[OpenBIOS] New power-up graphics BIOS.

Chris Maresca ckm at crust.net
Sun Aug 19 22:01:06 CEST 2001

On Mon, 20 Aug 2001, Gavin Robert Brewer wrote:

> Matthew Sullivan wrote:
> > 
> > "Gavin R. Brewer" wrote:
> > 
> > > Anyone know how to reverse engineer AMI-BIOS for example?
> > 
> > What ever you do, _DO NOT_ reverse engineer the AMI BIOS....
> > 
> > This is a VERY BAD thing to do, you will be infringing all sorts of licenses and
> > copyrights if you generate code mbased upon the AMI BIOS.
> hmm...thanx for the warning, but it sounds rather like a certain letter
> Bill Gates wrote to Homebrew Computer Club during the 70's.
> Besides, who says someone can put a patent on algorithms? 

Software patents are nothing new.  MS has a patent on SMB, that it could
choose to enforce if it wanted to.  

Matthew's advice is a very good call.  You will do the open source
community a disfavor by actively trying to reverse engineer AMI BIOS.  
And you will probably find yourself at the end of either an expensive
lawsuit or some handcuffs.

Yes, it is possible to reverse engineer stuff, but it has to be a
throughly documented, legal counsel approved, clean room operation.  It's
not something you do in your spare time.
> The ideas is as fascist as it is oxymoronic.

Get used to it.  In the US it's already a reality, and the EU is about to
pass a set of laws formalizing the practice.  The best advice is to work
independantly, don't reverse engineer, don't polute your code with
information that 'fell of the back of a truck' and try not to call your
software a similar name (aka. KIllustrator).

All that said, however, it would be HUGE if we could have an open source
bios.  Linuxbios is getting there, but needs a lot of help, although some
people have put variants of it to good use...


chris maresca
      internet systems architect -- www.chrismaresca.com

"linux, only up 138 days, because california has flaky power... "

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