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

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  • #21
    How do we know that microcode pre-installed on the Atheros AR9280 or Atheros AR9281 doesn't do anything nasty and "Respect Your Freedom"?

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    • #22
      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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      • #23
        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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        • #24
          thanks FSF i was scared that my printer cable had ibm red hat backdoor in it.

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          • #25
            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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            • #26
              I'm wondering if there are any audio interfaces for music creation that's certified by Free Software Foundation.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Serafean View Post

                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..)
                Well sure piracy and cheating happens already, but it would be much easier if the source code was available. Of course, isn't the FSF against DRM also? I suppose the source code availability would make no difference for piracy then since everyone could already easily take the game and copy it for all their friends.

                As for the game assets, I don't see why that would be any different from the source code. Suppose, for example, I create a picture in an image editing program. My file would contain all of the layer data which allows for easy manipulation of the image. But for everyone else I just export a compressed, low resolution JPG file which has none of that. Same principle, right? It's digital content, and the end result is much more difficult to manipulate than the source. It seems to me that under this logic, when Disney releases a movie, all of the development assets for that movie must be made available as well.
                Last edited by Chugworth; 05-17-2019, 09:09 AM.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by GI_Jack

                  Here is the real brain fuck. No one at the FSF ever really considered rockstar or GTA because they don't play video games. Living outside reality is thinking that the Free software community needs video games for some reason.

                  Here is the real "living outside reality": For most people, and especially the sane ones games are added bonuses, not the sole reason for being. Rockstar isn't a major company on anyone's radar, and GTA is not essential software.

                  Gamers are delusional. There is this mistaken belief that Free software or Linux communities are desperate for them. We are not. Remember, a game needs an OS to run on, an OS does not need a game.
                  Yep gotta totally disagree here. Sure linux isn't desperate for them because what is linux but a kernel but if the gaming platform of choice was a free OS the usage would be astronomial not niche. As it is desktop usage is pathetic compared to the major players.

                  I would argue that gaming is what propelled the use of windows, that and cost. Many wouldn't use it but for the fact that games are supported by developers on that platform. Chicken & egg? Perhaps, but it does explain Apple's poor gaming experience.

                  For example, Apple is a high cost platform meaning a smaller market share, PCs can be obtained far cheaper at comparable/better processing power. So why isn't linux the choice? Cheap platform, free OS, been around a long time and yet abysmal gaming experience.

                  Either way, the boat has departed now, though, as consoles are the future (and present) and that's where the money is... aha money; something linux users as a generalization don't like to part with.

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                  • #29
                    For the desktop market share, in the past 30 years the dominant factors were
                    - office suite
                    - games
                    - backwards compatibility

                    Today, the game is mostly over, market positions have been established, and Microsoft is keeping their OS marketshare high by preinstalling it on laptops through their usual shady business practices.

                    I wonder why doesn't EU sue them for billions of damages.

                    But to get back to the issue, games are still somewhat important today for desktop experience.

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                    • #30
                      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
                      Ath9k is rather funny thing. It mostly does not needs firmware - it just large state machine. Usb versions have small cpu to bridge it to usb, but ... there is opensource firmware (!!!) for that. Actually, it replaced other firmwares.

                      Too bad later Atheros got swallowed by Qualcomm and these once again proven they are proprietary blob fans, so ath10k is pretty blobbed proprietary something. Still, if one does not wants to run plenty of unknown code in sensitive place (wireless network device), ath9k devices would be very decent choice. That's where FSF gets the point.

                      p.s. as for apple gaming experience... here on phoronix you can find benches where opensource mesa beats dust out of apple's graphic stack. I guess they just failed to create optimized graphic drivers for their graphic subsystem.

                      when Disney releases a movie, all of the development assets for that movie must be made available as well.
                      I guess it would at least allow others to try to create fun stories. When I've been young, Disney's stories looked like fun. Now they clearly worn out and face art crisis, releasing some mediocre trash, weird characters and it gone as bad as they lobbying copyright laws to be 70 years past author death - because they started to have problems to create appealing characters it seems. Yet they want to earn money, milking ancient works of past. Even when author dies, dammit. That's how media mafia looks like.

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