Author Topic: Reasons for hacking DSOs  (Read 91312 times)

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Offline KL27x

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #450 on: April 07, 2016, 02:02:21 am »
Quote
he will automatically eliminate scopes that are permanently limited to 50
I suppose all manufacturers will have to start implementing bandwidth limits with a weak code lock in order to be able to put this feature on the spec sheet. :-DD

50MHz
1GS/S
50kB memory
600x480 VGA
Ethernet
USB
unlock code to hack the bandwidth to 100MHz (code might be the last 72594 + the last 3 digits of the serial number x 2  *wink wink*!)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 02:05:20 am by KL27x »
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #451 on: April 07, 2016, 02:34:14 am »
Quote
he will automatically eliminate scopes that are permanently limited to 50
I suppose all manufacturers will have to start implementing bandwidth limits with a weak code lock in order to be able to put this feature on the spec sheet. :-DD

50MHz
1GS/S
50kB memory
600x480 VGA
Ethernet
USB
unlock code to hack the bandwidth to 100MHz (code might be the last 72594 + the last 3 digits of the serial number x 2  *wink wink*!)

LOL!  They could even put "hacker friendly!" in the marketing material.   :-DD

Or, better yet, just advertise the scope as having 50 MHz bandwidth, then anonymously "leak" the code generation method so that someone would have to use the "unauthorized" method to enable more capabilities, while people who need support will stay far away from all of that.  That would mean you get the advantage in the bottom end of the market while simultaneously being able to preserve some demand for the higher end models in the line, all the while never letting on that you're intentionally taking advantage of the "hacker" market.   Bonus!  :D

No, I don't think that's how it went down, of course.  Don't be silly.  It appears that a collaborative effort amongst a number of people yielded them figuring out how to generate the codes for these things and they published it on the internet, and Rigol ended up discovering that it wasn't having enough of a negative effect on their bottom line to make it worth reengineering their code generation mechanism (easy as it might be).  They might even have discovered that it resulted in greater sales than they were getting before, but we know that it didn't have enough of an effect on their bottom line to make them care, because if it had then they would have fixed it.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 04:51:45 am by kcbrown »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #452 on: April 07, 2016, 07:56:15 am »
...something in the UI that lets you change the bandwidth to 100 MHz.  It doesn't require a magic key.  It's just a checkbox that says "Enable 100MHz bandwidth"

Now replace that UI setting with a jumper on the scope's motherboard. 

...a jumper which requires you to break the "warranty void" sticker and unscrew all that metal shielding to get access it.

Not the same thing at all.

 

Online Fungus

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #453 on: April 07, 2016, 08:07:54 am »
I have another reason. It's because they can afford it and they want it. It's that simple. (I would say that it's because they NEED it, and it's going to be paid back in spades through the increased utility in commercial enterprise, but I would venture that 1% of the people that even buy the 100MHz model ever found a use for the 50MHz-100MHz range or the double sample memory.)

True, but things like the serial decoders are definitely useful.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #454 on: April 07, 2016, 10:09:47 am »
...something in the UI that lets you change the bandwidth to 100 MHz.  It doesn't require a magic key.  It's just a checkbox that says "Enable 100MHz bandwidth"

Now replace that UI setting with a jumper on the scope's motherboard. 

...a jumper which requires you to break the "warranty void" sticker and unscrew all that metal shielding to get access it.

Who says?  The manufacturer could easily put the jumper behind a removable panel.  Not that he would, mind you, but he could.


Quote
Not the same thing at all.

So you judge the rightness or wrongness of the act on the basis of how involved it is??   I'm skeptical.

In any case, I keep raising my question under the condition that the buyer is willing to give up warranty coverage.  In fact, I assume that such is the case when he "hacks" the scope with a code.  The manufacturer has every right to deny warranty coverage if the scope is "hacked", though the manufacturer may have to put a clause to the effect that the warranty is void if the scope is altered from its original configuration in order to make that denial stick.

So: why do you keep bringing up the issue of warranty when I keep mentioning that giving that up is a reason for the buyer to not modify the scope?

For some reason, it seems you keep trying to avoid answering the essence of the argument, which is that whether the configuration change is made through a software switch or a hardware switch, they are fundamentally the same and therefore the ethics of both are identical.

 

Online Fungus

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #455 on: April 07, 2016, 10:49:09 am »
Quote
Not the same thing at all.

