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Re: [gNewSense-users] Thank you Michel!

From: Kevin M. Dean
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] Thank you Michel!
Date: Fri, 04 May 2007 00:32:44 -0400
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Firstly, Josh is correct. I couldn't care less about Microsoft - they're
no worse than Apple or Adobe, they all contribute non-free software. If
any or all of them began actively contributing to Free Software (in code
AND ideology) I'd welcome it.

Secondly, this post is incorrect, the man wrote drivers for 235 webcams,
not 352. My source is in the interview with him -

It's still an amazing number of devices, but I think it important to be

Thirdly, and I can't confirm this 100% since I'm not a coder, but I
believe the GSPCA framework contains non-free software. By non-Free I
mean it contains microcode in several of the drivers which, like all
binary blobs, deprives users of the ability to sanely edit, modify,
study and improve the software.

I ask anyone who knows this better than I to download the source code
for this and take a look. My crude test was done on Debian Etch and
Ubuntu Feisty (gspca is not in dapper, and hence, not in gNS) by doing
"apt-get source gspca", cd-ing into the directory and issuing "grep -irl
'{0x0' *" which returned several files. While I'm sure at least HALF of
these are false positives, the Vimicro directory contains many header
files that contain nothing but microcode (what is this? Is it memory
addresses, hex representation of binary?) (only "readable" text is in
comments, the largest block the GPL itself).

- -Kevin

Josh Martens wrote:
> I don't think that everyones goal is to see microsoft crushed... Rather it's 
> to have freedom.
> Anyway, he has done amazing work and should be thanked, it'd be even better 
> if there could be some donations collected.
> On Thu, May 03, 2007 at 10:52:58PM -0400, Ringo Kamens wrote:
>> Dear Brothers and Sisters,
>> I have sent this to five mailing lists because I believe it is very
>> important. Please forward it to friends and other lists if you can. As
>> many of you have heard in the news recently, there is one man who has
>> single-handedly written GNU/Linux drivers for 352 different webcams.
>> That's right: three hundred fifty-two. He has received almost  no
>> recognition for his work and no compensation so we as members of the
>> GNU/Linux and free software movement want to thank him. Instead of
>> filling his inbox, we thought we would send a letter with all of his
>> supporter's names attached. Here is
>> a man who has tackled a major problem facing GNU/Linux and instead of
>> looking it and say "I'll just put in on my Windows box" decided to
>> take matters into his own hands. Please add your name to the list of
>> people who appreciate his work
>> Dear Michel,
>> This letter is being sent to you on behalf of the GNU/Linux and Free
>> Software communities by the team at Binary Freedom
>> ( We know that you haven't received much
>> recognition for your work until recently when the media picked up the
>> story. We also did not know about the contributions you had made to
>> the community by writing all the webcam drivers that you did. We honor
>> you for the countless hours of work you have put into making
>> widespread GNU/Linux adoption a reality. Instead of just "putting it
>> on your other box" you took the problem head on and wrote drivers for
>> the entire community. Many people complain that GNU/Linux doesn't
>> offer good hardware support and now those claimed are weaker. In the
>> past 2-3 years, we have seen hardware support on GNU/Linux systems
>> grow by leaps and bounds. Now with the widespread adoption of
>> GNU/Linux systems is becoming apparent that yes, we can take the
>> entire market and drive Microsoft into the ground. Without hackers
>> like you, this wouldn't have happened and for that we thank you. So
>> from all of us in the community, we would like to thank you for your
>> tireless work.
>> Sincerely,
>> The Undersigned
>> Comrade Ringo Kamens
>> Please become the undersigned by sending an email to
>> address@hidden with your Name/Handle, City, and Country along
>> with a personal comment if you choose. (we will then compile the
>> emails and send it to him). Current list of signers at
>> In Solidarity,
>> Comrade Ringo Kamens
>> _______________________________________________
>> gNewSense-users mailing list
>> address@hidden
> _______________________________________________
> gNewSense-users mailing list
> address@hidden

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