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A GNU/Linux Distro Needing Windows To Install?

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the for-some-values-of-instant dept.

Operating Systems 174

dgun writes "I recently put together a new PC. When I purchased the motherboard, I noticed that it came with an instant-on OS, a small GNU/Linux distro called Splashtop. I assumed that the OS was on a ROM chip on the motherboard. To my great annoyance, when I tried to boot to this OS, a message said that it was not installed. It turns out that motherboard comes with an install disk for this GNU/Linux OS — that you can only run from Windows, to install Splashtop on the hard drive. First of all, doesn't installing it on the hard drive defeat the point of having an instant-on OS? If I wanted to dual-boot a small GNU/Linux OS, there are plenty that I could choose from. Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?"

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174 comments

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Sounds like... (-1, Troll)

Luke727 (547923) | about 5 years ago | (#28745755)

...Niggerbuntu.

Re:Sounds like... (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#28746031)

The article is about an instant-on OS.

IN contrast, Niggerbuntu is slower than an inner-city youth's[1] unsucessful runs through the standardized tests[2].

[1] euphemism for niglets or beanerlets
[2] state-sponsored proof that minorities are best left to flip burgers

Re:Sounds like... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746699)

Forgot to hit anonymous? Whoops.

give me a break (5, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#28745757)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

No. Stop being absurd. There are plenty examples of GPLd programs meant only for windows. While this might be a little silly in this case there is nothing "wrong" with it and you need to stop getting so upset about it.

Re:give me a break (4, Funny)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 5 years ago | (#28745871)

I was thinking not to give them any ideas for GPLv4.

GNU/Solaris (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28747477)

I was thinking not to give them any ideas for GPLv4.

I only hope you were joking:

  • It's best to get users hooked on cross-platform copylefted applications so that when they do take the plunge into a Free kernel, the lack of immediate retraining makes a better first impression. I know it wouldn't have been practical for me to try Puppy and later Ubuntu without having first used the Windows versions of OpenOffice.org, Firefox, GIMP, and the GCC/Binutils/Coreutils/Make toolchain.
  • Both GPLv2 and GPLv3 contain a special exception for "System Libraries" that implement a published or de facto standard API. This is because the GNU userland was always meant to run on non-free operating systems such as Solaris so that it could be developed in parallel with the HURD kernel.
  • Besides, even if GPLv4 requires apps to run only on top of Free "System Libraries", people are trying to make an NT-compatible kernel whose userland is Wine [reactos.org] .

Re:give me a break (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#28747509)

I was thinking not to give them any ideas for GPLv4.

That reminds me, I must email Stallman to lobby for forced collectivisation of all ideas in GPLv4. Idea-kulaks must be liquidated.

Re:give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746029)

This is different from a program meant only for Windows, though. This is a program which can only be *distributed* using Windows.

That makes it more like "we'll sell you the binary, and include an offer to sell you the source code separately", which is also explicitly allowed by the GNU GPL.

Re:give me a break (4, Insightful)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | about 5 years ago | (#28746083)

No, this is a program that is *distributed* on CD- (or DVD-) ROM.
You can only install it using Windows, but as has been mentioned above, there's nothing in the GPL, and there never should be, anything about having software that only runs under Windows.

Re:give me a break please! (1)

Fr33thot (1236686) | about 5 years ago | (#28747291)

What exactly does the media it is "distributed" on have anything to do with GPL? As pointed out above, there is plenty of GPL'd software written for Windows and yes the license is OS agnostic as it should be. So what exactly is your point here?

Re:give me a break (3, Interesting)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#28748221)

Won't adding a provision to the GPL specifically about Windows violate the non-discrimination requirement?

Re:give me a break (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28747263)

I think you're wrong: You can distribute this program very well without Windows. In fact, I can go and download it off the site right now using any OS I like, and then redistribute the program from there.