So you judge the rightness or wrongness of the act on the basis of how involved it is??   I'm skeptical.

Nope.

A selectable menu option is clearly intended for people to use. The manufacturer is showing intent.

Opening up the case? Not so much. The manufacturer is clearly showing they don't intend for people to do it.

Similarly: Entering a proprietary code to unlock features also shows manufacturer intent.

...and now we go full circle back to "manufacturers have no right to tell customers what to do" and "if they don't intend for people to do something, they shouldn't build it into the hardware".  :palm:

 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #456 on: April 07, 2016, 05:32:16 pm »
Quote
Not the same thing at all.

So you judge the rightness or wrongness of the act on the basis of how involved it is??   I'm skeptical.

Nope.

A selectable menu option is clearly intended for people to use. The manufacturer is showing intent.

Opening up the case? Not so much. The manufacturer is clearly showing they don't intend for people to do it.

How exactly are they showing that?   The warranty void sticker shows that they don't intend to honor the warranty if people open up the case, but that's a different thing.  The fact that they put the sticker on there at all clearly means they expect that some people will open up the case.  One doesn't bother to prepare for a possibility that won't happen.

If they actually insisted on people not opening up the case at all, then they would build the case in such a way that it can't be opened by anyone other than the manufacturer, e.g. by glueing the case halves together after final assembly.

Regardless, are you attempting to argue here that it is somehow wrong for someone to open up their scope and change the jumper?


And you still haven't answered the fundamental question: what's the ethical difference between a software switch and a hardware switch, when there's no copying of copyrighted content involved in flipping the software switch?


Quote
Similarly: Entering a proprietary code to unlock features also shows manufacturer intent.

...and now we go full circle back to "manufacturers have no right to tell customers what to do" and "if they don't intend for people to do something, they shouldn't build it into the hardware".  :palm:

Oh, manufacturers have the right to tell customers what to do, certainly -- but customers have the right to summarily ignore them.  :D

And it's not "if they don't intend people to do something, then they shouldn't build it into the hardware", it's "if they really don't want people to be able to do something, then they shouldn't make it possible in the first place".   Nobody in their right mind intentionally makes something possible and then cries about it when someone actually does it!  :palm:


« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 02:35:11 am by kcbrown »
 

Offline rx8pilot

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #457 on: April 07, 2016, 09:46:54 pm »
This thread runs in circles.  :scared:
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #458 on: April 08, 2016, 08:00:20 pm »
Quote
And you still haven't answered the fundamental question: what's the ethical difference between a software switch and a hardware switch, when there's no copying of copyrighted content involved in flipping the software switch?
This isn't the question that I personally care about. I don't see any difference. There, I said it. And you can make a case that by law, you are doing nothing wrong, since Rigol didn't make you agree to a EULA or anything like that.

Quote
Look, I'm not arguing against copyright law itself.  I'm arguing against unilaterally imposed contracts.
This is the part that I personally care about. The fact you think it's wrong that they try, at all (and in the case of Rigol, apparently not very hard.) You are free to haggle with a manufacturer if you have a novel use for their product. If you are a big enough purchaser, you can negotiate your own terms. You can have features added or removed. If you are a single end user, you can choose other devices?

It seems like a lot of the other people who are arguing along a somewhat similar vein don't seem to have any problem with Agilent locking features (both software and hardware) on their scopes. I am not sure why it makes a difference. It's like in one breath I am hearing:

"It's wrong that manufacturers artificially limit my device. I refuse to pay for upgraded features that are "artificial," because the boards/electronics in both devices are identical!" It doesn't matter if the software engineers were asked to make different versions of the software. Or that they don't do this for free. It doesn't matter that different versions were specifically made to appeal to different customers at different price brackets. If the hardware is the same, I should own it all (for the cost of the most basic model plus a couple bucks, because let's face it, software is FREE after the very minimal initial work; the HARDWARE design is MUCH more difficult!; and the manufacturer will make MORE profit by selling MORE scopes, obviously, duh!)

Again, let's go back to hardware vs software switch. I see no difference. Similarly, I see no real difference between two devices that are differentiated by hardware and two devices that are differentiated by firmware. In either case, you are paying for the NRE that went into the product. Whether that's hardware or firmware, it doesn't matter to me, personally. I do not see any problem with having two different products with the same hardware.

