[RANT] EX-PARROT (Was:False Beeprog. AGAIN.

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Tue Jun 23 14:38:22 CDT 2015

We have now had conflicting "definitive" statements ranging from "the 
software simply displays a message and refuses to run", to "the software 
irreparably damages the device"

>>> But unless I misunderstood things, the software merely does a check if
>>> the hardware looks sane, and if not it displays a message saying that
>>> this is the wrong hardware, and it refuses to continue running.
>> You do misunderstand the situation.  Elnec has publicly stated that it
>> checks for one of the illegal clones and subsequently erases the NVRAM.
> What is in the NVRAM? And how did it get there in the first place? Are you 
> saying that it is impossible to reprogram the device with some other firmware 
> after you have tried the version Elnec have which detects your clone?

> It's dead, pushing up daisies, it's run down the curtain to the Choir
> Invisible.  IT'S BRICKED.

"C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased 
to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im 
to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig!
'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the 
curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!

Some modern devices have been so badly designed that it becomes possible 
IN SOFTWARE to erase/rewrite code that is required to boot the device, 
and which is required to be able to run code needed to "repair"/rewrite 
that code.  Thus "brick" the device.
(about a decade ago, we had a thread that included stacking algorithms for 
using dead/unwanted commodity devices as construction materials)

Surely any competent designer will provide a way to prevent/recover from 
that situation! 
That could consist of a physical switch or jumper that must be manually 
set before the system can writeover the NVRAM.
OR there could be a second boot ROM in the machine that could be jumpered 
into place to enable booting, perhaps to a limited recovery mode, if/when 
the primary boot is damaged.
OR, in worst case, the NVRAM could be socketed, and a replacement copy 
could be physically installed.
YES, the part(s) could be unsoldered, and replacement soldered in.  THAT 
does not seem like an acceptable recovery requirement.

Why are such incompetent designers still employed in the industry?

As a classic example of design by marketing, . . .
Vault corporation in a matter of minutes set into action (by announcement 
of "Pro-Lock PLUS") a sequence of irreversible events that eliminated the 
existence of the company.  In an essentially identical situation, of
taking retaliatory action upon detection of a "fake".
Few are aware that Vault apparently NEVER actually sold a single copy of 
the announced system.
Do we need to retell THAT saga?

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at xenosoft.com

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