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DukeOfURL: Linux Buyer's Guide #12

Aug 02, 2001, 00:51 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Mullen)

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So what happened in Linux hardware this month? Not quite as much as last month, but there has still been some pretty shaking developments.

First off, it looks like the Guillemot/Hercules Kyro II will not be making its way to Linux any time soon. In in this post to Linux Games, the maintainer of the Kyro II Linux drivers announced his leaving from the said company, and shined some light on our chances on seeing Linux drivers any time soon. From what I've read, it looks like the chances of getting a GPL driver or closed-source driver are both pretty bleak. It looks like Guillemot/Hercules is falling back on the old "excuse" of intellectual property. ATI, Matrox, and 3dfx (now defunct) never had a problem with this.

I've also received word from a reader that 3Dlabs is now going to cut off their Linux support and not produce drivers for their Wildcat series of graphics adapters. The words straight out of a 3Dlabs developer confirms this. I'm guessing most desktop users won't be using these cards, but it's still sad to see a once loyal Linux supporter go the way of Microsoft. Xi Graphics will probably hop on and produce Linux drivers, but those will undoudtedly be for a cost if they are produced -- and that will only happen if 3Dlabs will agree to give up the specs on their board and permission to XiG.

It also looks like we're getting closer to a fix for users to get their Promise FastTrak and High Point HPT370 controllers going under Linux (out of the box on Red Hat, possibly). It looks like someone in Red Hat is tackling both. Since both cards use a software RAID engine (which has been proven not to slow things down very much), Promise and High Point want to protect their IP and keep the driver code to themselves. This essentially results in a completely different kind of driver being written by Red Hat, and in the end, the devices will end up being handled more like IDE devices than SCSI devices.

Both AMD and Intel are announcing new processors left and right. AMD is just about to release their Athlon 4, or Palomino. If you want a little more info on the performance of these processors, check out Linux Hardware's article on the Pentium 4 in Linux and HardOCP's comparison of the AMD Thunderbird and Palomino. It wouldn't hurt to take a look at our review of Pogo's Pentium 4 Verona, either.

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