And in the other ear "But if they took the time to use unique EEPROM and a serial code database and paid service reps to take my order and look up a unique secure code and passed all that cost onto the consumers, (i.e., I can't google a hack and do it in 10 minutes), I wouldn't mind. Because they're obviously trying harder." Despite the same thing, just a better lock. I promise if a hack for Siglent or Agilent was posted, the argument would now shift. Agilent/Siglent would use a better lock if they TRULY didn't want us to hack their scopes!

*I also have not yet been convinced that there were not significant engineering hurdles in reaching beyond the 50MHz limit to the 100MHz limit. Whether hardware or software. It's not like "now there's a faster ADC available, so we just plop it in and we have a faster scope!" The fact that IN THE END, it costs the same to produce either model doesn't mean there is malicious/greedy intent to (try) to charge more for the higher model. In fact, I find it somewhat unlikely that the firmware engineers were paid to figure out how to actively attenuate/degrade the displayed signal based on frequency, just so, in order to emulate a lower bandwidth scope through firmware.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 09:02:08 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline Keysight DanielBogdanoff

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #459 on: April 08, 2016, 08:40:32 pm »
I promise if a hack for Siglent or Agilent was posted, the argument would now shift. Agilent/Siglent would use a better lock if they TRULY didn't want us to hack their scopes!

It's all about the diminishing rate of returns. We'd rather spend the R&D time implementing new features or creating new products than the rigor required for a really, really strong lock.  There has been a hack or three here for our scopes, but the number of people actually hacking the scope is (we think) pretty low when looking at the total number of scopes out there.  Generally (very generally), companies and schools aren't going to be hacking our scopes; it's more likely a maker/hobbyist or very-budget-limited user.  It's not that we don't care, it's that the revenue loss isn't big enough for us to act on it.  Also, as one other vendor know quite well, hackable software can lead to higher quantities of hardware sales. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it. 

Just please don't be dumb and make a business of buy -> hack -> sell for more $.  That's how you get a cease and desist letter.
 
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Offline Lightages

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #460 on: April 08, 2016, 10:09:11 pm »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine. Nobody can tell me what I can or cannot do with it. If I want to add parts, remove parts, improve it, change software, it is mine to do so. There is nothing anyone can say or do that should be able to prevent me from doing what I want with my property, with the possible exception below.

If there is some kind of contract I have to enter into that I agree to not do certain things to an item that I buy and before I buy, then I have the decision to make as to whether I will buy it or not, or ignore the agreement as not being valid for my morals. This is a case outside of the consideration of buying and modifying a Rigol scope and modifying it as there are no user agreements to consider before you put your money down and buy one. If an item has a hidden user agreement that you don't see and can't agree to before paying your money, then too bad for the agreement because it is immoral to take someone's money and then force them to agree to a contract after the fact.

Last thing. A company should not be able to refuse a warranty unless the warranty is available to read at the purchase point and if the warranty excludes certain types of use or modifications if the modifications are not a direct or indirect cause of a failure.

Anyone who argues opposite of what I have asserted here are forgetting who is the customer and who should have rights. Companies should not be able to dictate the rights of humans.
If the agreement or contract is made clear before buying a product and is not hidden before paying for the product then there might be a valid reason to go after the purchaser if they do not follow the contract. Only in this case I might consider any kind EULA or contract valid as the purchaser has the decision to make before making the purchase. Anything else, too bad for the company that sells things without making the agreement part of the specification and requirement to purchase, before accepting your money.

How can this be any clearer?
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #461 on: April 08, 2016, 11:16:50 pm »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

Quote
How can this be any clearer?

I agree; it can't be any clearer.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #462 on: April 09, 2016, 12:09:36 am »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

And what says what you have bought?   What the seller claims to have sold you, or the totality of what you actually possess?

I claim it's the latter, not the former.

 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #463 on: April 09, 2016, 12:23:55 am »
Quote
And you still haven't answered the fundamental question: what's the ethical difference between a software switch and a hardware switch, when there's no copying of copyrighted content involved in flipping the software switch?
This isn't the question that I personally care about. I don't see any difference. There, I said it. And you can make a case that by law, you are doing nothing wrong, since Rigol didn't make you agree to a EULA or anything like that.

