Cliff Hacks Things.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

ASUS eeePC: First impressions and GPL violations

Most recent edit (2007-11-30): please see my more recent post for updates. ASUS has released the sources for some of the applications and drivers on the eee. I can't say whether it's complete and accurate yet, but it's a great sign from ASUS.


Edit: This post has gotten wider circulation than I was expecting (I rarely get readers, much less comments!). I've been clarifying some points in the comments, but people don't seem to be reading them before posting (and some of the posts have been hostile in tone). So:

  • Yes, I've downloaded and poked around in the 1.8GB archive ASUS insists is the source, from both the US and Taiwan sites. It does not contain the sources in question, or at least did not when I retrieved it. I tend to assume incompetence before malice, and I really do believe they just messed up. (Even the asus_acpi stripping seems more like a botched search-replace job by some overworked driver author than a malicious act. Doesn't make it legit, of course.)

  • I realize that blogging about a GPL violation doesn't fix it. My purpose in writing this article was to document the violation; I have neither the inclination nor the time to press a complaint or (god forbid) file a lawsuit! If others want to do that in response to this post, I'm happy to serve as an expert witness and provide the evidence I've collected, but for now, I'm enjoying my laptop and a cup of coffee.

  • I either suck at using ndiswrapper (I freely admit this) or it's my Airport base station causing the problems there. More on wireless drivers in a followup post.


Now on to the original post:

For my birthday, I bought myself an ASUS eeePC. Now, I've been lusting after very-small-form-factor laptops for some time (ever since I saw the Zaurus C series), and this is quite the small one. It also ships with Linux, which (I thought) was a good indication that the hardware is well supported by Linux. (Not so; read on.)

I'm very pleased with the hardware with a few exceptions, which I'll detail in the latter two thirds of this post. The screen is bright and clear, the keyboard is surprisingly usable (even with my giant hands), etc. I'm really happy with it, now that I've bent it to my will. Obligatory laptop porn below.

The eee on a sheet of 8.5x11 paper:


The eee next to a coffee mug:


The eee atop my 15" MacBook Pro:


Now then.

Proprietary Hardware Woes


ASUS ships the eee with a variant of Xandros Linux, which in turn is a variant of Debian. It also ships with binary modules for much of the hardware, and some of the hardware won't work without 'em. Specifically,

  • The wireless works with the madwifi version that ships on the machine, but not with HEAD or 9.3.3, and

  • The ACPI does not work with the Linux kernel's asus_acpi module, but does with ASUS's variant of it.



Several folks have gotten the wifi working with ndiswrapper, but this just tells me that those folks don't run WEP. (I need to figure out where they live.) I've gotten both wifi and ACPI working in Ubuntu, but only by loading ASUS's binary modules. Instructions in a subsequent post, once I'm done ranting.

(Edit (2007-11-23): Folks have posted saying they got ndiswrapper working with WPA. They're clearly 1337er than I am; turning on any encryption at all would spike it to 50%+ CPU. Lame!)

Proprietary Software Woes


The system is set to update itself and add packages from a repository at ASUS's site (specifically this one), where the little machine can fetch new kernels, Linux userland, KDE updates, and optional packages.

What you won't find on that site are sources. ASUS is bound by the GPL to make the sources for the software they're distributing available, even if they have not modified them. (Check the license if you don't believe me.) ASUS has posted a 1.8GB ZIP file on their website that they claim is the sources, but it's not -- it contains a few .debs (not even the versions that ship on the machine) and some kernel headers. (Perhaps they figured nobody would pull 1.8GB from their slow-as-molasses site and find out.)

Through disassembly (I can do that, the software is GPL'd), it appears that ASUS has extensively modified the asus_acpi kernel module from Linux 2.6.21.4, so that it now works with the eee's hardware. This would be good except that

  • They appear to have stripped out all attribution. (Kernel modules contain information about the module name, version, and author. This has been removed.)

