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Comment Re:I don't blame FTDI, fake chips hurt them (Score 2) 268

Just using a counterfeit chip could potentially introduce unintended behavior. I've dealt with a number of USB to serial chips and many of them are crap. I have cables that will just suddenly stop working, or the baudrates that suddenly change. I wouldn't be surprised if the counterfeit chips have similar problems. FTDI should be able to program their chip and expect it to work as designed. If it's counterfeit and it doesn't, then it's not their fault. They shouldn't have to debug problems in counterfeit chips. On top of that, the counterfeit chips eat into their bottom line. FTDI chips tend to be more expensive and for good reason. They're better chips. On top of that they have excellent documentation as well as library support for doing all sorts of things. Want to do i2c or JTAG with their USB to serial chips? It's fully documented with a library to support it.

I can tell you as someone who writes device drivers that trying to debug problems caused by some unknown counterfeit chip is a nightmare. After all, it's not your job to Q/A not only your own hardware, but cheap Chinese counterfeit chips as well.

As far as I can tell, sending an ASCII string is probably the best thing they could have done given that they're screwed no matter what they do.

Comment Re:How can FTDI not figure out how to do it? (Score 1) 268

No, their drivers belong to them and are designed to work with USB devices that have the FTDI vendor ID and FTDI product ID, which FTDI paid for. If the devices fail it is because they are counterfeit. With this change, nobody in their right mind will use counterfeit chips and distributors will be more careful about their supply chain. No matter what FTDI does people will complain. If their drivers just don't work at all it's basically the same as bricking the device. At least this way the device will continue to work. FTDI are in no way responsible for transmitting reliable data over counterfeit chips. If those manufacturers want reliable data then they should write their own damned drivers.

Comment Re:How can FTDI not figure out how to do it? (Score 1) 268

Probably because nobody would want to use a non-FTDI chip. I've worked on products where we specifically chose FTDI due to the features of the chip as well as the reliability. I have used a number of other non-FTDI USB to serial chips and had a lot of problems with them. In our case, we use the quad FTDI USB to serial chips and make use of features like i2c and JTAG support.

I really can't blame FTDI. After all, if the fake chips are causing a lot of support issues, that affects their bottom line as well as their reputation. Why should FTDI need to provide a bunch of support to customers who keep having problems with fake chips? By doing this they will drive the counterfeit chip manufacturers away since any product based on these chips will be rendered unusable from the start. The supply chain will also be more careful to prevent the fake chips from entering it.

A serial driver cannot just pop up a message and say that a fake device was detected. The next best thing is to do what they are doing.

Comment I don't blame FTDI, fake chips hurt them (Score 4, Informative) 268

One problem these counterfeit chips pose is that all the sudden companies like FTDI end up with a lot of support costs for people who bought shoddy products with the fake chips, which often don't work nearly as well as the real thing. This is a way for FTDI to crack down on the counterfeit chips. While it sucks for the consumers that end up with the fake chips, it will also help put a stop to the counterfeit chips since any product that uses them will not work.

At my company we make a number of development boards using the quad FTDI chips for the serial interface. We use them because in addition to RS232 they also can talk I2C and JTAG, among other things. I can reliably run the FTDI chips at 10Mbps. I've used other USB to serial devices in the past but I've had lots of problems with them. Some cables I bought, for example, will just suddenly stop working and I have to periodically reset the baud rates.

Why should FTDI have to bear the burden and support costs of counterfeit chips? If somebody else slaps the FTDI manufacturer ID and product ID onto their USB device then they deserve whatever happens. Why should FTDI have to spend resources supporting fake chips? By doing what they are doing, it will drive the fake chips out of the system and prevent future ones.

