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Trident Micro Changes Policy Toward XFree86

HeUnique posted more than 13 years ago | from the and-they-indirectly-supported-linux-since-'94 dept.

X 275

Alex writes: "According to Egbert on the Xpert Xfree86 mailing list, Trident Microsystems, who makes video chipsets for low end PC's and notebooks, has changed its policy towards open source developers. Get the details here." If you want to email Trident Micro Public Relations, please be polite! Flaming will only hurt the chances that Trident will reverse this decision.

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Boo Hoo (1, Redundant)

norculf (146473) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236355)

Don't ATI and NVidia make better portable video chips anyway? Just don't buy a laptop with a Trident chip...

Re:Boo Hoo (3, Informative)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236468)

ATI's laptop support is HORRIBLE. The chips themselves may be fine, but their driver support is abominable. What's a good card without drivers?

They have basically stopped driver updates on the Mobility series, even though that chipset is used in many CURRENTLY shipping products.

They won't fix dual display under Windows 2000/XP, even though every other manufacturer has figured it out.

If you are in the market for a laptop, I would highly recommend getting something with the new Nvidia chipset.

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236512)

"their driver support is abominable"

Like the snowman?

Re:Boo Hoo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236534)

He probably meant abdominal, as in it makes his stomach convulse dealing with ATI driver issues.

Re:Boo Hoo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236554)

Hello ? Are you a moron ? Do you have a brain ? ATI openly supports Xfree86, NVidia does NOT. They only have closed source drivers and do not release specs on their chipsets at all. And wtf does Windoze drivers have to do with Xfree86 either ?

Re:Boo Hoo (2)

johnjones (14274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236574)

no I find the ATI X drivers wonderful

so maybe that's the XFree86 hackers doing a good job or ATI I don't know

but personally I have fond them REALLY good

you are so lucky nowadays when I started I had to rely on really bad VESA because my cad was not supported, now you moan that it draws windows slow

how are you justifying this moaning ?

because I thought they gave out spec now

regards

john jones

So THATS where Rambus Lawyers went (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236500)

So THATS where the Rambus Lawyers went!

Re:Boo Hoo (1)

orionpi (318587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236586)

I just got one of there cards. But I was going to use it for console anyways. Too bad though It seems that the only choices are Nvidia and ATI and once one or the other goes under quality will suffer.

Re:Boo Hoo (2)

Surak (18578) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236631)

I don't think that's even the point. The point is that Trident's chipsets are very very common and that considering that most low-end PCs use Trident video chipsets by default, this effectively shuts Linux and *BSD out of the low-end desktop market. Not that we were there in the first place, but still.... :)

Free Slashdot! (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236358)

Release slash 3.0 under the BSD license!

Oh yeah, this is also the first post!

Like this porn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236443)

Imagine:

Two muscular guys with oiled skin. The dark haired one is on his knees behind the blonde who's on all-fours, slowly pushing his thick erect penis in the blonde's puckered asshole.

All this taking place while a sexy, throbbing soundtrack is playing on the background.

Got a hard-on already?

Re:Like this porn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236485)

You must be a real beast to think that gay people are perverted.

what i got (0, Interesting)

jchapman2004 (258078) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236361)

i'll just stick with what i have.. it works fine for me

Re:what i got (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236398)

oh, well then... nevermind. Just as long as _you_ have something that already works, let's not worry about this at all! lamer

Code monkeys (2, Redundant)

NewbieSpaz (172080) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236370)

For future cards, can't some talented hackers figure out a solution? I mean, isn't that what open-source is (partially) about? Before hardware vendors started to 'supply' drivers, coders in the community wrote their own.

Re:Code monkeys (3, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236390)

It's not worth the effort. Video hardware is immensely complicated. A Linux video driver programmer could add support for 10 other chips in the time it would to reverse-engineer the Windows drivers.

Re:Code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236414)

On a related note, can anyone provide some links to good literature on how the hell one goes about reverse engineering a driver for X product? I've got loads of proprietary hardware at home, lots of time on my hands, and a pretty good knowledge of low-level hardware support, assembly, Linux drivers, etc. Just not sure how to get started, exactly.

