Me and ATI: Things keep getting better

Ubuntu LinuxIt’s been a long time since I used a machine with an ATI card, and this latest one has been a very pleasant surprise.

It was my hope — and probably the hope of a lot of people — that when ATI moved toward open-source drivers, performance would explode. Granted, a Radeon Mobility FireGL 9000 is rather far removed from cutting edge, what with only 32Mb to work with and nothing in the way of upper-end video power. “Explode” might be more like “pop.”

It’s the little things you have to appreciate though. The same thrill I got when I was able to one-click install the proprietary driver for a knuckle-busting Radeon XPress 200M way back when Hardy came out … I get now when I boot the live CD for 9.04 and it goes straight to accelerated graphics mode.

It’s that driver — the “radeon” one, the one Ubuntu picks by default and Arch seems more than happy to run. In the old days that was the one I had to fall back to, if the proprietary one didn’t do its job. Performance was baseline.

But now, it’s fantastic.

I am relatively new to this entire Linux thing — my three or four years with Ubuntu et al. is a mere speck against the grand scheme of things. But I find it reassuring that, this time at least, the premise of releasing code seems to have worked. In my favor, at least.


8 thoughts on “Me and ATI: Things keep getting better

  1. ArmorNick

    You call 4 or 5 years new? I just reached the 1 year and half mark 😀 .

    I have to agree that Linux keeps getting better and better with hardware compatibility. It’s hardly surprising as more and more people start using it though.

  2. mulenmar

    Ah, so that’s why hardware companies won’t release their driver code: people would have efficient drivers and wouldn’t want to upgrade their hardware 😉 😆

    I’d rather build the driver myself anyway — with processor-specific optimizations & the -Os flag. 🙂

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      It’s the price of popularity, I guess. Technically everything here is GFDL’ed, so it’s okay, so long as everything they cut-and-paste is likewise GFDL’ed. (Yeah, right.)

      There was a big stink on Planet Ubuntu a while back because someone was cutting-and-pasting into a site in Venezuela, I think. There was a lot of righteous indignation and shaking of fists, and then people settled down and went back to navel-gazing.

      I don’t see that it matters, really. People are going to steal content no matter what. If anything actually ever became popular, it might be worth enforcing that GFDL. But I have a low opinion of my own content, so I don’t ever see it happening.

      1. mulenmar

        If nobody stands up for the GFDL, the GFDL loses even more respect. But I’m even more concerned by this method of disguising the content — I doubt any automatic search software that currently exists would catch it easily. 😦

  3. johnraff

    Have you actually read that post? It’s hilarious, and half-incomprehensible. It’s hard to think anyone would take it seriously.

    1. mulenmar

      Yup, I read it. And as offensive as I personally find plagarizing someone else’s work is, I find it even more offensive when it violates a GNU license of any kind. (Not that it’s logical to feel addtional upsetitude…)

      The ironic thing is, it appears to be running on software. 😕

      If K.Mandla’s not going to get upset about it, I’m not either. But if he changes his mind, or if I find it happens to me, I’m going to take action. I mean, if people want to repost my content elsewhere, and they obey the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence, I’m flattered. I’m pretty sure the GFDL is similar, though, and the only reason someone would create a search-engine blog is to make money (Commerical violation), and the creator of it makes it appear they came up with it themselves, however badly (Attribution violation) 👿

      Um…I’ll stop the rant here; my kernel is done compiling and reinstalling on my Thinkpad, there are strange issues with mounting ext4 read-writeable, and it’s 1:34am local time. So, g’night, and after I mess with the kernel a bit more I’ll post something over on my blog about it.

      BTW, the 2.6.31 kernel’s out as of the 9th. 🙂


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