Patching nonsense

I'm amazed at how many products and programs I'm using nowadays that require a wrapper driver so they'll function properly. Mplayer (a video player for Linux) requires the windows codecs in order to function properly on certain file formats (like Quicktime 5, and others). Linux users almost routinely download this package so they can view the same video files that just about every other computer user takes for granted. In order to use the wireless card that comes with the HP laptop we just bought, I had to install a wrapper driver which uses the windows driver to do all of the hard work while appearing as a Linux device. (Linuxant or ndiswrapper will work for this purpose). I find the practice of not documenting hardware almost reprehensible, but it's not just in the PC world. To deal with Sony's API, some enterprising hackers crafted a wrapper for the Palm OS 5 Clie devices so they can use Palm OS 5.2 system calls natively. Modern Clie Audio patches your audio system so early Palm OS 5 Clie adopters can enjoy programs like Pocket Tunes and Aeroplayer (and shirk the cruddy MP3 player Sony ships with their devices). Ain't technology grand?


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