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GNU guru asks PC makers to free their drivers

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Richard Stallman, one of the main forces behind the GNU/Linux operating system and the free software movement, is in Taiwan fighting on a new front -- to get the island's PC makers to release source code for their drivers.

"We just need the information about what their drivers have to do," Stallman said during a speech at the National Taiwan University in Taipei on Wednesday. Then GNU software writers can create code for open source systems, he said.

Last month, two Taiwanese makers of graphics chips released the source code for some of their drivers to the open source community. Drivers are typically small software files that contain information a computer needs to recognize and control hardware devices.

He declined to say which companies he had met with, or to speculate on what kind of an impact his eight day trip to Taiwan might have.

"I've talked with (companies), but I don't know their answer yet," he said.

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