[Trisquel-users] Network issue with Trisquel 6.01

chris at thinkpenguin.com chris at thinkpenguin.com
Thu Aug 21 01:24:49 CEST 2014

There are actually a lot of other problems besides non-free graphics and  
wireless dependencies. HP, Lenovo/IBM, Toshiba, Sony, Apple, and Dell all use  
digital restrictions for example. This does happen to mostly impact wireless,  
but is a distinctly separate issue. What it means is that you can't buy a  
laptop from one of these companies an expect to be able to replace the wifi  
card in it with one that is compatible with free software.

I highly encourage people to boycott these companies. It goes beyond  
incompetence or not caring. They are actively working against the user.

There are lots of other issues that can impact support that have less to do  
with proprietary software and more to do with design. For instance  
software-based switches for turning on/off wifi cards (ie you may have a card  
that works, but if it's always off, and you can't turn it back on, then the  
laptop won't work terribly well with GNU/Linux), support for special function  
keys (adjusting volume/screen brightness), and power management.

This is a short list of problems people frequently experience. There are some  
other older issues that have purportedly cropped up again too relating to DRM  
that I had thought were permanently solved. However I haven't had time to  
confirm the claims or look into solving the problem so I'll refrain from  
going into it. It won't impact most people in either event.

You may also run into issues related to restricted boot, but I can't really  
speak too much about it. I'm not sure how common of a problem it is with  
off-the-shelf x86 hardware in the worst case situation. At its worst you can  
brick systems and/or simply not be able to install GNU/Linux. I believe it  
would also include lesser problems with x86 that simply make loading  
GNU/Linux more difficult.

There are also issues with CPUs related to digital restrictions. While it  
won't work in Trisquel or any free system today anyway the more systems that  
ship with the technology in the CPU the easier it becomes for sites to use /  
arguments to be made for adopting/requiring it. Today you can watch most  
content on YouTube, but tomorrow that may not be possible if Google  
implements code that utilizes this technology in the CPU. Avoid Intel CPUs  
with 'Trusted Computing Technology'. I'm unsure what AMD calls this  
technology, but a version of it is also present in modern AMD CPUs.

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