The fact that you can't install the program because you don't meet the minimum requirements (having Windows) is not covered by the GPL.If it did, we'd have to stop distributing GPLed software on CDs as well, because it requires that you have a CD-ROM drive, which usually includes closed-source firmware.

Re:give me a break (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | about 5 years ago | (#28746655)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

How does it being for a particular OS take away a user's freedom to use it or modify it to work standalone? Or do you think that all GPL software shouldn't require any OS, or any hardware at all? Sounds like you think the GPL is a "make whatever I don't like a violation" license.

Re:give me a break (1)

XO (250276) | about 5 years ago | (#28747671)

I think submitter believes that GPL is specifically something having to do with Linux. Damn kids.

Back in the days before there was Linux, we used the GNU tools on BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, on AIX (where we could get them to work), on IRIX, on .. whatever NeXT's OS was called.. and virtually every piece of software there was that didn't come with the operating systems that was on each system was GPL.

Re:give me a break (4, Interesting)

dgun (1056422) | about 5 years ago | (#28747783)

So I overreacted. But still, this is a little different than just downloading and installing some FOSS software on Windows. Part of the software is on the BIOS, or rather there must be some instructions in the BIOS to look for Splashtop, which ASUS calls Express Gate. And what of the setup program? Does the source for the setup program have to be provided? True the setup is probably just copying files, but it would be nice to know exactly where and what the BIOS is looking for to determine whether or not Express Gate is installed.

Anyway, I was just pissed off because the way the thing was distributed, and I find it a little more than ironic that Asus is marketing an instant-on Linux distro as a feature to sell their motherboards, yet requires Windows to run it.

byw, I have read on Ubuntu forums that Express Gate source is available on ASUS' website, but as yet have been unable to find it.

Re:give me a break (2, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#28747847)

Except that in order to install the program you have to get into windows.

...which implies agreeing to the EULA and making the windows tax nonrefundable.

One of the few times where you can get ripped off and still get your money's worth.

Gimmic; but not sinister (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28745759)

Splashtop is available in ROM(well, almost certainly flash, not actual ROM) on certain motherboards; but that involves actual components, and raises the cost. Presumably, the maker of the motherboards has some sort of bulk licence with the Splashtop guys, so providing the HDD version is virtually free, and adds a bullet point. Pretty useless; but you can see why that happens.

Re:Gimmic; but not sinister (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#28747493)

Presumably, the maker of the motherboards has some sort of bulk licence with the Splashtop guys, so providing the HDD version is virtually free, and adds a bullet point.

If the Splashtop installer were a bootable CD, much like the installer for almost every other popular PC Linux distribution on the planet, there wouldn't be a problem.

It should not be a GPL violation (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28745761)

What is wrong with you

Port the code then (4, Informative)

eggman9713 (714915) | about 5 years ago | (#28745767)

I'm sure quickly enough someone will port it to be installable without Windows. I'm sure it was meant to be for the typical user who has windows installed first, and just wants the instant on one for when they just need the browser quickly and the computer is not on. Someone, anti-MS or not, will port it, I'm sure. Isn't open source great?

Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (5, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 5 years ago | (#28745771)

The poster of the story didn't even bother to read the link he provided... You can install it from a USB drive from the source. Asus simply doesn't provide that installer on their install CD.

This is a non-story. The distro doesn't need windows to install. The distributor was just being cheap.

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (5, Funny)

Ryvar (122400) | about 5 years ago | (#28745801)

Yeah, the original post is terrible. If he was *really* trying to get people to needlessly hyperventilate he should have titled it "A GNU/Linux distro needing BSD to install?!?!"

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (3, Funny)

ssintercept (843305) | about 5 years ago | (#28746033)

not only terrible...

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

but pretentious shit.

even Stallman's beard would choke that tool out...

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (3, Funny)

finity (535067) | about 5 years ago | (#28746157)

I dream of the day that we see the article titled: "A Windows distro needing Linux to install?!?!"