Right.  OK, good.  So we can look at the other issues.  Excellent!   :)


Quote
Quote
Look, I'm not arguing against copyright law itself.  I'm arguing against unilaterally imposed contracts.
This is the part that I personally care about. The fact you think it's wrong that they try, at all (and in the case of Rigol, apparently not very hard.) You are free to haggle with a manufacturer if you have a novel use for their product. If you are a big enough purchaser, you can negotiate your own terms. You can have features added or removed. If you are a single end user, you can choose other devices?

Have you ever examined software licenses?  Have you noticed how, with respect to software licenses that are not free software licenses, they almost always contain the same set of restrictions?  Are you familiar with what an oligopoly is?

Have you ever asked yourself why Microsoft achieved its position of operating system dominance in the marketplace?  Did you ever find an answer?

It is not an accident that software license contracts tend to contain the same set of restrictions, even going so far as to contain the same wording.  It is not an accident that such contracts are not imposed upon buyers of pure hardware devices.

Obviously a unilaterally imposed contract has little coercive power if the buyer has other substantial options available to him.  But because what matters in the contract is the set of terms, the buyer has no other substantial options available to him if all of the sellers employ the same contractual terms.

My real objection to unilaterally imposed contracts is the coercive power that they imply.  And coercion is something I very strongly object to as a matter of principle.


Quote
It seems like a lot of the other people who are arguing along a somewhat similar vein don't seem to have any problem with Agilent locking features (both software and hardware) on their scopes. I am not sure why it makes a difference.

I'll say this plainly.  I don't have a problem with manufacturers locking features.  I have a problem with people claiming that buyers cannot attempt to bypass the locks.  I have a problem with such locks when the locks themselves have force of law behind them.


It actually sounds like we're essentially in agreement.  Manufacturers are free to implement whatever mechanisms they like to attempt to prevent buyers from accessing features the manufacturers want to lock away.  Buyers are free to attempt to bypass the locks.  If the manufacturer gets that wrong (for whatever reasons), then they have to deal with the consequences.   Those consequences may be detrimental to the manufacturer, or they may prove to be beneficial.  But the manufacturer has to deal with them either way.

And since there is no ethical difference between a hardware switch and a software switch, if it is not ethically objectionable for the customer to throw the hardware switch, then it cannot be ethically objectionable for him to throw the software switch.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 12:25:28 am by kcbrown »
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #464 on: April 09, 2016, 12:53:57 am »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

And what says what you have bought?   What the seller claims to have sold you, or the totality of what you actually possess?

I claim it's the latter, not the former.

I agree - you own the totality of the specific FSM that you bought. You do not own a different FSM that you did not buy.

Simple really.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #465 on: April 09, 2016, 02:01:53 am »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

And what says what you have bought?   What the seller claims to have sold you, or the totality of what you actually possess?

I claim it's the latter, not the former.

I agree - you own the totality of the specific FSM that you bought. You do not own a different FSM that you did not buy.

Simple really.

You own the totality of what you actually possess.

With the Rigol 1054Z, what you possess is a piece of hardware with a software-controllable bandwidth limit, and firmware that controls that bandwidth limit and that implements other features, with the firmware initially configured to tell the hardware to limit the bandwidth to 50 MHz and configured to enable the aforementioned features for a finite period of time.   The firmware also implements a couple of different interfaces that make it possible to tell the firmware to change the configured bandwidth, and to enable other features indefinitely, by entering one or more magic codes via any of those interfaces.

You possess all of the above.  What you do not necessarily possess at the time of purchase are the specific codes referenced.

There is no contract governing the acquisition of the codes, or of their application to the scope.  You are free to acquire or discover those codes for yourself through whatever legal means are at your disposal, and apply them as you see fit.


Now, then: what of the above do you disagree with?



(Sent with Tapatalk, so apologies for the lackluster formatting)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 05:25:43 am by kcbrown »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #466 on: April 09, 2016, 06:52:26 am »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

Quote
How can this be any clearer?

I agree; it can't be any clearer.

Nice quote mining....  :palm:
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #467 on: April 09, 2016, 07:36:33 am »
I don't understand how this gets so complicated for people. If I buy something, it is mine.

I agree.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 50MHz, then it is yours.
If you have bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is yours.
If you have not bought a machine (including an enormous finite state machine) that shows you up to 100MHz, then it is not yours.

And what says what you have bought?   What the seller claims to have sold you, or the totality of what you actually possess?

I claim it's the latter, not the former.

I agree - you own the totality of the specific FSM that you bought. You do not own a different FSM that you did not buy.