I work for a chip manufacturer and while there's a very low risk that someone will make fake chips like ours (very complex network processors), we have had to add features to our chips so that our end customers can prevent counterfeit equipment which just copies their software. We have some large customers who have been battling Chinese made counterfeit equipment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Muse 1

If this is mangled, go here.
I received a strange note, made of cut up magazines pasted to paper and slipped under my door. It read “Your muse has been kidnapped. If you want her back, meet under the Facebook Street Bridge after dark. Bring your wallet, passport, and an umbrella.”
Crap, my muse was gone? I looked, and sure enough it was missing. It's r

Comment Well, (Score 1) 3

I've found it varies by site and machine, and often seems random. I have a little Acer laptop with a meg of memory and a big HP notebook with four megs. Most sites give me no problem, but often I can't listen to KSHE on the acer because their player's advertisers suck. I've had to pull the battery to get it unlocked.

Even the big notebook has all its memory used up sometimes and slows to a crawl. It looks to me that Firefox has a problem freeing up unused memory until you shut the browser down.

Comment Re:Heh (Score 1) 15

In 1952 the polls said that the election was "too close to call". A computer (with less power than a Hallmark card) pegged it as an Eisenhower landslide. The pollsters were very wrong then.

I don't get polled, because I don't answer unknown phone numbers. I wonder how many more like me there are?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Wierd Planet

I doubt the magazines will want this and I haven't given you guys any new stories for months. Since slashdot won't fix its text mangler I've posted it here.

Comment The nanny state is ridiculous (Score 4, Insightful) 545

When I was in kindergarten I walked to school every day, it was only around 3 blocks away. Going to the park alone was also normal. The sad thing is that it is a lot safer today than it was back then. I consider myself quite liberal, but I detest the whole nanny state. I've also read numerous articles about parents who are arrested for leaving young children in the car, in the shade with the windows open while running into the grocery store.

Hell, reading this article reminded me about how my mother would go into a local supermarket to do some quick shopping while I watched my younger sister in the car. Today my mother would have been arrested.

As a kid I ran around all over the place without my parents hovering over me every second. I got out and got exercise and explored, something many parents won't allow today. That was before the days of the Internet or before cell phones or bike helmets. The only difference I would have with my own kids is to make them wear a bicycle helmet when riding (due to experience with how it saved the life of a relative several times) and possibly a cell phone.

Kids need to be kids and also to learn responsibility, not be coddled like crazy.

Comment Unfortunately it's OCZ (Score 1) 117

I have not had any non-OCZ drive fail. I bought an OCZ drive a couple of years ago and within two weeks of relatively light duty (Linux boot drive) it bricked.

Last year I was working on a project and the machine they gave me had an OCZ enterprise class drive. Within two weeks the drive was corrupting data, rendering the machine unusable. I will never buy another OCZ drive again. I still have two OCZ drives but they are backed up daily.

Comment Re:The one thing I can be sure of (Score 1) 15

,,,the trend in my lifetime of every president being less honest and worse for the country than the previous one will continue.

What alternate reality are you from? Clinton was FAR better than the Bush that came before him. Turned the Republican deficit into a budget surplus, took office in a recession and left in a boom. Alquaida bombed the WTC and the bombers are in prison. Crime went way down.

Yes, Bush II (Shrub) was worse than Clinton and may have been the worst President in history. He took office during a boom and left us with the worst economy since the great depression. Started two wars (Every Republican President after Ford got us into a war, no Democrat after Johnson has). Took the Clinton surplus and turned it into the worst deficit in history. Oil man Bush started his term with gas at $1.00 a gallon, nearly five bucks when the recession hit. His idiotic foray into Iraq started ISIL (ISIL started in an American-run Iraqui prison during Bush years).

How can you possibly believe that Obama is worse than Shrub? The Bush Great Recession is pretty much over, gasoline is back under two bucks, Osama is dead. We'd have universal health care by now were it not for Republicans. WTF have you been smoking??

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 5

Cool cred? Don't you mean "hellishly cold cred"? ;)

As long as Canada has Rush, Canada is cool.

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Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson