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The FSF Has Certified A USB To Parallel Printer Cable For Respecting Your Freedom

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  • GraysonPeddie
    replied
    I'm wondering if there are any audio interfaces for music creation that's certified by Free Software Foundation.

    Leave a comment:


  • DrYak
    replied
    Originally posted by Bsdisbetter View Post
    I can only think of very old scanners and printers using parallel in the PC/Apple world and that was about 20 years ago, before USB had any foothold.
    You actually used to find IEEE-1284 ports much later in the life of printers, even at a time when printers had USB and/or network interfaces, mostly on laser printers.
    (probably because a combination of old established business industry standard, and adding support for parallel port being only a tiny fraction of the overall cost of the beast).

    The scanners are another can of worm.

    Most USB-to-IEEE-1284 adapters work at a high level. They usually present themselves to the computer as a "USB Printer" class. They do not let you directly control each pin individually like on an actual parallel port on a computer.

    At best some specific USB adapters could implement some of the more modern official "bidirectionnal" protocols officially featured by parallel ports (like ECP/EPP).

    *IF* the USB adapter you're considering offers these bidirectional modes (instead of being plain classical SPP port masquarading as an USB printer on the computer side) *AND* the scanner you're considering explicitly supports the bidirectional modes (instead of require direct bit banging on the port, like some old I2C web cameras did), you might manage to get it to work with some well behaving drivers.

    Otherwise, you're better off trying to plug the scanner into an Arduino or some other intermediate step with GPIO pins.

    That's the reason why scanner moved as fast as possible away from parallel port and into either SCSI for high range professional scanners or USB for home office devices.

    Originally posted by dos1 View Post
    Can this parallel port cable actually address individual pins or does it just show up in the system as USB printer? If it's the former, then it's actually way more useful than how you paint it.
    Nope.
    The USB device you're looking for is an Arduino (or any other micro controller with tons of GPIO ports).
    That will replicate all the functionality one used to have in classic parallel (and joystick) ports.

    USB-to-parallel adapter work at a high level.
    The present themselves as USB printers to the computer.
    They can receive data packet from the computer that they'll automatically stream on the data-pins on their own.
    They will monitor the parallel port signal pins and emit the corresponding alerts to the computer.

    That's good enough if you want to send a .PS file to a laser printer and get an alert in case of paper jams or no paper.

    That's absolutely no good for the devices that repurposed the parallel port's pin for other thing (using the 5 signals as 4 bits I/O+strobe to be continuously monitored on the motherboard's IO ports).

    Early PC-to-PC copy cable fall into that category.
    Some devices implemented arbitrary protocols over the pins. e.g.: I2C cameras, using the parallel port to connect console game pads, DAC such as the Covox, etc.

    The only exception is a few *official* standards for exchanging data over parallel ports (where on motherboards it was even possible to have the chipset itself assist in data transfer by handling DMA and IRQ: ECP and EPP). One didn't just randomly bit-bang the pins for any arbitrary protocole, there was a set specific way to send data streams in both directions.

    Several disk drives, tape drives and some scanners used those.

    There are a couple of rare and expensive USB adapter that implements those.
    On a windows box they'll show as LPTx: ports that handle the API for those officially bidirectional streams, a well written driver that correctly asks for those modes could work with such USB adapter and bidirectional devices.

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  • devuanxfce
    replied
    thanks FSF i was scared that my printer cable had ibm red hat backdoor in it.

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  • Serafean
    replied
    Originally posted by Chugworth View Post
    "Now Rockstar, your next release of Grand Theft Auto must include the complete source code and all development assets. Nooo, nobody would use that to pirate the game or make cheats for online multiplayer. Of course not."
    Well, since not releasing it doesn't stop it either, your point is kind of moot.
    I think that only the freedom of the source code would be an issue. The assets (textures, sounds and whatnots), as long as they're not executable, might be exempt of that requirement, while the product still RYF, because you could always make your own. Anyway, that's my take on it. (And of those reimplementing various game engines -- openmw etc..)

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Zajec View Post
    How do we know that microcode pre-installed on the Atheros AR9280 or Atheros AR9281 doesn't do anything nasty and "Respect Your Freedom"?
    And this, kids, is why FSF certification, and their "firmware is ok if it is stored on the device itself" attitude is retarded.

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  • Zajec
    replied
    How do we know that microcode pre-installed on the Atheros AR9280 or Atheros AR9281 doesn't do anything nasty and "Respect Your Freedom"?

    Leave a comment:


  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Chugworth View Post
    Hah! The FSF is quite an amusing group. They mean well, I think. But they live outside of reality. I could just imagine what a FSF utopia would look like:

    "Now Rockstar, your next release of Grand Theft Auto must include the complete source code and all development assets. Nooo, nobody would use that to pirate the game or make cheats for online multiplayer. Of course not."
    Are you perhaps assuming that this didn't happen already with a fully closed source game?

    Who is the one out of touch with reality?

    Leave a comment:


  • Bsdisbetter
    replied
    Originally posted by swagg_boi View Post
    I for one will be discarding my current proprietary parallel-to-USB 1.1 cable (which I have long suspected of not respecting me at all) in favour of this certifiably freedom-respecting cable

    I bet you'll be dead and in the ground before they certify an HDMI cable...

    I can only think of very old scanners and printers using parallel in the PC/Apple world and that was about 20 years ago, before USB had any foothold. I know Apple's System 7.6 was awesome but seriously you've got to at least upgrade to OS9, it had USB support...
    Last edited by Bsdisbetter; 05-17-2019, 01:26 AM.

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  • swagg_boi
    replied
    I for one will be discarding my current proprietary parallel-to-USB 1.1 cable (which I have long suspected of not respecting me at all) in favour of this certifiably freedom-respecting cable

    Leave a comment:


  • Chugworth
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael View Post

    Actually the RYF certification process explicitly forbids RYF'ing a product that also advertises "Works with Mac" or "Works with Windows", so generally, most any manufacturer hoping to sell a lot of hardware would avoid RYF from the start.
    Hah! The FSF is quite an amusing group. They mean well, I think. But they live outside of reality. I could just imagine what a FSF utopia would look like:

    "Now Rockstar, your next release of Grand Theft Auto must include the complete source code and all development assets. Nooo, nobody would use that to pirate the game or make cheats for online multiplayer. Of course not."

    Leave a comment:

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