Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Jan 2012 16:20 UTC, submitted by moondevil
Windows And so the war on general computing continues. Were you looking forward to ARM laptops and maybe even desktops now that Windows 8 will also be released for ARM? I personally was, because I'd much rather have a thin, but fast and economical machine than a beastly Intel PC. Sadly, it turns out that all our fears regarding UEFI's Secure Boot feature were justified: Microsoft prohibits OEMs from allowing you to install anything other than Windows 8 on ARM devices (the Software Freedom Law Center has more).
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Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas_maximus,

"You are buying a device that is sold as running Windows 8. If you don't like it ... buy something else."


If we continue on this path, then that may be the only choice we will have; anyone wanting to develop or run non-mainstream operating systems will have to pay a premium for niche hardware which explicitly supports it. Not only does this hinder accessibility of alternative operating systems for users, it discourages their development and significantly increases barriers to entry. Ordinary hardware, because of explicit restrictions, will no longer do dual booting, no user mods, no device re-purposing, etc.

This is a less desirable future than one where devices are open and unrestricted, and users are free to use their own hardware however they see fit. We need to be as vocal as possible about the issues to raise public awareness as much as we can.

Reply Parent Score: 9

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

]

If we continue on this path, then that may be the only choice we will have; anyone wanting to develop or run non-mainstream operating systems will have to pay a premium for niche hardware which explicitly supports it.


Audiophiles already do this. They pay a premium for the extra "audio" quality. Some results are amazing (my friend has such a system).

I already do this for bicycle parts and I often buy components for my bicycle that are worth more than the bicycle itself. I run quite a lot of bikes from the late 70s to the mid-90s and getting parts for these push bikes is a pain.

You have to pay for you hobby unfortunately. Running things like Haiku, Linux and other things are mostly done by hobbyists or by professionals which already have the correct hardware requirements

It much like how I pay for having a custom PC, I have a 16GB main workstation, with Two Graphics card (for playing games), and a Dual Xeon Board with dual SSDs ... I pay the premium for all of this, because other than foreign women, good beer, weight lifting and bikes I also I like computers and I am lucky enough to have a job that started off like a hobby.

Not only does this hinder accessibility of alternative operating systems for users, it discourages their development and significantly increases barriers to entry. Ordinary hardware, because of explicit restrictions, will no longer do dual booting, no user mods, no device re-purposing, etc.


So? As I keep on saying, nobody complains that the Kindle (my e-Ink basic version 4) only boot the Amazon OS (I have no idea, nor I care what it is) and lets me only buy books from the amazon store. It is a product that lets me read books, I really do not care even if the OS is locked down ... I bought a Kindle to act like a Kindle.

This is a less desirable future than one where devices are open and unrestricted, and users are free to use their own hardware however they see fit. We need to be as vocal as possible about the issues to raise public awareness as much as we can.


I said it elsewhere this will actually open up a market for enthusiasts, since there will be companies (much like AmigaOS scene) that will exploit this niche. This will create some jobs and new software products.

I think the real issue is that people don't want to have to actually you know pay money for something they are interested in, hobbies cost money. I have spent a small fortune on my bicycles, a large fortune on good booze, more on taking nice ladies out, and I have paid over the odds for my obsolete SGI machines.

Edited 2012-01-13 21:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas_maximus,

"Audiophiles already do this. They pay a premium for the extra 'audio' quality. Some results are amazing."

"I already do this for bicycle parts and I often buy components for my bicycle that are worth more than the bicycle itself...."

You're ability to tweak and upgrade your off the shelf audio/bike equipment is great (seriously), so why shouldn't we be able to enjoy the same sort of tinkering benefits with off the shelf computers?


Is it just a linux phobia or are you against installing any alternatives on off the shelf hardware?

What harm does it do you if others have control over their own computers?

I'm having trouble isolating your true motivation for speaking so ardently against open consumer technology, would you mind explaining it more directly?

Edited 2012-01-13 21:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26


"Not only does this hinder accessibility of alternative operating systems for users, it discourages their development and significantly increases barriers to entry. Ordinary hardware, because of explicit restrictions, will no longer do dual booting, no user mods, no device re-purposing, etc.


So? As I keep on saying, nobody complains that the Kindle (my e-Ink basic version 4) only boot the Amazon OS (I have no idea, nor I care what it is) and lets me only buy books from the amazon store. It is a product that lets me read books, I really do not care even if the OS is locked down ... I bought a Kindle to act like a Kindle.
"

The Kindle runs Linux. Here's how to root it: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/blog/kindle-root . In addition to having a terminal and just generally being able to use the device as a normal computer, the most immediately useful addition is the ability to load books over wi-fi instead of having to use a USB cable.

Locking bootloaders as Microsoft is intending to require OEMs to do and as some smartphone manufacturers already do is bad; the vast majority of users won't care, but it's still extremely anti-competitive. As has been mentioned in this thread already, very few people install Linux on their desktops/laptops (most of which came with Windows pre-installed), but a lot of people use Android, which never would have been developed (or, at least, would be very different) if there were no Linux users because very few people owned desktops with unlocked bootloaders.

It is not comparable to the audiophile or bike enthusiast examples. There you are talking about people being able to combine specialized parts, possibly with (parts of) consumer-grade equipment. Locked bootloaders are extra hardware/software limiting the capabilities of systems being bought. (To be fair, there is a security concern of boot-level viruses... but the cost to make an option to unlock the bootloader that requires physical access is negligible and the article says that Microsoft is banning OEMs from even having that choice.)

Reply Parent Score: 5