  • They appear to have attempted to hide what they were doing. (All references to "asus_acpi" have been removed, but other identifying features remain.)

  • They are not distributing their modified sources, or even a patch.


I have not contacted the author of asus_acpi, and it's possible that he has worked out a copyright licensing deal with ASUS -- but I was under the impression that the copyright of contributions to the Linux kernel were assigned to Linus or an agent thereof, which would not leave him with this right.

The madwifi drivers that ship on the machine are also a version never before seen in the wild, but as madwifi is dual-licensed GPL/BSD, modifying it is within ASUS's rights.

It's worth noting, from a legal perspective, that ASUS is also distributing BusyBox inside the system's initramfs image. (They do not appear, at first glance, to have stripped the attribution out of this one.) This is interesting because someone else distributing BusyBox without complying with the GPL is currently getting themselves sued in the first US civil suit over GPL violations.

Also worth noting: this is not the first time that ASUS has stolen from the community in this way. They were caught in 2004 stealing code from iptables/netfilter. They're also trying to cover their ass: they include the GPL in the box with the product, and state

This product includes copyrighted third-party software licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. ... ASUSTeK COMPUTER Inc. has exposed the full source code of the GPL licensed software, including any scripts to control compilation and installation the object code ... For more information how you can obtain our open source code, visit our website (http://support.asus.com.tw/download/).

...that website, for reference, is Home of the Giant Zip File I mentioned above.

Sigh.

(Edit (2007-11-23): To be fair, as commenters have pointed out, this may very well be simple negligence on ASUS's part. Yes, I and others have contacted ASUS about this with no response yet. Let's hope they just say "Whoops!" and fix the ZIP.)

Warranty Void If Removed


The last annoyance about the eee PC is the bright yellow "Warranty void if seal is broken or removed" sticker over the RAM upgrade slot.

Yes, you read that right: a computer manufacturer has decided that it voids your warranty to replace a DIMM.

The door in question also hides an available mini-PCI-Express slot, so needless to say, people would like to open it. For me, until I get out of the front of the bathtub curve and verify that the hardware works with Ubuntu, that sticker stays intact.

However, since I'm already pretending to be a lawyer in this post, allow me to discuss the Magnuson-Moss Act, what it says about tie-ins, and what exactly ASUS is doing here.

The Magnuson-Moss Act is a 1975 Federal law that lays down some rules for how consumer warranties work. One of the specific things it prohibits are "tie-ins," additional items or services you must buy from the manufacturer to make your warranty work. (This is why for-pay warranties these days are euphemistically termed 'service contracts.')

Examples of tie-ins are provided on the FTC's site. There's the unacceptable tie-in:

In order to keep your new Plenum Brand Vacuum Cleaner warranty in effect, you must use genuine Plenum Brand Filter Bags. Failure to have scheduled maintenance performed, at your expense, by the Great American Maintenance Company, Inc., voids this warranty.


...and the acceptable one:

While necessary maintenance or repairs on your AudioMundo Stereo System can be performed by any company, we recommend that you use only authorized AudioMundo dealers. Improper or incorrectly performed maintenance or repair voids this warranty.


Specifically, it's acceptable to void someone's warranty if maintenance is screwed up. (I'm paraphrasing the FTC's page, which was clearly paid by the word.)

Here are snippets from ASUS's warranty:

The warranty only covers failures or malfunctions occurred during the warranty period and in normal use conditions as will as for any material or workmanship defect. The warranty will not apply if: (a) the product has been tampered, repaired, or modified by non-authorized personnel; ... (c) the warranty seals have been broken or altered; ...

(Yes, those typos were in the original.)

Clause (a) above is clearly unenforceable under Magnuson-Moss -- it's one of the specific cases that the FTC cites as illegal.

Clause (c) follows as unenforceable: repairs (even normal upgrades) of the system cannot be performed without breaking the warranty seal. I'm not a lawyer, but I trust the judgment of judges; I doubt that a warranty stating "You can get this repaired by any qualified person but they can't look at it!" would be upheld. This is no different.