Re:Code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236440)

get a disassembler and step thru the windows drivers as they make the calls. try and capture the bytes sent to the device being studied. then whack up your linux box and send those bytes to the device. enough banging of raw bytes and you should be able to figure out what functions the bytes sent to the device do. once you've got enough functionality out of the device you've got the framework for a driver. voila.

Re:Code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236499)

Buy a Logic Analyzer on eBay and have at it. I recommend you get an HP 1650 or a 16500, with source disassembly support.

Get a late model 486 motherboard with PCI for your testbed, keeps the clock speeds low enough to be reasonable to probe around without horrendously expensive test equipment.

Or poke around like some software-only luzer in a debugger.

Re:Code monkeys (4, Informative)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236415)

It's not so much the chip won't be supported at all-- the standard Trident driver should still work. What they're referring to more is the proprietary acceleration features built into the chip. Those types of added features and benefits (which are actually probably required for any decent output from the card) are what will be missing.

Re:Code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236455)

Any e-mail harvester written by anybody in 3rd grade or higher will pluck that e-mail address from this page like a bit fat juicy plum from a tree.

Re:Code monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236519)

That's what the company that Russian dude we're supposed to all be wanting set free sells, don't they? Email harvesting software for the spammers.

Free the spammer-facilitator-dude! Free him now!

Re:Code monkeys (2, Informative)

reynaert (264437) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236538)

Before hardware vendors started to 'supply' drivers, coders in the community wrote their own.

Before hardware vendors started to 'supply' drivers, they supplied specifications and other documentation.

For example, my good old Star matrix printer came with a booklet detailling the printer 'language'. It even included sample code. If you have that, writing drivers is a piece of cake.

Re:Code monkeys (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236650)


If the buggy video drivers shipped with nearly every video card I've owned are any indication, writing a driver for such a device has to be the hardest thing in the world. I can only imagine how hard it would be for someone who DIDN'T have the hardware specs sitting right in front of them...

Oh wow, no more support for Trident chipsets. (0, Interesting)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236371)

I hear Ford no longer supports the Model T, either.

- A.P.

No need to write to Trident (5, Insightful)

fobbman (131816) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236373)

As soon as vendors announce that they will be CyberBladeXP or later Trident chipsets simply send an email to the vendors sales department notifying them that you will not be buying their laptop because the video subsystem does not work with your chosen security-based operating system.



Trident won't respond to a few users, but they will respond to vendors who are fielding complaints.

Re:No need to write to Trident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236456)

How can you be so malignant?

Re:No need to write to Trident (2, Informative)

emissary47 (184269) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236526)

hmh, i just read the press page at trident [tridentmicro.com] ,
it seems that hp,ibm,acer want to use their XP cards in notebooks:

Trident's CyberBlade XP Selected For HP Pavilion Notebooks [tridentmicro.com]
Trident and ALi's CyberBLADE ALADDiN i1 Wins in IBM's [tridentmicro.com]
ThinkPad i Series 1200+1300
ACER Selects Trident and ALi's CyberBLADE ALADDiN i1 For TravelMate 350 Notebook [tridentmicro.com]

Egbert? (1)

glam0006 (471393) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236375)

I don't think Dilbert agrees with this decision either..

Time to sell... (1)

Wells2k (107114) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236378)

Looks like it is time to sell what Trident stock I have.

Limiting the ability for developers to create drivers in the open source market is like shooting oneself in the foot these days.

Re:Time to sell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236547)

Yep. The Linux hardware market is booming.

It's positively booming. I bet VA Linux won't be buying ANY more Trident cards to put in their boxes!!!

Re:Time to sell... (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236643)

Don't sell your stock yet, use your influence as a shareholder first.

Then sell your stock.

Early Post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236379)

Slashdot has been Invaded by Martians!



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This Martian is Copyright © 2001 keesh. You may redistribute it under

the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 or later.

CyberBlade XP, eh? (4, Insightful)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236383)

hrm... "XP"

i wonder if MS is in the backrooms twisting some arms...

Re:CyberBlade XP, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236525)

Why "Funny"? This is probably the truth. CyberBladeXP - specifically designed for WindowsXP, drivers only for XP, nice payola from Microsoft just to prevent Linux drivers.