Simple really.

You own the totality of what you actually possess.

With the Rigol 1054Z, what you possess is a piece of hardware with a software-controllable bandwidth limit, and firmware that controls that bandwidth limit and that implements other features, with the firmware initially configured to tell the hardware to limit the bandwidth to 50 MHz and configured to enable the aforementioned features for a finite period of time.   The firmware also implements a couple of different interfaces that make it possible to tell the firmware to change the configured bandwidth, and to enable other features indefinitely, by entering one or more magic codes via any of those interfaces.

You possess all of the above.  What you do not necessarily possess at the time of purchase are the specific codes referenced.

There is no contract governing the acquisition of the codes, or of their application to the scope.  You are free to acquire or discover those codes for yourself through whatever legal means are at your disposal, and apply them as you see fit.


Now, then: what of the above do you disagree with?

Very little, since it is more accurate.

I will, however note two key words in your post: "legal means". I will also note two additional constraints: moral and ethical behaviour. Both are dependent on geography/culture and the individual's preference.

Quote
(Sent with Tapatalk, so apologies for the lackluster formatting)

Good to see someone negatively advertising thumpapost; shame if you gave them them something in order to do it :)
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Offline Zero999

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #468 on: April 09, 2016, 09:27:46 am »
"It's wrong that manufacturers artificially limit my device. I refuse to pay for upgraded features that are "artificial," because the boards/electronics in both devices are identical!" It doesn't matter if the software engineers were asked to make different versions of the software. Or that they don't do this for free. It doesn't matter that different versions were specifically made to appeal to different customers at different price brackets. If the hardware is the same, I should own it all (for the cost of the most basic model plus a couple bucks, because let's face it, software is FREE after the very minimal initial work; the HARDWARE design is MUCH more difficult!; and the manufacturer will make MORE profit by selling MORE scopes, obviously, duh!)

Again, let's go back to hardware vs software switch. I see no difference. Similarly, I see no real difference between two devices that are differentiated by hardware and two devices that are differentiated by firmware. In either case, you are paying for the NRE that went into the product. Whether that's hardware or firmware, it doesn't matter to me, personally. I do not see any problem with having two different products with the same hardware.
I agree with having copyright and don't believe that all software should be free but there's a very big difference between hardware and software, especially when scale is concerned.. It is true that both software cost money in non-recurring engineering costs. The difference is how the cost reduces vs the number of units produced: as the number of units rises towards infinity, the cost of the hardware reaches the lower limit of the cost of the raw materials, energy, labour, transport etc. but with software, the cost per unit falls towards zero. I feel that this point is often neglected, when people think about software vs hardware.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #469 on: April 09, 2016, 09:35:14 am »
You own the totality of what you actually possess.

With the Rigol 1054Z, what you possess is a piece of hardware with a software-controllable bandwidth limit, and firmware that controls that bandwidth limit and that implements other features, with the firmware initially configured to tell the hardware to limit the bandwidth to 50 MHz and configured to enable the aforementioned features for a finite period of time.   The firmware also implements a couple of different interfaces that make it possible to tell the firmware to change the configured bandwidth, and to enable other features indefinitely, by entering one or more magic codes via any of those interfaces.

You possess all of the above.  What you do not necessarily possess at the time of purchase are the specific codes referenced.

There is no contract governing the acquisition of the codes, or of their application to the scope.  You are free to acquire or discover those codes for yourself through whatever legal means are at your disposal, and apply them as you see fit.


Now, then: what of the above do you disagree with?

Very little, since it is more accurate.

I will, however note two key words in your post: "legal means". I will also note two additional constraints: moral and ethical behaviour. Both are dependent on geography/culture and the individual's preference.

Yes.  Legal means.  Because there is no copyright involved in acquiring the keys or in using them, if you or someone else can legally reverse engineer the product and figure out how to generate those codes, then those codes are free game.

And such appears to be what has happened with the Rigol scopes.

As to moral and ethical behavior, those are self-imposed restraints.  Therefore, the action in question is something you're still free to take, but you can choose not to.  Your ethical compass can cause you to refrain, but again, it is ultimately a choice you are making for yourself, not one that is imposed upon you against your will by others.   That is an immensely important distinction: prohibiting something by law amounts to pointing a gun at someone's head and telling them not to perform the action in question, because if you do perform the illegal action and get caught, people with guns will show up to cart you away, or at least to make you surrender some of your assets to them.

