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Submission + - offers USB Product IDs to open-hardware makers

nicksdjohnson writes: If you're a maker of open-source hardware, you'll know how much of a pain getting a USB Vendor ID and Product ID is. The USB-IF charges $5000 for your own VID, which is out of the reach of most individual makers and small companies.

A recently launched website,, tackles this by issuing PIDs to open-source hardware projects, using a VID that was donated to them. PIDs are free, and available as long as your project is OSS licensed and has published source code or schematics.

Comment Clarifications (Score 5, Insightful) 273

To clarify: Issuing VIDs, and logo licensing & compliance testing are entirely distinct things. Every USB device must have a unique PID/VID combination, used to identify a device and load correct drivers. In order to produce your own device, you must have a VID of your own (in which case you manage PID allocation), or get a PID from someone else - a practice USB-IF frowns upon outside certain strictly defined circumstances. Obtaining a VID without USB-IF membership costs a one off fee of $5000. Having a VID doesn't entitle you to use the USB logo. Independent of getting a VID, you can become a USB-IF logo licensee or member ($3500, or $4000/year respectively) and certify your devices, whereupon they can bear the USB logo. The HaD post, and my original post that it's based upon, is entirely about the issue of obtaining VIDs and PIDs for hobbyists; certification is a separate matter.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Turning 'netboot' into 'internetboot' (

Nick Johnson writes: " takes regular netbooting and makes it a whole lot more versatile — now, you can netboot directly into the installers for many popular linux distros, as well as system tools and even live linux distributions, all directly over the Internet, and without any local configuration required!

All that's required to set up is a spare writable CD, USB key, or floppy disk to write a small (less than 1MB) disk image to. Alternately, determined geeks can change their DHCP server to allow computers to netboot directly. Once you've done that, booting off the device on any computer with wired ethernet (wifi is a work in progress) will automatically cause the bootloader to download the current version of the menu from, which you can then find the boot image you want to boot from. Selecting it causes the boot image to be downloaded and booted immediately.

Best of all, lets you add your own boot configurations; once you've tested them, and if they're of general interest, you can file a bug to have them included in the menu system. is capable of booting any linux kernel and any other standard boot image, as well as disk images and CD images, thanks to syslinux's memdisk.

The getting started and help pages have many more details on how to use, and how to contribute to it. The more boot images in the system the better, so contributions are much appreciated."

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