Re:CyberBlade XP, eh? (2, Insightful)

moopster (119808) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236560)

Exactly... do you think it is a coincidence? NOPE! I am willing to bet that they whored themselves to M$ for the rights to call it CyberBladeXP.

I do think the parents post is funny, but it is probably more interesting than anything else. What would they have to gain by closing the doors to the people that write drivers to help them increase market share?

Why bother complaining? (3, Troll)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236384)

Trident hasn't been a player in graphics technology for years.

Probably as a result of poor business decisions like this, too.

If they make something worth buying, I'll worry about it. Until then...

Troll (2)

fobbman (131816) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236476)

"Their chipsets have been quite popular in portable systems like notebooks and have been widely used as on-board chipsets in low cost desktop computers."


It was a small email that was linked in the story. Consider reading it.


Re:Troll...NOT! (2)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236624)

"Their chipsets have been quite popular in portable systems like notebooks and have been widely used as on-board chipsets in low cost desktop computers."

The problem with the phrase "quite popular" is that it can mean a lot of things. Unfortunately, in this case, it means "quite popular" behind Nvidia's new mobile chips, ATI's more than 50% market share, and NeoMagic.

The war between ATI and Nvidia in particular is likely going to squeeze out smaller companies like Trident, just like what happened in the desktop world.

I may be a Bear on Trident, but that doesn't make me a Troll.

Why do companies do this type of thing? (5, Insightful)

schatt (31250) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236388)

This is a serious question:
Why do companies do this sort of thing with their products? It would seem to me that having the interface to a particular chip would not be particularly helpful to designing a competitor, ("Well, if I tell it to draw a blue square, it draws a blue square! I know how to copy that!") so what good does this do?
I've always been under the (possibly mistaken) impression that it made more sense to distribute specifications to everyone, so that others could use your hardware. If you have to write the drivers yourself for every operating system that you are going to allow to use your hardware then that would add quickly up to a rather large expense, wouldn't it?
Are drivers really that much of a proprietary, critical secret for hardware companies? Does having the source code for your drivers help anyone else create drivers for their products? What benefit is there in preventing others from having the drivers?
Sorry if these questions seem silly or unimportant, but I've never understood the other side of the secrecy of our drivers argument.

Tridentís management team is rich ... (2)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236433)

Re:Tridentís management team is rich ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236602)

...in experience, and includes executives from a number of leading companies: [tridentmicro.com]

answer your question?

No, should it?

jeff_burkholder@yahoo.BOHRcom minus physicist

Simply remove all capital letters--how original. Every Slashdot spamscraper has your email address already.

Re:Why do companies do this type of thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236454)

they dont like distributing info cos it's supposed to be difficult to write APIs for their devices. thats the lame arse argument put forward by most companies anyway..they like keeping their APIs to the hardware a trade secret.

Please enlighten me (3, Interesting)

novastyli (450003) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236475)

I have been wondering the same. I really would like to hear an opinion from someone who has been in iteraction with these hardware vendors.

My hypotheses are:
  • the internal communication is not going well in such a company and the people who decide these things are completely clueless.
  • people making drivers in such a company are trying to make their work look more important.


Re:Why do companies do this type of thing? (1)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236510)

What benefit is there in preventing others from having the drivers?

Warning: the following has no basis in fact - it is conjecture:

Evidence that Trident is infringing on a competitor's intellectual property would not be released to the public.

Re:Why do companies do this type of thing? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236520)

Why do companies do this sort of thing with their products? It would seem to me that having the interface to a particular chip would not be particularly helpful to designing a competitor

Knowing what capabilities your competitors' chips have can be extremely valuable. While your example of drawing a blue square is not particularly interesting, the implementation details of advanced 3d acceleration features might be.

The second reason is support. No matter how many times the manufacturer says that they won't provide support, there will always be some doofi (plural of "doofus") that call them up and demand that someone in engineering help them debug their software.

If Trident sees a dramatic downturn in sales because of the lack of Linux/*BSD support, then they might change their policy. I would not hold my breath waiting for that. Linux/*BSD is probably not even a blip on Trident's sales forecasts.