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (1)

willyd357 (1293166) | about 5 years ago | (#28746961)

I second that.

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28747327)

...I second that.

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (2, Interesting)

gaderael (1081429) | about 5 years ago | (#28747295)

Well, I've had to use liveCD a couple of times to save data off of a Windows install before reformatting. Does that count?

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (2, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748001)

Well, I've had to use liveCD a couple of times to save data off of a Windows install before reformatting. Does that count?

Nahh... People use Linux to remove Windows all the time.

Re:Bad Article. Poster didn't bother to RTFA. (1)

mfraz74 (1151215) | about 5 years ago | (#28746615)

Yeah, I followed the link and was greeted with a page of instructions in French. At least I was able to understand the Bash commands!

I don't really think so (5, Interesting)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about 5 years ago | (#28745775)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

Is that a trick question? The GPL says nothing about Windows, it just says that if they're distributing GPL'd binaries, you should be able to get the source code from them. Just because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.

Re:I don't really think so (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 5 years ago | (#28746735)

Just because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.

Where have you been for the past, ohhhh, since-the-beginning-of-humanity???

A huge chunk of humanity (and, believe you me: not just right-wing religious fundamentalists) thrives on telling other people what to do and think, how to dress, etc, etc ad nauseum, and do their damnedest to ensconce their beliefs into law...

Re:I don't really think so (1)

handydan918 (1193085) | about 5 years ago | (#28747815)

Just because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.

Where have you been for the past, ohhhh, since-the-beginning-of-humanity???

A huge chunk of humanity (and, believe you me: not just right-wing religious fundamentalists) thrives on telling other people what to do and think, how to dress, etc, etc ad nauseum, and do their damnedest to ensconce their beliefs into law...

Well, I think it should be illegal to make things illegal just because someone doesn't like them.....

I don't see the point about GPL (3, Informative)

iamacat (583406) | about 5 years ago | (#28745777)

As long as you provide the source code on demand, it doesn't matter if the binary only works for Windows or even if you are charged $1000 to get a copy. Splashtop is designed as a secondary system for Windows. Other installers are probably not their priority.

Re:I don't see the point about GPL (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | about 5 years ago | (#28746043)

You also need to provide the installation and compiling scripts. Relevant in this case, since said scripts are what you need in order to do the porting.

Re:I don't see the point about GPL (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#28747957)

"As long as you provide the source code on demand, it doesn't matter if the binary only works for Windows or even if you are charged $1000 to get a copy."

I'm pretty sure there's some provision for the source to be made available for a reasonable fee - i.e. media, shipping and time. You can charge what you like for the software, but when you've given them the binaries the source must be made available at reasonable cost of reproduction.

I got a motherboard for this "feature" as well (5, Informative)

JackieBrown (987087) | about 5 years ago | (#28745781)

Fortunately, I read the customer reviews at newegg so I was expecting it.

I installed windows then splashtop. Splashtop is pretty but was not worth the time for the installation of windows.

I was hoping I would at least be able to update my bios through it.

It can't update the bios and cannot read any of my partitions.

I changed my bios setting pretty quick to skip it from asking me to load splashtop.

Jesus Christ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28745785)

When I saw "GNU/Linux" I figured you were a tool. But I was wrong. You're a fucking retard. Go back to digg, cock sucker.

Re:Jesus Christ (1, Funny)

uepuejq (1095319) | about 5 years ago | (#28745843)

liGNUx (tm)

Which motherboard was it? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 5 years ago | (#28745791)

I would like to know which motherboard you're talking about so that I can avoid this nonsense...and here's why: -

...To my great annoyance, when I tried to boot to this OS, a message said that it was not installed. It turns out that motherboard comes with an install disk for this GNU/Linux OS -- that you can only run from Windows...

Doesn't this state of matters boarder on the brink of insanity?