Never forget that law is the imposition of will at gunpoint.


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(Sent with Tapatalk, so apologies for the lackluster formatting)

Good to see someone negatively advertising thumpapost; shame if you gave them them something in order to do it :)

Nope, didn't give them a dime.  I'm running a version that was released before the atrocity they now call "Tapatalk".  Aside from not rendering quotes properly all the time, it works nicely.  The reason formatting is lackluster with it has little to do with it and has everything to do with how to get to the square brackets and slash characters on my phone.  It's annoying enough that I don't bother.  When I want to emphasize something when using Tapatalk, I'll just type it in all caps, and I end up having to avoid creating lists and such for the same reason.  Because some understandably find all caps objectionable (it's sort of like shouting), I put the above message in to make it clear that the formatting is not the way I'd have done it with a real keyboard.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #470 on: April 09, 2016, 09:41:21 am »
"It's wrong that manufacturers artificially limit my device. I refuse to pay for upgraded features that are "artificial," because the boards/electronics in both devices are identical!" It doesn't matter if the software engineers were asked to make different versions of the software. Or that they don't do this for free. It doesn't matter that different versions were specifically made to appeal to different customers at different price brackets. If the hardware is the same, I should own it all (for the cost of the most basic model plus a couple bucks, because let's face it, software is FREE after the very minimal initial work; the HARDWARE design is MUCH more difficult!; and the manufacturer will make MORE profit by selling MORE scopes, obviously, duh!)

Again, let's go back to hardware vs software switch. I see no difference. Similarly, I see no real difference between two devices that are differentiated by hardware and two devices that are differentiated by firmware. In either case, you are paying for the NRE that went into the product. Whether that's hardware or firmware, it doesn't matter to me, personally. I do not see any problem with having two different products with the same hardware.
I agree with having copyright and don't believe that all software should be free but there's a very big difference between hardware and software, especially when scale is concerned.. It is true that both software cost money in non-recurring engineering costs. The difference is how the cost reduces vs the number of units produced: as the number of units rises towards infinity, the cost of the hardware reaches the lower limit of the cost of the raw materials, energy, labour, transport etc. but with software, the cost per unit falls towards zero. I feel that this point is often neglected, when people think about software vs hardware.

Oh, they think about it, call it "amortised NRE costs", and come to the conclusion - while there is some truth in it - that it is an academic chain of thought, irrelevant, or wrong.

Academic: most products are not sold in sufficiently large numbers for it to be useful, i.e. the amortised NRE costs are still a significant part of the product's price.

Irrelevant: laws and legal systems are involved, and they trump any such argument.

Wrong: because of the above, and because of some ethical/moral considerations.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #471 on: April 09, 2016, 09:44:02 am »
You own the totality of what you actually possess.

With the Rigol 1054Z, what you possess is a piece of hardware with a software-controllable bandwidth limit, and firmware that controls that bandwidth limit and that implements other features, with the firmware initially configured to tell the hardware to limit the bandwidth to 50 MHz and configured to enable the aforementioned features for a finite period of time.   The firmware also implements a couple of different interfaces that make it possible to tell the firmware to change the configured bandwidth, and to enable other features indefinitely, by entering one or more magic codes via any of those interfaces.

You possess all of the above.  What you do not necessarily possess at the time of purchase are the specific codes referenced.

There is no contract governing the acquisition of the codes, or of their application to the scope.  You are free to acquire or discover those codes for yourself through whatever legal means are at your disposal, and apply them as you see fit.


Now, then: what of the above do you disagree with?

Very little, since it is more accurate.

I will, however note two key words in your post: "legal means". I will also note two additional constraints: moral and ethical behaviour. Both are dependent on geography/culture and the individual's preference.
Yes.  Legal means.  Because there is no copyright involved in acquiring the keys or in using them, if you or someone else can legally reverse engineer the product and figure out how to generate those codes, then those codes are free game.

Two mistakes: you are assuming that the position in the USA is the same everywhere (I explicitly noted "geography"), and that those are the only laws that might be brought to bear. The first mistake is a classic Merkin mistake, the second also has elements of geography in it.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline kcbrown

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #472 on: April 09, 2016, 09:53:27 am »
Yes.  Legal means.  Because there is no copyright involved in acquiring the keys or in using them, if you or someone else can legally reverse engineer the product and figure out how to generate those codes, then those codes are free game.