Re:Why do companies do this type of thing? (2)

astrashe (7452) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236604)

I agree that knowing the implementation details of advanced 3D acceleration would be valuable, but won't the competitors know that already? They have to have people on the payroll who slip them the specs, NDA or not. I can't believe that open source is the only place people get this info.

And anyway, the technology is usually not bleeding edge by the time it's supported by Linux.

I think the question, "Why?" is a good one, and I'm still curious about what other people think.

Re:Why do companies do this type of thing? (1)

rodgerd (402) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236620)

As well as the other suggestions advanced, there's the fact that many companies don't even have internal documentation for thei rhardware - they slap something together, a couple of guys write drivers by bugging the hardware engineers, and that's that.

interesting choice of words? (1)

cryofan2 (243723) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236389)

I have not read the article, but your wording implies that Trident is not supporting x86. Actually, isn't that tantamount to not supporting Linux?

And why did you not say Trident was not suppporting x86? And why did you not say Trident was not supporting Linux (de facto)?

I am behind Linux, and have it installed on computers in my house. I think it is important that I have a second choice, even though I USE Windows.

But I find you weasel-wording disingenuous here, especially since the Linux cadre come off as being straight shooters, and frankly, pride themselves on their bluntness.

Re:interesting choice of words? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236408)

x86 != Xfree86

Re:interesting choice of words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236434)

X(FREE)86 is the gui in linux, x86 is the chip. the wording is fine, your vocab isn't

Re:interesting choice of words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236452)

Umm.. XFree86 is the graphics subsystem for Linux and a dozen other Unix OSes.

xfree86 != x86

Re:interesting choice of words? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236488)

Sometimes, when I'm having trouble with a particular piece of code, or difficulty understanding some legal jargon, and I'm feeling not too bright, I come to Slashdot. Posts like these make me feel smart again...
Thank you, cryofan2. Thank you for everything you've given me.

GRAMMAR TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236504)

plz ignore yo

Re:interesting choice of words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236541)

Priding myself on my bluntness, perhaps you should (a) read the article and (b) look up XFree86 on Google to find out what it is.


Posts that start "I didn't bother to read the article" get short shrift on Slashdot.

Re:interesting choice of words? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236582)

Because Xfree86 does not just run on Linux. It runs on many other OSs that outnumber installed Linux base by alot. It also runs on other architectures besides x86 including alpha, powerpc, m68k and sparc to name a few.

fuck this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236396)

This "nothing for you to see here. please move along" prevented me from getting the first post. That fucking sucks.

Re:fuck this (0, Flamebait)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236428)

Aww poor baby...eat my taint!

Trident sux (-1, Flamebait)

MojoReisen (218327) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236399)

Their cards are crap anyway

Re:Trident sux (2)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236438)

I think that it was mentioned in the articles that their stuff is often used in "low end" (read: crap) systems..


I wouldn't quite call them crap, but they definitely seem to be far from the high end. I guess that, for someone used to a 32M graphics board, something like the trident style chipsets are gonna seem like crap.

kind?? (-1, Flamebait)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236401)

why do we have to be reminded not to flame?? It makes M$ bashing sooo much fun, why not these guys too?

Re:kind?? (1)

Purificator (462832) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236506)

because sometimes it's nice to pretend that we're intelligent people, not hysterical zealots. for every "YUO SUCK BEACASUE LUNIX SI GOD!!!!!11" email they get, they'll lose that much more confidence in "us" as a viable market.

while i think one of the earlier posts was right --that trident probably won't listen to a few emails-- it doesn't hurt to try. maybe i won't have a hard time living without trident cards (or at least acceleration on them), but i don't want to stand around while another company helps make closed documentation the norm. i'd rather companies be more friendly to the people who want to do free work for them (open source developers), and sending them email will probably let them know that better than me bitching about it on slashdot.

HeUnique??? (0, Offtopic)

Mike1024 (184871) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236411)

Hey,

Posted by HeUnique on Thu August 30, 08:26 PM

I've never seen HeUnique before. Is he new, or have I just never noticed him before?

Michael

Re:HeUnique??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236573)

I'm sure you know the names of the other 500,000 user accounts by heart.

FUKK IT - just use Windows (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236413)

fukky fukk fuk shit in a truck

slashdotted (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236419)

gah. its already slashdotted...