Re:Which motherboard was it? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28745815)

Though I dont know the OP, probably the ASUS boards. A lot of them come with at least the software for "ExpressGate" as they call it. My board; the P5Q-SE2, had the install software on the DVD, but I had to manually install to the hard drive, the higher priced boards have basically a USB flash drive attached to the MB. Though I did uninstall the ExpressGate software within a few hours of messing with it.

Re:Which motherboard was it? (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 5 years ago | (#28745877)

Doesn't this state of matters boarder on the brink of insanity? No, it really doesn't. Don't get so hysterical.

Re:Which motherboard was it? (2, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 years ago | (#28746745)

Needing a three-digit piece of software to start installing an operating system is incredibly stupid, bordering on insane. Luckily if you RTFA that's not really the case, but I've seen similarly asinine things - like a mainboard that needs Windows, IE and ActiveX to stream BIOS updates from the Internet into your chip (not kidding), along with a host of Windows-only firmware update utilities - sure, you could give those a try in WINE, but why not use a boot disk? Running firmware updates from an OS is a pretty unsafe thing to do in any case - there's a lot more to fail in the process and leave you with bricked hardware.

Re:Which motherboard was it? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748029)

but I've seen similarly asinine things - like a mainboard that needs Windows, IE and ActiveX to stream BIOS updates from the Internet into your chip (not kidding)

Please tell us what that was. I need to avoid that mess for many reasons! With that kind of stupid in the updates, what is in the code?!?

Re:Which motherboard was it? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 years ago | (#28748313)

MSI Eclipse SLI - one of the top gaming mobos right now. Well known to brick themselves during BIOS updates regardless of the method used. Had to RMA mine but all was well once they sent me a working and updated one.

gpl violation? (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about 5 years ago | (#28745805)

If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.
How would it be a gpl violation?
Got the sources? Or do you know whether the sources are available for download?

Re:gpl violation? (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 5 years ago | (#28745853)

If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.

Sure it was. I don't think owning a DVD player is a prerequisite for Wal-Mart selling (distributing) a DVD to you.

How would it be a gpl violation?

It's not. Where OP pulled that out from, I don't know. Nothing in the GPL says "Don't use APIs and programming languages that aren't implemented on more than one OS."

Re:gpl violation? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748037)

If you cannot use the binary, it wasn't even 'distributed'.

Based on current case law, yes it was. Now pay your $8 million.

Stupid. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28745811)

The OP seems to bitching about a super easy way to install a Linux distro that's bundled with hardware.

Grow the fuck up.

Re:Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746233)

"Grow the fuck up."

Glass houses...

Re:Stupid. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748043)

"Grow the fuck up."

Glass houses...

I always preferred "Ohh look, honey! A matching pot and kettle set!" It makes them think a bit longer, and some people need the practice.

The GPL Angle (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 5 years ago | (#28745823)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

I don't think so. GPL is mostly about granting access and rights to the source, under certain conditions, so you can modify the code to work on your system, not about requiring the author to make it work on your system. If it only runs on Windows, so be it, as long as the source code is Freely available so it can be fixed.

Now, if they're not making the source available through reasonable means, well, that's another problem, and is a violation of the GPL. But the "requires Windows as distributed" thing is the same as lots of GPL software.

This is What's Wrong Like Open Sores (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28745909)

Open Sores breed dumbasses like the guy who posted this article.

I'm surprised this dumbfuck even got his computer to power on, much less boot to Linux.

This guy thinks it should be a GPL Violation to use Windows in any way? Is he fucking retarded??

Nope just another slave to empty minded Open Sores ideology.

Not to mention (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 5 years ago | (#28745931)

BIOS and firmware upgrades that only work from Windows ... or from a USB floppy disk!
Ask ASUS (but I'm sure it's not the only manufacturer)!

Re:Not to mention (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | about 5 years ago | (#28745997)

BIOS and firmware upgrades that only work from Windows ... or from a USB floppy disk!

