Duke of URL: Linux Buyer’s Guide #7

[ Thanks to Patrick
for this link. ]

“Things are really starting to move in Linux — but we’re still
waiting on some of the biggest developments. Kernel 2.4 is just
about to be released, and we’ve been graced with a 2.4.0
pre-release, which means we’re out of the test phase and I’m sure
at the rate Linus and company have been working, we’ll see a
release candidate any time now.”

“With the new year ringing in, we also will most likely see the
reign of the new champion of Linux graphics adapters. That company?
Why, NVidia, of course! In case you haven’t heard yet, 3dfx’s core
assets have been acquired by NVidia, and that means that we will
also be seeing the end of the excellent open-source effort by 3dfx
on their line of graphics cards. It’s sad to see them go,
especially after waiting on Precision Insight to finish the drivers
for what seemed like forever. We may never see the final Voodoo4/5
drivers with the likes of Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA), but
hopefully the community will pick up the drivers and finish them up
for all those users out there still clinging to their 3dfx graphics

“There has been a lot going on in graphics cards as of late.
With the release of XFree86 4.0.2, we’ve also seen the ATI Radeon
come into the picture for Linux. The Radeon is an extremely
powerful chipset and even gave NVidia a run for its money upon
release. The main factor that hurts ATI is the lack of continued
driver development. However, one questions if this will be the case
in the future if ATI has a deal with Precision Insight (also
developing ATI’s drivers) to make this set of drivers the
open-source variety.”

“In other areas, Linux has been quiet, but one interesting and
perhaps cryptic development is that of copy protection and Serial
ATA. This may mean that Linux will pick this up very late or
reluctantly or that there will have to be modifications to the
specifications. One could only imagine all the hard drives being
hoarded by *NIX users if such a thing would happen. I’m already
stockpiling them along with my generators from the Y2K scare.”


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