Trident is still making chipsets? (3, Interesting)

A Commentor (459578) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236420)

Man, the last trident video card I saw was PCI... With all the major brands going under, I wouldn't have expected Trident to last.

What do they expect to get from keeping their specs private?? It's not like they are the leading chipset maker, and other companies are attempting to steal some secrets.

Thinkpad 560 and Trident Chips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236421)

Does this mean soon I'll bave a decent X configuration for my Thinkpad 560? Currently The best way to view X is at 800X600 which sucks because half the applications run off the screen. The other option is something like 640x480. I know this chip can do better because I've seen windows do it. (A lot of early Thinkpads use the Trident Chip)

at this point can we help or hurt? (5, Insightful)

Frizzled (123910) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236429)

(from the last post off xfree86.org on this issue):

Significant amounts of well-reasoned arguments in emails from end users might possibly have an impact. Of course, as soon as this hits /., they will get 10 times as much flamage as reasoned argument, and be even more convinced that Open Source is not where they care to invest their efforts.

sad, but true. there are a lot of good arguments to be made for keeping this information open to the public. but when an issue like this gets pushed into everyone's view it tends to generate comments that might push the company further away from open source instead of closer to it.

granted, the "cat's out of the bag" at this point, let's just hope trident sees the light and reverses their decision (before 3d acceleration took off, all i used was a trident, 2MBs of video RAM ... woot!)

_f

Gave those fags a piece of my mind... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236431)

Told them that I haven't used their crappy chipset since my 386/33 and that I never would use one again for any Linux systems which I happen to assemble for myself or others.

THat'll show 'em...

Re:Gave those fags a piece of my mind... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236484)

Ha. I told them to go fuck a monkey. Then i promised those fucking communist bastards that I would make their life a living hell. I'm loading up a perl script to mailbomb those fuckwits with windoze SuXors emails. They have to pay

Slashdot and flames (3, Interesting)

VP (32928) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236432)

Looks like some of the replies on the mailing list are also worried about the response Trident may get from Slashdot [xfree86.org] ....

That comment is from an AOL "Architect"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236467)

Some dweeb from AOL; wasn't under the impression that they built buildings. Sig follows:

David Wexelblat, Chief Architect mailto:DavidWexelblat@aol.com
America Online, Inc http://www.aol.com
44900 Prentice Drive - 24B:P06 (703) 265-1158 (voice)
Dulles, VA 20166 (703) 265-1301 (fax)

Coulda been a Netscape refugee in which case he was too stupid to flee the sinking ship.

AC

Re:That comment is from an AOL "Architect"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236606)

!seineew era stcetihcra LOA

Binary driver (1)

beavis_kc (323366) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236444)

Perhaps by some carefully worded email, we could get them to release a binary driver for Linux (AKA NVidia). At least we would not have to remove them from the hardware compatability lists.

Re:Binary driver (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236516)

I'll expand your question to ask about the Matrox G400 series under Linux. They are getting really cheap now... and I've been pleased with their high quality 2d on Windows. Worth grabbing one for use with Red Hat 7.1?

I sent an E-mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236470)

We don't use Laptops with Trident video at my company, but they don't need to know that. As an administrator or approx 75+ laptops, maybe my voice will be heard... Probably not, and I'm not a huge fan of Trident cards either, but this is a blow to open source.

Who's Left? (1)

johnnyproton (160621) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236472)

My company is about to buy 2 Linux workstations, and I'm concerned with which video card to go with.

Which vendors support open source developers (xfree86) the best? I would normally buy Nvidia-based systems for Windows, but from what I understand, their binary-only drivers are a disadvantage.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Re:Who's Left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236579)

I think the ATI VGA Wonder card is well supported.

It's old enough that the tail-light chasers in the Open Source community have figured it out...

Re:Who's Left? (2)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236615)

Matrox. The G400 and G450 are very well supported in XFree86. Also the ATI Radeon is well supported, although video playback features may be a pain.

Trident cards okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236474)

Back when I ran Linux (the 1.2.17 kernel days) I liked my Trident Video card. An 8900CL if I remember. It was well supported by DOSemu, so I could get stuff to work right with the video BIOS.

I remember most of the 'better' cards at the time were totally bad news with DOSemu.