Edit (2007-11-23): One more note on my tie-in point: ASUS will be selling a "higher model" of the eee in the US, with more RAM and 8GB of Flash, starting at the end of this month. Someone will open this model up and post pictures. If the model is simply the original with a different DIMM and, say, a PCIe SSD dropped in, then what ASUS is saying is "These socketed, consumer-upgradeable parts will void your warranty if you touch them -- but if you pay us another $150 we'll change them for you." That's a bit more blatant than what I'd cited above.

Labels: , ,

223 Comments:

  • Clearly this is a taiwanese company preying on the fact that people won't go to the extent you seem to have gone. They will mostly be correct with this assumption.

    Additionally, since they are a taiwanese company why would they/should they follow the GPL or any US based laws?

    (at the very least they are headquartered out of Taiwan and are distributing software/content out of their taiwanese location)

    By Blogger Christopher, at 8:28 PM  

  • if its sold in the US, then it must comply with the US laws (i.e., law of the country its sold in).

    I think more awareness should be made to the general public about the way GPL is violated here, so that companies cannot just benefit from hard work by others without contributing back some work of their own.

    By Blogger Chii, at 9:25 PM  

  • So let me get this straight...

    1) They market it as a Linux laptop, among other things.
    2) They provide notice of the GPL in the packaging.
    3) They actively maintain a debian package repository.
    4) They presumably have a deal with Xandros.

    But...

    5) They provide a 1.8gb source archive that contains no sources.

    Sounds less nefarious and more like an incredibly bone-headed mistake. Either they're very ignorant of what it means to provide sources or someone has made a very serious error.

    Either way, Asus has effectively painted a giant red target on their forehead.

    By Blogger Dan, at 10:18 PM  

  • Copyright isn't attributed to Linus, which is one of the main reasons that Linux will never go GPL3: You couldn't track down all the contributors to get them to do it.

    By Blogger Daengbo, at 11:03 PM  

  • Superb piece of research work. Thanks for doing this.

    By Blogger Chris, at 1:56 AM  

  • It may simply be better to buy an older, used laptop and put Linux on that.

    Considering how much electronic waste is piling up and polluting groundwater pretty much everywhere now, buying more new crap is not the answer.

    Example:
    Thinkpad 560z

    Thinkpad 560x

    By Blogger Useful Info, at 5:17 AM  

  • I agree with Dan that this is more likely a 'bone-headed' mistake. I really don't think ASUS are targeting the eee at users who will hack around with the OS. Full compliance with the GPL has likely fallen by the way side in favour of shipping it before Christmas.

    By Blogger dp_pearce, at 5:21 AM  

  • Have you forwarded your concerns (as stated in this blog) to ASUS? Maybe they are just ignorant and if told how to exactly correct these legal issues, they will comply. Give them a chance first to respond.

    By Blogger Howard, at 6:10 AM  

  • it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they modified their Windows IIS .aspx server to artificially slow down users trying to download the Giant Zip(tm) even more

    By Blogger Daniel, at 6:44 AM  

  • I was planning on obtaining one of these things soon. Please, do keep us updated of any changes on this blog. I'm eagerly awaiting what happens next. (and I'm subscribing to the RSS feed)

    -Benjamin

    By Blogger -Benjamin, at 9:06 AM  

  • So this does mean, then, that we can reverse-engineer their modules for madwifi et al. with impunity, yes?

    By Blogger TQuid, at 10:07 AM  

  • Brilliant piece, Cliff.

    By Blogger lixy, at 10:11 AM  

  • Well, first let me state that I'm using an eee with WPA2 on ndiswrapper without an issue. I'm in the United States.

    Having fought with Asus and Linux before, I don't think they're malicious about this but they are clueless. I emailed Asus about the matter: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=2315 and well as you can see, they just suggested I try madwifi.

