On a side note, wouldn't it be cool if all these free software sites had soemthing like the microsoft wallet?)
  • I just checked out the FHF, and it is a recycling organization. The GNU Cooperperative would be dealing in new parts.

    Their main focus will be in maintaining info on parts that can be used with Free OSes, but they will also be building boxen, and selling individual parts.

    The idea is to buy everything wholesale, and sell it just above cost. Something around 10% I think, but don't quote me. The money made from sales will be used to support the Cooperative, and I think, in the event of excess money, the rest will be donated.

  • do you live anywhere near Cambridge? Here in Boston, it's jokingly refered to as "The People's Republic of Cambridge" because of the long history of socialist and commie activity there. Part of the beauty of all those pinkos, though, is that Cambridge actually has decent bike lanes, unlike Boston, which only has spots on the road where you MIGHT not get hit.

    The Galleria is anything but upscale, IMHO. It's like any trashy mall, it just has a few stores with names not in English. The same disruptive teenagers and cheap electronics are there as in any other mall, any place in America.

    Anyway, of the 5 "views", three of them are in Boston, not Cambridge.

    And, as any *nux head should know, the reason the FSF started is that Stallman is an MIT person. Not sure if there offices are still there, but the FSF used to have part of the 9th (I think) floor of the big white building on the Mass Ave stretch of Campus.

    so there. 8P
  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @12:15PM (#621958) Homepage Journal
    Losers is a strong term. User maybe. Mainly because while it does do the things you mention it also means that when the video or sound blows up on it that you have to swap out a motherboard to get it back also this program is of geeks, for geeks, and by geeks and ask your average geek about onboard anything most of them will shudder and tell you a horror story. Simply put most geeks think that they advantages of freeing up two slots and a slight reduction in power consumption is not worth it. Real life story. The box that your CEO uses fries it's onboard sound 30 minutes before he is supposed to have a video meeting online. Thank diety it was a "clean" mobo 15 minutes down to Frys 5 minutes to pop out the piece the machine shipped with and pop in a SBlive. About that long to install the drivers and life was good. Now unless you can afford to keep mobos around as spare parts you could not do this with onboard sound, video, nic what have you. These people do not want to sell a machine to Lusers they want to work with hard core techie geeks. Yup give me clean mobos any day.
  • So what is the operating system? It's the linux kernel plus anything that allows that kernel to work. Nothing more. [...] other utilities,no matter how basic, are not part of the operating system.

    So you're saying that things like login and ls are not part of the operating system? How about /etc/inittab? How about mount? How about the libc? If your definition of operating system only stretches to kernel+bootloader+module loader, then it's not the definition that many other people use. To me, an operating system at least has to be something that can do *something* without the aid of additional software.
  • Most such motherboards allow one to override the on-board chips, so upgrading/fixing broken components is usually not a problem.

    They're cheaper, smaller and they suck less power. Why wouldn't we want one, unless you absolutely need top-of-the-line video/sound/etc. right away?


  • You did ignore the whole birthplace of the American Revolution,

    And a bunch o' guys down in Virginia had something to do with that, too. And Charleston, SC also had a tea party. But instead of dumping the tea, the took it, sold it, and bought weapons with the proceeds...


  • Just because gcc is required to build the kernel does not mean that the normal operation of a distribution requires it.

    FreeBSD is built with gcc. Should I now call it GNU/FreeBSD? The person who built the hammer does not get to name the house.

    Out of curiosity, who are you to define things today?

    I'm not defining anything. The dictionary is. Here is the definition of "operating system" taken from the Merriam Webster online dictionary:

    software that controls the operation of a computer and directs the processing of programs (as by assigning storage space in memory and controlling input and output functions)

  • Well, technically you're correct. The big issue is hardware with open specs though. Open Hardware is hardware where the necessary information to write fully functional drivers is available. Support in Gnu/Linux and other Free Operating Systems usually follows the release of specs rather quickly - but some hardware manufacturers (*cough*NVidia*cough*) refuse to release the information, so OS support is made artificially difficult.

  • The kernel does not use libc. That's insane.

    My error. I apologize. I also did some checking on ld, and it turns out that it is not GNU software (at least the one in Slack 7.1). So I guess that there are no GNU packages required for an operational Linux OS. Of course, as others have pointed out, gcc is still currently needed to build the kernel.
  • Wait a minute, that was your friend?

    Jesse and I thought we came up with the FHF in a cough-syrup-induced reverie in 1994. We were extremely pissed to find out someone had beaten us to it. Weirder still that it was someone you knew. Pretty funny, dude.
  • So I guess that there are no GNU packages required for an operational Linux OS.

    If you wish to refer to a kernel as an OS, then that's up to you. But to refer to it as ``operational'' is insane. You can't do *anything* with a kernel+ld+inittab - if you have just those things, then your computer will freeze during the boot sequence. Yes, technically there is something loaded into memory, but you can't do *anything* - not even type your name. What you're saying is rather like claiming that IO.SYS is an operating system - without something like COMMAND.COM, your computer would just freeze during boot-up.