It doesn't matter much anymore. Why would I want to emulate DOS? For that matter why would I want to run Linux or XFree? I have numerous machines running NetBSD, but Exceed on Windows 2000 is my Window Manager of choice these days.

Companies never learn from past mistakes (2, Interesting)

SID*C64 (444002) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236486)

I don't think I can count the number of companies that have made this mistake before. I remember way back when Creative Labs wouldn't release information for direct programming of their SoundBlaster cards; just a cruddy SDK/library you could call from C/Pascal. Well, what happened? Some enterprising hacker just reverse engineered it, wrote his own sound driver in ASM, and released the source. Similar things have happened with so many products. If people are using it and someone wants to write a driver badly enough, there are ways of obtaining the information.

If these companies really believe that their competitors can't do the same thing a 12 year old kid did to get the info, then they deserve whatever they get. I wish they could just see how stupid they are being and save the rest of us some time!

Write them? Wow. What a hoot! (0, Flamebait)

whjwhj (243426) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236489)

Hey there you go! Write them! Let them know how you feel! And when all 8 or 9 of you write, they'll be sure to release their documentation to Linux folks then! Reality check folks: They could frankly give a DAMN about Linux users! Drop in the bucket! Write them? HAH! MAN is that funny! Quit deluding yourselves. Linux has no market share in the desktop. Hence, HW manufacturers DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU! Suggestion: Get a Mac / OS X. Then you can have your Unix apps AND hardware support. Not to mention a desktop GUI that isn't a piece of crap.

wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236490)

wow... i didnt even know they were still around. i remember hacking through an old flamoots intro to figure out hwo to tweak the register to get 512x384 or something like that on my old TVGA8900, when it was still a recent card :)

Re:wow... (1)

SID*C64 (444002) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236507)

Hehe yeah that was great stuff. I bet if you tried anything like that today someone would probably sue you.

hello gentlemen (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236493)

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Dear Trident Microdickheads: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236495)

You fucking suck. Everybody already knew that you make the worst products ever, but not even allowing people who have bought and paid for them to use them? That is the lowest down thing ever, and now no one will buy your lousy shit anyway.

Get rid of the fucking NDA's and give us your fucking specs. If you're too lazy to write your own damn drivers, at least let someone with more brains do it for you. Your slimy business practises are outright dishonest and will lead you to the corporate cemetary even faster than you are already going.

This bad decision (undoubtedly made by some stupid manager who thought it would make his half inch penis longer) is one of the worst moves ever. As a concerned GNU/Linux user, I won't take any more of this. The whole world will hear of your deeds, and you will burn in hell forever!!!

Sincerely,
A Concerned Open Source GNU/Linux User

IS this the sort of thing to send? (2)

manplusdog (145050) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236508)

As a purchasing officer at the government office where I work I have final authority over what is purchased in terms of computer equipment. It is now a requirement for our organisation that all computer equipment (x86)be capable of running both Linux and Windows. This is because we can then provide a single hardware platform and support all of our end users.

If your company does not provide the information to the xfree86 developers then you will in all liklehood lose more than just the 5% of linux desktops, but also a significant number of windows desktop sales as well.

Cheers

It turns out that I am not just making this up. I do have final purchase authority and I _do_ require linux compatible hardware.

Flame? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236521)

Dont no one tell how or should write. Oh lets kiss ass so they release the specs. Flame on, budz, emails, or trident cards. Take your pick.

HAHA! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236530)

What a suprise! A hardware manufacturer doesn't want to bend over backward for the smallest and most niggardly market in the IT world.

You know, you could all quickly remedy this lack of driver support by switching to a MS-OS.

putting on the pressure (3, Insightful)

darkonc (47285) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236543)

If you follow the thread, they mention that the most effective avenue might be to go after OEMs and discourage them from using Trident chipsets. An effective way of doing that may be to go one level further back for leverage.

Push the purchasers for your company and/or school to notify suppliers that you won't be accepting Trident chipsets because of this decision. Inform them that you need to be able to use your machines interchangably, and if Trident chipsets are not being supported by Linux, you won't be able to use them in your Linux boxes...