    I then tried to put in an Intel 3945 and the bios doesn't recognize the vendor so the card is disabled: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=2421

    The stickers are rubbish. I had to cut through them to try and put the 3945 in but I agree with your take on the matter.

    Here's my quick and dirty page with ubuntu on the eee: http://www.quaggaspace.org/2007/11/04/ubuntu-gutsy-on-an-asus-eee-pc/ Really I haven't had any problems.

    By Blogger Justin, at 10:20 AM  

  • Too bad. Myself and a friend at work had been looking at buying a couple of eee's. Until Asus allows you to change the ram and wifi card without violating the warranty and releasing the GPL'd source they can forget about me buying one. My guess is my friend at work will not be buying one either.

    p.s. I had been thinking (after testing one myself) of buying three more for my two neices and nephew for Christmas. That's now not going to happen either.

    So that means four and possibly five sales lost. What a stupid move on Asus's part.

    By Blogger ChocoNutDancer, at 10:28 AM  

  • Too bad. Myself and a friend at work had been looking at buying a couple of eee's. Until Asus allows you to change the ram and wifi card without violating the warranty and releasing the GPL'd source they can forget about me buying one. My guess is my friend at work will not be buying one either.

    I had been thinking (after testing one myself) of buying three for my two nieces and nephew for Christmas. That's now not going to happen either.

    So that means four and possibly five sales lost. What a stupid move on Asus's part.

    By Blogger ChocoNutDancer, at 10:30 AM  

  • This is totally unrelated to the eeePC, but when I got to your discussion of the Magnuson-Moss act I nearly pissed myself. 2 years ago my car dealer told me that because I hadn't gotten my 30K/60K mile tune-ups there that my 5-year warranty was voided, and that to get the service I needed I would have to get the 60K tune-up or pay for the service out of pocket. The tune-up was cheaper (though still nearly $1000), so I took that route.

    I just sent a very nasty letter to the manager there, demanding my money back. I always had a suspicion that they were screwing me over, so I just wanted to say thanks for the ammo for the fight! I'll let you know if it goes well.

    By Blogger jimi, at 10:31 AM  

  • i have been looking at buying one since august my dad was looking at one since september and we were thinking on buying 4 one to each people at my house i told a teacher last week and she was thinking on buying 2 so there are at least 6 less sales.

    HZ.

    By Blogger hilel, at 10:40 AM  

  • Wow, comments!

    I do believe this is probably ignorance or negligence on ASUS's part, rather than malice. I and others have contacted them about this and haven't heard back yet.

    As far as buying an eee vs. an older laptop, I was really after the form factor. I used to have quite a hobby of restoring old laptops to life, and had a few small Thinkpads from time to time, but this is in a class by itself.

    As I mentioned, I'm still quite happy with the device. I've gotten pretty much everything working under Ubuntu through a combination of reverse-engineering and dumb luck, so for the moment, ASUS isn't standing in my way.

    By Blogger Cliff L. Biffle, at 10:43 AM  

  • Hello everybody:
    I'm from Spain and I have translated this article into Spanish in order to show to the whole Spanish community what you ar saying.
    This is my blog:
    Asuse3
    Please, keep us informed.
    Regards

    By Blogger newimagenio, at 11:11 AM  

  • newimagenio,

    Gracias para traducirlo. Entiendo mucho pero no he escrito hace...tres años?

    Y con Ubuntu no sabe como teclar con acentos. :-\ Soy n00b norteamericano.

    By Blogger Cliff L. Biffle, at 11:51 AM  

  • "I was under the impression that the copyright of contributions to the Linux kernel were assigned to Linus or an agent thereof, which would not leave him with this right."

    That's true for GCC and most of the FSF-directed projects, but it's not true for Linux. (It's the main reason why the Linux kernel will remain GPL2 rather than GPL3 for now until doomsday; there's no practical way to change it.)