You can always burn a CD with FreeDOS, the Award flashing utility, and the firmware and flash the BIOS from that if the BIOS is made by Award (most are)

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746071)

So I burn a new CD for every upgrade ...
That doesn't sound very efficient and environment savvy, though!

Re:Not to mention (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | about 5 years ago | (#28746183)

Here in the future, we have CD-RWs that can be erased and rewritten. We also have DVD+/-RWs that do the same. Enjoy your stay, I'm pretty sure you'll find that things now are... um... rad?

Re:Not to mention (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 5 years ago | (#28747055)

I think that's implied. I mean, who still burns non-rewritable CDs/DVDs? The regular ones have only downsides, except for a very slight price difference.

Re:Not to mention (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#28747129)

I think that's implied. I mean, who still burns non-rewritable CDs/DVDs? The regular ones have only downsides, except for a very slight price difference.

First, the price difference is immense if you buy non-shit media. Second, rewritables have a staggeringly higher failure rate. Third, rewritables have a substantially shorter shelf life. Fourth, it's a super bitch to read a scratched disc and I don't want to have to treat my discs like precious treasures.

If I'm just installing Linux or flashing BIOS or something, sure, I use a RW. If I want to be sure I'll be able to play it in a car stereo for the next few months, I'm using a highly-compatible write-once disc.

Re:Not to mention (1)

XO (250276) | about 5 years ago | (#28747737)

I can pick up 100 blank CDR around here for around $10, sometimes less if on sale. CD-RWs are virtually unfindable in my local area, at retail, and DVD-R's are around $30 for a $10 pack. It's a bit bizarre.

Then again, none of my writers actually work right, so.. don't really care much.

3x the retail price !!!!! (1)

daryl_and_daryl (1005065) | about 5 years ago | (#28748267)

$30 for a $10 pack -- that should be a crime ( Civil not Criminal )

Re:Not to mention (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#28748327)

I think that's implied. I mean, who still burns non-rewritable CDs/DVDs? The regular ones have only downsides, except for a very slight price difference.

WTF - you've got a Mobus DISK??? [wikipedia.org] - all the disks I've seen have both a down side and an up side. A disk that had only a downside would be able to store twice as much data ... where do I get them?

Re:Not to mention (1)

brainnolo (688900) | about 5 years ago | (#28746201)

CD-RW.

Re:Not to mention (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748069)

So I burn a new CD for every upgrade ... That doesn't sound very efficient and environment savvy, though!

If that twenty cents is really making a difference in your monthly budget, you have bigger problems.

But if you want, you can just make a bootable flash drive the same way and copy the file over.

Re:Not to mention (2, Informative)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | about 5 years ago | (#28746059)

This isn't such an annoying issue anymore. Most BIOSes these days have a built-in flasher, and can read the BIOS from any local FAT filesystem, including a USB drive. If not, you can format a USB flash drive so that it appears as a floppy and boots DOS normally. You definately don't need a real floppy or CDROM drive anymore (praise Vishnu).

Re:Not to mention (0)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 5 years ago | (#28746073)

Not ASUS. A USB floppy is the only way.

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746583)

My ASUS-board flash just fine from an USB-stick.

Re:Not to mention (1)

IceFreak2000 (564869) | about 5 years ago | (#28746599)

Bollocks; I have an ASUS Striker II Formula motherboard that I've updated the BIOS on several times - every single time with a USB flash drive; it's called 'EZ-Flash 2' and can be accessed from the BIOS setup menu or by hitting Alt-F2 at boot.

Re:Not to mention (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 5 years ago | (#28746629)

ASUS laptop, not MB.

Re:Not to mention (1)

IceFreak2000 (564869) | about 5 years ago | (#28746675)

The original comment didn't mention Laptops once - it clearly states that this was a new machine built around an ASUS motherboard.

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746795)

You won. Now what?

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746889)

yay?

Re:Not to mention (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748093)

You won. Now what?

Buy the t-shirt?

