[opensource] Letter writing for OSS hardware support

Steven James Samuel Stapleton stapleton at mps.ohio-state.edu
Thu Oct 26 05:44:07 EDT 2006


OK, first of all, I've had several notebooks in the past, and always been burned by tech support. There are four companies that have not burned me in hardware support in my use of them:
1) Uses horribly components and I will not buy
2) Does not have any options to meet my needs
3) Is involved in a litigation that who's charges are self-descriptive of the litigation and I refuse to buy from
4) Has good hardware, and above par support, but has modified it so it is a bit quirky in FreeBSD or Linux (that may explain why I've had bad experiences with Ubuntu on my current notebook)
5) There are many I've heard to be good, but I am nervous at switching now that I have found something that is already mostly good

Anyway, manufacturer number 4, who if I had to buy a notebook again, I still would still use, is Toshiba. I can deal with non-functional PCMCIA and Wireless in Linux/BSD, better than I can with a company that doesn't support their hardware, and support it right. Anyway, I've never seen a place as helpful when I've called in for tech support - the first string of people could even answer what my PCMCIA controller was - most first string'ers couldn't even tell you the video chipset in other places I've found. Regardless, enough of *why* I like them, time to fix why I don't.

Would anyone here be interested in joining me in writing letters to them to try to get them to write drivers for the Open Source operating systems, and if possible, open source drivers (I can't say must-be open source, because there are times, such as with nVidia and ATI, where such is not legally possible)? I've already written a letter specific to my case, but I was wondering if anyone else would like to join me. The main concept of the letter would be "I would buy a Toshiba notebook if it had drivers for [insert one or more open source operating systems here]".

Anyone up for that and would like to help me draft a general letter?

Thanks,
-Jim Stapleton
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