    Also, as a technical point -- the copyright assignment to the FSF for submissions to GCC includes a "back-license" to the original author, which includes permission for re-licensing. So, even if he had hypothetically signed such an agreement, he could still give Asus a non-GPL deal.

    By Blogger Brooks, at 12:23 PM  

  • Thanks for the clarification, Brooks. If the asus_acpi author has indeed chosen to license the code to ASUS, then that's within his rights; the rest of the kernel still needs some source on their website. :-)

    By Blogger Cliff L. Biffle, at 12:37 PM  

  • A little FYI.

    I contacted Asus in relation to the warranty matter a couple of days ago, had a response that I thought that I would share with you all. It doesn't have anything to do with potential GPL infringements.

    "Dear Valued Customer,
    Thank you for contacting ASUS Customer Service.

    My name is Deco and it's my pleasure to help you with your problem.

    Sorry, because this is not a notebook but is Eee PC, we do not support customers to upgrade the RAM. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Welcome to refer FAQ for ASUS products in ASUS website:

    http://support.asus.com/faq/faq.aspx?SLanguage=en-us

    If having any problems, please don't hesitate to let me know. Let's discuss this issue together.
    Thank you for using ASUS products and enjoying ASUS services!

    Deco
    ASUS Customer Service Center (Shanghai , China)
    If you have any suggestions or complaints about our technical support
    service, please e-mail your feedback to http! ://vip.asus.com/eservice/techserv.aspx. We will then
    arrange for a specialist to work on your issue. Your suggestions and
    feedback are most appreciated and allow us to serve you better."

    By Blogger Jono, at 4:34 PM  

  • Good info, jono.

    Again, I put my faith with the common-sense of judges in this case. The grievance system for Magnuson-Moss warranty violations is slanted toward the consumer, and I suspect (though again, I am not a lawyer) that arguments like "This laptop-shaped object that runs laptop programs and takes standard laptop memory is, nevertheless, not a laptop and therefore only we can upgrade it" ain't gonna fly. (Since ASUS will sell you one with more RAM, after all.)

    But, someone other than me should test it! :-)

    By Blogger Cliff L. Biffle, at 5:29 PM  

  • (As an example of my last point, let's replace some words in that letter: "Sorry, because the Honda Accord is not a car, but rather an Accord, you are not allowed to repair it yourself." Bzzzt -- ain't gonna fly. ASUS may try to disallow RAM upgrades, but say the DIMM fails; it's a standard DIMM I can safely repair myself, well within the protection of the law.)

    By Blogger Cliff L. Biffle, at 5:34 PM  

  • Oh Cliff,

    When I received that response from Asus, I sent a mail to Molly Wood at Cnet. She hosts a daily podcast called Buzz Out loud. They tend to bring these things up in to the public eye a little.

    Jon

    By Blogger Jono, at 6:28 PM  

  • The consumerist would be a good place to contact. This is a fringe case for their intended market but it's a slow news week so they might take it.

    Regards,
    -Benjamin

    By Blogger -Benjamin, at 7:07 PM  

  • This is not the correct forum for making serious legal accusations such as GPL violations.

    It would be much more useful to contact the Software Freedom Law Center http://www.softwarefreedom.org/ or the Free Software Foundation http://www.fsf.org/ with a description and evidence of the violation.

    By Blogger daryl, at 8:43 PM  

  • Ignorance is bliss, huh?

    Before you go launching class action lawsuits did you bother to look at the Asus support downloads for the eeePC (like under the "Source Code" twisty):
    http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=Eee%20PC%204G(701)

    You might find the 1.8GB of source code tarball does not contain driver source for Windows XP.

    By Blogger Garth, at 9:54 PM  

  • You can purchase "Warranty void if removed" stickers on Ebay.

    http://www.asources.com/eeepc/warrnty/DSC00452.JPG

    By Blogger Marcin, at 10:40 PM  

  • "I have not contacted the author of asus_acpi, and it's possible that he has worked out a copyright licensing deal with ASUS -- but I was under the impression that the copyright of contributions to the Linux kernel were assigned to Linus or an agent thereof, which would not leave him with this right.