    Calling something that would freeze during booting an ``operational Linux OS'' is misleading. Yes, theoretically you could port enough bits from BSD to get Linux to work without GNU, though AFAIK nobody has done this, ever. But don't try to claim that Linux can be in any way ``operational'' without *something* sitting on top.

  • Well Watcom will became open-source! but i cannot remember the URL.
  • Well, I suppose that would be relevant if I had gone to MIT. But, ya no wut? I DIDN'T.

  • Calling it GNU/FreeBSD would also imply that FreeBSD was somehow a derived work...which, according to the GPL (the same section used against KDE) it is not. Compiling something with GCC cannot and will not make it a derived work. Nothing to worry about. =)
  • So let's add ext2fs and tcsh and any other non-GNU program necessary to get to a command prompt.

    But you're completely missing the point. The operating system I have on my box is not The GNU System. At the time a workable Linux kernel was released, the distribution creators did not say "hey, here's a kernel that works better with The GNU System than the current one", because there was no GNU kernel. The certainly did not excise a BSD or Solaris kernel from their complete-but-for-kernel GNU Systems and pop in Linux. That's absurd. But that is the argument that RMS makes, that a Linux distribution is merely The GNU System with the kernel swapped out.

    To quote Linus Torvalds, "Your midwife doesn't select the name of your babies.."
  • on s'en koliss tu que linux soit ou soit pas GNU
  • No matter how cheap you get things at the flee market, free stuff is always more attractive plus you don't have to rack your already tired brain to make sure you are not being cheated.
  • by Doc Wheeley ( 243063 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @09:47AM (#621973)
    If you actually READ the article, they're just trying to build a body of knowledge relating to hardware. Theoretically, if one piece of hardware works with one version of *NIX, it should work with another. In reality this is simply not true, as anyone who spends time at Linux Users Groups can tell you. If there is a collective out there gathering this data, it would help the people like myself who just spent a long time building a linux-friendly box expedite their long construction time.
  • The URL in the story is right, but you're not.
  • If it doesn't work 100% with free software, it shouldn't be included.
    That's a noble but very difficult task.
    What do they mean with software? I guess they just mean LINUX right now.Even if you just use Linux as a plattform there arew still some problems. For example just look at graphic cards.
    If they say 100% working, does that also mean all features of the card are working? 3D Acceleration?
    If you want that feature you already have quite a limited list of choices(even more limited if you think about Non-free drivers/NVIDIA anybody?)
    If the really just use Linux(maybe *BSD) what distinguishes them from other linux hardware shops like VA or also the big makers who are already established(and probably willing to support linux big time)?
    In theory the idea of some kind of p2p company is intruiging but I think I would be quite a task to bring so many different opinions under one hat.
    I see the danger of big time hardware related Flamewars.
    Still I would be a great thing if the Hardware cooperative succeded and even eventually provides a way of funding things like GNU or the Fsf.
    Still I want trade better hardware for ideology(or maybe just to a certain extend)
  • You're pathetic. I only posted it once. Bitch at Taco or something.
  • FPGAs are good for many things, but they are slow, inefficient and expensive when compared to a custom logic design.
  • If personable were the quality we're judging folks by you'd be dead.

    Actually 15 or so years ago I stopped by his office around 3am, had an excellent cup of tea and an interesting conversation.

    As to your homophobia - grow up. Besides, last I heard he was hetero.

  • The domain doesn't have an o, but the URL is correct.
    In other words, is a different site. . .
  • No, really! It happened just the other day.

    I had my dog, Fido, out for a nice afternoon walk, when we were viciously assaulted by a raving HURD of GNU's. I remember one of them rambling on about "Open Sourcing" my dog when they suddenly grabbed him and disemboweled the poor pooch right there on the sidewalk.

    Some sort of argument brewed up about whether to replace large portions of Fido's intestines or to modify the stomach and liver - so they forked poor Fido right then and there. They even broke my leash and didn't offer to fix it or to compensate me for my losses.

    Buncha bastards!

    and for those of you who don't get it... too bad. I'm not explaining it...

  • I think he was more talking about built-in audio and video, which is a whole different story.
  • The certainly did not excise a BSD or Solaris kernel from their complete-but-for-kernel GNU Systems and pop in Linux. That's absurd.

    Ok, I take your point. Personally, I think "Debian" is a better word for what I use than either "GNU/Linux" or "Linux", for the arguments that you indicate.
  • >Is it just me, or should they be supporting GNU/Hurd instead of GNU/Linux, given that Stallman won't accept Linux as the GNU OS?
    That's just you ;o)

    1. GNU/Linux is GNU.
    2. GNU/Hurd isn't already usable.
    3. That's Spindletop, not Stallmantop.

    Hey, if people were to use only things accepted by this old grump, the typical linux distros would take only one single-density floppy ;-)

  • I think the next chip revolution will be with FPGA's(Field Programable Gate Arrays) and GNU configurations. For all you that don't know about them, FPGA's are chips that you can reprogram their logic by setting some electronic "switches". With gnu specs and FPGA's you could emulate any processor's instruction set at boot time. So you need to do a bunch of 1024 bit integer computations, but don't have much use for your floating point units? Download a GNU spec for the chip, re-program your FPGA, and volia! You have your own 1024 bit machine to play with.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.