So I bought a webcam.. *sigh*
Foolish as I am when I was at the supermarket the other day I saw a reasonably speced webcam at half price so I decided to buy it. I figured being the idiot I am that webcams were probably well supported under Linux… boy was I wrong. It turns out the chipset in this thing most likely is a SN9C202, which is currently only supported via a closed source driver I have to pay to get, and said driver only runs on Fedora 7 32-bits.
Now looking at the Linux Driver Projects Drivers needed page I notice just how many webcam chipsets lack drivers. I was under the impression this worked rather well but clearly it’s an area that will require a massive amount of work, I’ve never used one of these devices before but most of my Windows using friends are big webcam users and if I ever want to convert them this support definitely is a deal breaker for them.
This whole experience makes me all sad, I wasted money and I discovered an aspect of Linux that really sucks. I tracked down their tech support and complain over the lack of a Linux driver as well as pointing them towards the Linux Driver Project.. hopefully I am not alone in doing so everytime I spot a device that does not yet work, I also try to mail companies when I have had to do research to find working hardware and let them know that Linux support with free drivers was the primary motivator behind buying their product. Hopefully the more people start doing that, the more likely it will be that they will start listening.