    The madwifi drivers that ship on the machine are also a version never before seen in the wild, but as madwifi is dual-licensed GPL/BSD, modifying it is within ASUS's rights."

    First off the Linux trademark is owned by Linus, the Linux copyright is owned by their individual contributors. This is what makes changing the license of Linux (eg to GPLv3) a near impossibility.

    Proprietary drivers are really sketchy legally; the GPL license doesn't allow you to link to a binary that doesn't give you the same liberties or add new restrictions. People like nVidia get away with it since its not too entangled with the rest of the kernel.

    So likely in the context of the Linux kernel, the madwifi essentially is a GPL license. The BSD/GPL license allows it to be used in other kernels under only the terms of the BSD, it doesn't grant anything extra under the Linux kernel - maybe, depending on who you talk to ;)

    The idea that a ACPI Linux driver doesn't have to be under the GPL seems even less likely, since it would be more entangled with the rest of the kernel.

    Anyways I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by all this, Xandros has always been a shady company. Doesn't play well with others - renaming Amarok (and not just the icons, in the program itself, even the about screen) to "Music Manager" just isn't nice. I'd be tempted to blame them more then Asus (though its Asus's responsibility of course).

    By Blogger Ian, at 12:10 AM  

  • I suppose the citation for my explanation of how GPL and Linux modules work would be the fact that ZFS can never come to Linux under its current license (at least, not without Linux changing its license), since its a GPL incompatible license (adds new requirements I believe) and filesystem's are pretty tightly coupled with how the memory system and such works.

    By Blogger Ian, at 12:16 AM  

  • I can confirm WPA and WEP working with ndiswrapper on ubuntu gutsy. It was moderately straightforward (even able to run over my work's flaky CiscoVPN and WEP set up). I don't seem to have any major ACPI issues except occasionally not quite powering down.

    By Blogger Richard G. Clegg, at 3:01 AM  

  • No. Contributions to the Linux kernel don't become under the copyright of Linus. Some open source projects require copyright assignment, but others do not. In such case, the code is included under the same or compatible license and the copyright is shared by all authors. The number of copyright holders in the linux kernel is HUGE, but they all agreed to license it under the same license so it works.

    By Blogger zbowling, at 3:18 AM  

  • Great article there, sir!
    Seems like I'll wait for the whole thing to clear up before I buy my eee (if I do. Since this post made it clear that ASUS has a dirty mind.).

    By Blogger Domo, at 4:51 AM  

  • Like many have said, Asus is a taiwanese company. Just because they tend to make excellent motherboards doesn't mean they're any more responsible and respectful than their cheap crooked brethren.

    It's unfortunate to be pigeon-holing them like this, but just when you start thinking they're a nice company, they go and do something amazing stupid or dishonest to bring themselves back down to ground level.

    By Blogger Billco, at 5:53 AM  

  • Sheesh. Won't be buying these or supporting their purchase at my place of (sysadmin) work or by acquintances.

    Heck, having Atheros wifi is reason enough for getting disinterested at least so long as the reverse-engineered driver will start supporting this box. Which, well, if unmodified madwifi doesn't, might take a bit.

    The "source" zip I agree may be incompetence, but on the other hand spesifically the asus-acpi issue smells of shitheadedness.

    Waiting on my G1G1 XO; at least that's a truly open machine. 'course, not actually widely sold, but they did just extend their give-one-get-one program...

    By Blogger mjr, at 1:19 PM  

  • please take your assus off the mac ...
    thank you ...
    hehe ...

    By Blogger nashydhu, at 7:32 PM  

  • I'm looking into the eeePC for my nephews.