Two mistakes: you are assuming that the position in the USA is the same everywhere (I explicitly noted "geography"), and that those are the only laws that might be brought to bear. The first mistake is a classic Merkin mistake, the second also has elements of geography in it.

The laws that are brought to bear are imposed upon people within the jurisdiction of the laws in question.  I did not mention geographic location because it was not necessary.  My statement already accounts for it, at least as regards reverse engineering and acquisition of the codes.  If someone can legally reverse engineer the product (meaning, the laws they operate on in their geographic location allow for it) and figure out how to generate those codes, then the codes end up being free game.  The same is true of acquisition of the codes.

Of course that presumes that the use of the resulting method to acquire the codes is legal, as well as the actual application of the codes.  I suppose I was imprecise in what I said.  I should have said that if you can legally acquire and apply the codes, then you can use them as you see fit.

Better?


In what jurisdictions is the generation or acquisition and use of these codes illegal?  It certainly isn't in the United States.  The DMCA doesn't apply to this, as I've already described previously.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #473 on: April 09, 2016, 12:14:57 pm »
In what jurisdictions is the generation or acquisition and use of these codes illegal?  It certainly isn't in the United States.  The DMCA doesn't apply to this, as I've already described previously.

IANAL, so I would be foolish to presume. As for the DMCA, read the news reports and comp.risks for many many examples of where it had been invoked - and it seems that it is regularly invoked and causes heartache even when it does not apply.

It will be interesting to see what the TTP and TTIP mean for the future, as and when the results escaped from smoke-filled back rooms far from the glare of publicity.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Reasons for hacking DSOs
« Reply #474 on: April 09, 2016, 12:55:40 pm »
"It's wrong that manufacturers artificially limit my device. I refuse to pay for upgraded features that are "artificial," because the boards/electronics in both devices are identical!" It doesn't matter if the software engineers were asked to make different versions of the software. Or that they don't do this for free. It doesn't matter that different versions were specifically made to appeal to different customers at different price brackets. If the hardware is the same, I should own it all (for the cost of the most basic model plus a couple bucks, because let's face it, software is FREE after the very minimal initial work; the HARDWARE design is MUCH more difficult!; and the manufacturer will make MORE profit by selling MORE scopes, obviously, duh!)

Again, let's go back to hardware vs software switch. I see no difference. Similarly, I see no real difference between two devices that are differentiated by hardware and two devices that are differentiated by firmware. In either case, you are paying for the NRE that went into the product. Whether that's hardware or firmware, it doesn't matter to me, personally. I do not see any problem with having two different products with the same hardware.
I agree with having copyright and don't believe that all software should be free but there's a very big difference between hardware and software, especially when scale is concerned.. It is true that both software cost money in non-recurring engineering costs. The difference is how the cost reduces vs the number of units produced: as the number of units rises towards infinity, the cost of the hardware reaches the lower limit of the cost of the raw materials, energy, labour, transport etc. but with software, the cost per unit falls towards zero. I feel that this point is often neglected, when people think about software vs hardware.

Oh, they think about it, call it "amortised NRE costs", and come to the conclusion - while there is some truth in it - that it is an academic chain of thought, irrelevant, or wrong.

Academic: most products are not sold in sufficiently large numbers for it to be useful, i.e. the amortised NRE costs are still a significant part of the product's price.
As soon as the benefits of volume manufacturing or mass distribution come into play, it becomes relevant, how much so, depends on the numbers.

Quote
Irrelevant: laws and legal systems are involved, and they trump any such argument.

Wrong: because of the above, and because of some ethical/moral considerations.
Laws and morals are irrelevant to the argument. I'm purely referring to the cost to produce something, nothing else.

Some software may cost 10 million pounds to develop, but if there're 10 million users, the cost per user of developing the software is only £1.

Take the situation above for a piece of hardware, which doesn't contain any software at all: the cost of providing it to each user will be £1 + the cost to make it.

Of course, there will be other business costs, such as marketing legal, technical support etc. which are not taken into account here and everything the company sells needs to be marked up to pay for it.

My main point is: in this case we don't know what the engineering costs, the cost of making the physical item or the markup per item are, so the real cost of the hardware and software are unknown. All we know is how much Rigol is charging for them. Whether you believe it represents value for money is your opinion.
 


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