Re:Not to mention (1)

bami (1376931) | about 5 years ago | (#28746747)

My Asus EEE 901 flashes fine from a USB flash drive. Just make sure you have an empty FAT-16 flashdrive with a file on it that the bios expects (in this case, 901.rom), and hit f-something during boot.

Re:Not to mention (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 5 years ago | (#28746809)

I never used FAT16, but only FAT32, which is on all my DOS formatted USB media.
Because it was not mentioned anywhere in my laptop documentation.

Re:Not to mention (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | about 5 years ago | (#28746753)

No. Most, if not all ASUS motherboards have bios flasher that can read the bios from a USB stick.

Re:Not to mention (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748109)

This isn't such an annoying issue anymore. Most BIOSes these days have a built-in flasher, and can read the BIOS from any local FAT filesystem...

Oh, damn. Here come the Microsoft lawyers...

Re:Not to mention (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 years ago | (#28746765)

My MSI Eclipse SLI required Windows, IE and ActiveX to do BIOS updates. This mobo is notorious for bricking itself in the middle of the update process. I found a flash drive update package buried in the guts of their site, but it later turned out that they quietly buried it because it caused a higher incidence of brickings.

At least the RMA process went quickly.

it's kdawson special (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28745945)

dawson take this stupid bullshit off the frontpage - it's crappy even for slashdot.

Re:it's kdawson special (3, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#28745965)

Yeah, I'm with this guy. This article is just plain terrible.

If you take it down now and we all just agree to pretend this never happened then the world will be a better place.

Re:it's kdawson special (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746295)

Jeez, quit your whining already. You losers have easily provided more irritation than the summary you're griping on and on about.

Re:it's kdawson special (3, Insightful)

RoboRay (735839) | about 5 years ago | (#28746151)

kdawson is single-handedly bringing /. to the point that I don't even bother checking it every day anymore.

Re:it's kdawson special (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28748031)

kdawson is single-handedly bringing /. to the point that I don't even bother checking it every day anymore.

Why not just remove kdawson from your author list in your preferences?

Re:it's kdawson special (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748137)

And yet, somehow you found the time to post to his article. Perhaps you doth protest too much... :)

GNU/Linux absurdity (3, Insightful)

Simon80 (874052) | about 5 years ago | (#28745971)

Don't get me wrong, I respect Richard Stallman's ideals and achievements, but there comes a point when Linux should simply be called Linux and not GNU/Linux. Chances are that a system like Splashtop is past that point, since it would probably have few, if any GNU packages included, given that it's based on busybox.

Re:GNU/Linux absurdity (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#28745995)

At least they're not calling it Busybox/Linux. It's far more typing...

Re:GNU/Linux absurdity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746013)

Does it include gcc? That's the biggest thing Gnu has given us, but there are many others [fsf.org] .

There's no point in having a free unix without the unix tools.

Re:GNU/Linux absurdity (0, Troll)

Simon80 (874052) | about 5 years ago | (#28746145)

Why would it include gcc? Splashtop clearly wasn't designed to be a free Unix.

Re:GNU/Linux absurdity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746421)

No one (except perhaps lunatics) is arguing that GNU is useless when it comes to Linux. What is being pointed out is that there is more to Linux (that is, the entire operating system, not just the kernel) than GNU. busybox replaces a whole lot of GNU tools; and if uclibc is being used, then one other of the large pieces of the GNU system is gone.

Linux would not be where it is today without GNU, but don't pretend that it's only GNU. Everybody knows that most Linux systems have GNU software on them.

There's no point in having a free unix without the unix tools.

A lot of the tools from the BSDs port over to Linux nicely. I have replaced GNU coreutils, findutils, and gzip, among others, with Free/Net/OpenBSD equivalents.

As for a gcc replacement, clang is quite capable (at least for C code) at this point. And so on. GNU is nice, but not the only game in town.

