One of the sticking points on the Linux (or Free Software) desktop today is device support. Who doesn’t have some device that ought to work, but doesn’t? [[ I have a wretched Disney camera for Mira which (a) doesn’t take good pictures at all (b) mis-aligns the viewfinder and the lens (c) supports some screwy USB protocol that the digiKam folk say I should be able to handle with the right libraries which I haven’t got yet; I also have some older SD card readers that don’t work. ]]

Akademy (9-15 august 2008) is an event that brings together folks with a lot of experience in system configuration, device fiddling and whatnot. It also brings folks with devices that don’t work. And it all happens in an atmosphere of “let’s make it work.” So I’ve got a modest proposal; let’s call it a Kaptial Idea (a catch-all phrase for proposed mini-events at Akademy?).

Bring your device (that doesn't work) and let's have a plugfest. That means sitting down and sorting out what really doesn't work from what would work already if you had your system configured right; if we can massage just one device that really doesn't work into a workable state, then that's a win for the Free Desktop. Let's limit this setup to just USB devices, though -- that's a relatively easy class of devices to deal with, and there's lots of kit out there for use.

On a vaguely related note: does the nerf USB missile launcher (from thinkgeek, I believe) work under Free Software operating systems?