    An alternative micro-laptop: I have Ubuntu Gutsy running on Toshiba libretto U105. Everything works except Bluetooth for some reason, but Gutsy's Bluetooth doesn't work under my Dell either.

    You can still find the libretto on ebay.

    kurtstephens.com

    By Blogger Kurt, at 12:29 AM  

  • Ahh, the Libretto. I had a Libretto 100 way, way, way back. I loved that machine. It was my mp3 player before there were mp3 players. The battery would last about 6 hours with the display off, which was perfect for long flights. I had it running FreeBSD (which got all kinds of double-takes at Defcon '97) and I carried it everywhere in the cargo pocket of my pants. I even did the soldering hack to boost it to 266Mhz (it shipped as a 166Mhz MMX Pentium). These days it serves as the lap-counter and "Jumbotron" for my slot car track.

    The first thing that came to mind when I saw the pictures of the eeePC was "ooh! like a libretto!".

    The second thing to my mind was "I want one!"

    By Blogger brianosaurus, at 10:31 AM  

  • It is not ignorance. Asus mentions in the manual (near the end, page 98 or so), that they have obligantions and that they distribute the kernel, but they don't live up to their promise.

    I've filed a question on this about 3 weeks ago but never got a a reply.

    By Blogger Frans, at 5:41 AM  

  • Hmm the libretto 100 and 100CT had the form factor of a Moleskine (exactly it, and curiously before the relaunching and propaganda of this kind of long pocket notebooks). The Asus fails this form factor, thus it does not fit in a the pocket of most coats. Pity.

    By Blogger arivero, at 12:26 PM  

  • I'll be hoping that Asus will realize their error and take the proper action.

    Because as it stands right now, taking free stuff, selling it, and not giving anything back is rude.

    By Blogger Vadim, at 3:31 PM  

  • Per Engadget today, http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/26/asus-posts-more-eee-source-code-to-comply-with-the-gpl/, Asus has made changes to comply with GPL for the eeePC.

    Thanks for the informative overview of the eeePC!

    By Blogger myDigitechnician, at 3:53 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lucas Malor, at 7:53 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Lucas Malor, at 7:56 AM  

  • Excuse me very much, I've done some mess.

    Another person have signalled to me Asus has released the source code:

    Asus news

    I noticed it's not completely true... the source code is available at that link only for eeePc 4G 7.01 :

    Asus Support

    Anyway at ftp site it's present all the source code:

    ftp://ftp.asus.com/pub/ASUS/EeePC/

    Anyway I don't know if the source code is correct, if the acpi_asus source code is correct and if compiling the kernel you'll obtain a working kernel, with acpi totally working (I'm not under Linux :-( and I don't have a eeePc)

    By Blogger Lucas Malor, at 8:19 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Christopher, at 12:34 PM  

  • Indeed, if you want to meditate about the spirit of the GPL, ask Amazon how to recompile and reflash the Kindle.

    By Blogger arivero, at 4:38 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Eee, at 11:18 PM  

  • I like EeePC personally and I think the Asus guys are doing a great job with it (maybe now Palm will realise what they lost when decided to drop off Foleo), so I was upset to read the story about the driver. I have some colleagues at Asus marketing department and I approached them on the suject. Here is what I got back:

    ====

    Announcement of combination source code & SDK news release is already posted on the http://eeepc.asus.com/en/index.htm

    It is very important for this info.

    Alex Huang

    ===

    I haven't checked it personally, but maybe these guys have fixed the issue?

    By Blogger Assen, at 12:12 AM  

  • I liked EeePC the day I saw it and I also believe Asus are doing great on the market with it (Hey, Palm guys, see what you lost when dropped off Foleo?), so I was upset to read the story about the GPL.

    Maybe its worth noting that the GPL actually does not require posting the source code on a public place (which is a common belief among GPL followers); it rather requiers the source code to be made available upon request to same parties which have been provided with the binary code (think what MySQL does in the last year or so).

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