Harrumph

Well, that turned out to be less a drama than expected. So, I put a gNewSense partition on my laptop last night and here’s how it panned out:

Wireless: obviously, the card has a working driver as it’s been in the kernel for a while. What we don’t have, though, is the firmware – a nasty blob of closed proprietry binary evil which gets plumbed into the kernel to make the card actually work. So, as I want a nice shiny FREE kernel, firmware nein danke.

Which brings me to the major sacrifice made by moving from Open Source to Free Software – convenience, beautifully illustrated by the wireless firmware. If I want to go free, I have to use a cable which diminishes the usefulness of a laptop. It’s fine if I’m using the machine in my livingroom or work, as both locations have ethernet on hand. If I’m on the hoof, however….. So, the intel internal does not supply a Free driver but apparently the D-Link usb stick I have does, so I shall investigate this later.

Multimedia: I can’t play mp3s, but I can copy them to my ipod. Or I can reflash my ipod with Free software and play oggs instead. Or, when it’s ipod replacement time, I can choose one that isn’t so evil and proprietry. To be honest, music on a computer is not a deal breaker for me.

The experiment continues.

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