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FC1 Support for *relative* new hardware



Hi *,

one of my main problems I always had with the old "Red Hat Linux" was
the lack of hardware support for *relative* new hardware -- especially
for Printers, Graphics-Cards and the Southbridges of modern Mainboards
(read the last as: support for Ide-Controllers and On-Board-Sound).

Fedora as a faster moving distribution satisfies some of the problems I
had -- especially when I think of "new" linux-users.

I think we need updates more ofter in these areas, or even better, a
special repository that contains not-so-well testet updates that support
newer hardware. This is IMHO better than not be able to run linux
because of lack of hardware support.

No, not rawhide, this is IMHO a bit to bleeding edge -- if heavier
changes are ongoing there a simple rebuild of the SRPM on the current
stable release sometimes is not that easy (or so it was in the past with
RHL). And this is nothing a unexperienced linux user is able to do when
he want to try linux on his brand new pc/printer/graphics card. 

Printers are a good example where I can give a nice example (but I can
give you many more). Fedora is only one and a half month old but if I
(for example) go to the web-page of a major german distributor and
search for a photo-printer from HP I find six different photosmart
models from 89 up to 329 Euros. But none of them is supported by FC1!
They exchanged all older models shortly after or in parallel with the
FC1 release. So they are not supported directly on FC1 (yes, some of the
old drivers will work -- but a new linux user will fail at this point).

Luckily there are drivers on
http://hpinkjet.sourceforge.net/
that support 20 new products (since 10/03/03, but IMHO it is okay this
didn't went into fc1):
http://hpinkjet.sourceforge.net/updates.php

They even describe the installation in detail, but (again) I don't think
an unexperienced linux user will accomplish this task. And I think we
shouldn't let this user wait with support for is hardware until FC2 
comes out.

New Mainboards and PC are another example when support for the
IDE-Controller or the On-Board-Soundcard is missing, but luckily kernel
errata updates often eliminate this problem on the fly -- *often*, not
always.

Graphic cards are another issue -- I don't like the binary drivers from
nvidia, but during my work (where I often come in contact with relative
new hardware ;-) ) I'm often forced to used them since newer XFree86
drivers are not available in an easy way.


I'm willing to help on this issues, especially at printer drivers, ide
and sound-drivers. Currently I'm trying to bring the alsa driver info
fedora.us, a relative easy step as it does not conflict with existing
fedora packages. But if I would bring in updated hpijs drivers I think
it would raise questions and problems that I we simply should discuss
here before.


As said before, I vote for a special repository for the current stable
release that contains not-so-well testet updates that support newer
hardware. Any other or better ideas?

CU
thl




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