It's easier if you know that, in a crunch, you're not going to have interchangability problems with a machine because of Trident's unwillingness to support Linux. This leverages a possible 5-20% linux market share into a 100% purchase decision, on firm financial/operations grounds.

Something to note is that, even where Linux may not be a high percentage of a groups machine count, Linux boxes are often in a high profile or critical area. Being unable to deploy a machine into such a location could be a real impact to the company. If nothing else, it's just an unwelcome annoyance.

An OEM faced with a choice between losing a medium-large customer or switching to a 'widely supported chipset', is more likely to walk away from Trident. that sort of pressure is something that is likely to be 'heard' by the company.

confusion over trident (5, Informative)

johnjones (14274) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236544)

there has always been a bit of confusion over trident drivers

e.g. the CYBER9385 this had at one stage 3 drivers distributed in a major release this is because they named chips the same

Trident supplies low cost chips because they are small (as in die size) and thus makes them less power hungry which is essential in laptops

the problem is that lately they have done into the onboard chipset market with Mother Board manufactures garbing them as a cheap way to stick video on board

then trident accelerated parts of their chips for these vendors

they have always been tight but allowed NDA people to help out writing drivers

the people you should complain to are the MB manufacturers who properly paid for the work to be done

so this begs the question who uses trident that you know ?

me I know SIS do so

write to
China
Ms. Ellie Yin
Tel:886+2+29161619 ext.346
E-mail: ellie@sis.com.tw.

Europe, Taiwan, Japan, Korea:
Ms. Jessie Lee
Tel:886+2+29161619 ext.341
E-mail: jessie@sis.com.tw

America(Canada,U.S., and Latin America), Oceania:
Miss Michele Huang
Tel:886+2+29161619 ext.345
E-mail: michele@sis.com.tw.

for your appropriate dealer

regards

john jones

heh (1)

fizban (58094) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236546)

Why even write the bastards? They've already shot themselves in the head. If they don't die off from lack of sales, they'll figure it out eventually and come crawling back.

Sample email (2, Informative)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236564)

Take 30 seconds out of your day and send them a quick email. Seriously.

To: public_relations@tridentmicro.com

I'm writing to register my displeasure for trident's new policy towards open source. Making your documentation available is not a whole lot to ask, and in the process of not working with us, you are alienating a large group of people and technologies.
Thanks for lissening.

Toby

The opinions expressed in this email are mine, and are not necessarily those of my employer.

Trident is for Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236570)

Trident is a nigger chip. It is for slovenly fat lipped nigs and jigs. It is for sub-human apes like this. [206.244.69.51]

Someone hitting Trident on the stock boards (2, Interesting)

EQ (28372) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236580)

I thought to check the Yahoo stock message boards and hit them in the wallet (the only place a big company really listens), and it looks like someone beat me to the punch. You may want to mention the economic side of things if you write to Investor Relations as well as the PR people. The addresses are there in the referenced post:


Yahoo TRID stock message board [yahoo.com]

A way for M$ to kill Linux (1)

moopster (119808) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236588)

Simple... buy off enough Video card manufacturers to not open their drivers. I bet this is a trial balloon!

Think of it! How far can Linux get on the desktop without decent Xfree86 drivers in the future... not far at all... NO GAMES, NO 3D EXCEL... Linux is dead :-(

Trident cards, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2236612)

/me power down

/me pulls the trident 2 meg out of the firewall.... throws behind me.

/me then installs a nvidia based tnt2 ($40.00)

/shout firewalls up!

Re:A way for M$ to kill Linux (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236619)

NO 3D EXCEL

That's not a big deal, anyways. Even with the proper drivers, to get 3D Excel Microsoft would have to release Office for Linux...

Open hardware (1)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 13 years ago | (#2236651)

We just bought a new LED signboard at work, the kind you see at banks in the US flashing APRs and the temperature. It's controlled by connecting the sign to a box, and the box to your computer's serial port.

The coolest thing about it was the appendix in the back of the user manual that contained complete schematics to the sign and the box. It also had some instructions on how to create neat graphic effects.

The client software that comes with it is for Windows, but with the appendix info I could create a client for whatever system I wanted.

My question is why don't more companies do this? I mean all of this schematic info should be copyrighted/patented anyway, so you don't have to worry about someone ripping you off. Are they just lazy or what?
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