Incompetence is not a crime (1)

denobug (753200) | about 5 years ago | (#28746111)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

Incompentence is not a crime, but instigating a false accusation, especially falsely accusing individuals of a crime, is. At least it is in civil court.

Wine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746331)

You never know.

Yep.. nothing new. (3, Interesting)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about 5 years ago | (#28746341)

I love these motherboard manufacturers. I used to buy ASUS for their new "power saving" feature called EPU. You guessed it, requires Windows. I even went so far as to install Windows just to enable the feature, then reboot into Linux. Didn't work. It doesn't even work with some versions of Windows (Server 2003 x64 I believe).

So, I switched to Gigabyte motherboards. They have the same feature, but they call it DES. Of course, again, it only works in Windows. And again, rebooting into Linux after booting into Windows doesn't fix it.

This might be a nuisance, but I actually BOUGHT both of those motherboards with the intention of using those power saving features... in Linux! I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them. Nowhere in any documentation from the manufacturers does it state it requires a particular OS. They should be completely honest with their consumer and tell us what features will require a particular OS. Otherwise, I'm going to expect it to work based on hardware/BIOS options.

I feel your pain, but I regret to inform you that if you consider yourself "had", you were "had" when you took it home.

I understand the argument with drivers not being available for Linux. But geez, this is out of control.

Re:Yep.. nothing new. (4, Informative)

countach (534280) | about 5 years ago | (#28746397)

Back in my pre-Mac days when I could be bothered with all this stuff, I always assumed as my starting point that nothing works with Linux, until proven otherwise with sufficient research on the internet. Like it or not, the computer parts industry is still basically a Windows world. Nothing works outside Windows unless proven otherwise.

Re:Yep.. nothing new. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28746605)

Well, idiot, I suggest you write a driver. Is that not the OSS ethos?

Re:Yep.. nothing new. (1)

Ant P. (974313) | about 5 years ago | (#28746725)

I check on review sites before buying hardware. Haven't been stung in a few years now.

Though I suppose the right thing to do would be checking with the manufacturer directly too, just to cause them the annoyance of having to tell their own potential customers their hardware sucks. If enough people do it (which will probably never happen) the message might get through.

Re:Yep.. nothing new. (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 5 years ago | (#28746769)

I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them.

That's why I buy from Newegg.

Re:Yep.. nothing new. (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 5 years ago | (#28748199)

This might be a nuisance, but I actually BOUGHT both of those motherboards with the intention of using those power saving features... in Linux! I couldn't take them back for a refund, the manufacturer told me too bad, so I'm stuck with them.

Oh, yes you can. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty [wikipedia.org] In your case, Warranty of Fitness. And you can bring this case in a local JP court without an attorney, and include your costs to do so. Usually the threat is enough.

The reason that they get away with it is that we let them.

Motivations (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | about 5 years ago | (#28747049)

Second, if distributing GPL'ed software by means that completely preclude it from being used without Windows is not a violation of the GPL, should it not be?

Why? Because you don't like Windows?

Look, suck it up. The GPL is about freedom, and that includes for your mortal software enemies. So long as they are releasing any changes they made to the code (and in all likelihood they just bundled it up and didn't change a thing) they're in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the GPL.

This is as stupid as asking whether or not people should be allowed to license software under the GPL if it only runs on Windows. Spiteful non-issues like this are one of the major things that give open-source/free software movements a bad name.

Are you an idiot? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 5 years ago | (#28747789)

Are you seriously trying to claim that I can't release software for a non-Free OS under the GPL.

Next time (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#28748281)

1-800-cry-baby
and
1-888-asus-supp
and
www.asus.helpafuckingdummy.com

FFS, every hardware manufacturer I have ever heard of has a support line SOMEWHERE. Granted, some of the smaller fly-by-night mainboard people make it hard to find a support site, but they are there.

Personally, I'd be a bit embarrased to post on slashdot that I didn't know how to search for support.

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