I called Archos about the Linux source code for the 604 WiFi

Special Developer Edition Firmwares and Hacking on Archos 5 IT, 5/7 IMT, 605/705, with Android, ├àngstr├Âm and other Linux
bazz
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Post by bazz »

Pingmeister wrote:
bazz wrote:Its the typical thing....most windows users dont understand what Linux and the GPL is, so they post things like that. I'm not surprised by it one bit. I have to say most Linux users try to explain this but it never goes anywhere, Im still glad it is explained to them though, maybe it will peek enough interest for them to look into it..


Also, please check above and you'll see it was the LINUX user who started bashing on MS. Nobody bashed on Linux.

So saying that "most Linux users try to explain this but it never goes anywhere" isn't true in this case.

It just became a bash thread, which doesn't help make Linux look like anything other than an OS for angry nerds.

And yes, I am a Linux user as well, just sad to see these arguments happen and screw things up.


It was never met as a bashing Ugh... From what I have run into in the past ,this is just a typical response. Has nothing to do with bashing.
Ok so now that this has become a childish thread can someone kill it. I mean come on guys we are beating a dead horse.

Ok you turn lol
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

I edited these posts so I could respond... rather than to the whole thing... only to the points that are relevant to mine

Pingmeister wrote:I purchased my Archos for the capabilities advertised. If you purchased it in order to modify it, don't be upset that the company doesn't want you to turn it into another product that they might very well be working on.


It runs Linux, so we have the right to modify it, so long as it is not impossible in hardware... even the Tivo series 2s have been hacked.

Charbax wrote:So your only proof that they violate the GPL2 is that it does Wi-Fi?


No. Their failure to acknowledge the GPL and the authors of Linux is violation enough of the license for the FSF to send a cease and desist letter and/or sue. Trust me, I am pursuing that avenue.

Charbax wrote:I'm no expert in GPL2 of embedded Linux, but I will guess the Wi-Fi stuff can work on embedded Linux, and if you want the source code for that you can probably get it at the site that distributes the version of Linux that is the basis of this device, maybe try look what source code is available on Montavista, or QT Linux project sites, or maybe check out if Texas Instruments has some GPL2 source codes for the kind of Linux that works best with the DaVinci chip. Probably that every modification and suggestion that Archos does to that Linux core, probably in collaboration with Texas Instruments and other technological partners, probably that the source-code is available there.


Since the 604 WiFi runs Linux, and that Linux is embedded, it is obviously possible to do... That's not the point. Archos's compliance with the GPL is...

TI is not very open about their products to anyone but developers who buy them. The DiVinci is essentially an ARM processor (which is well developed under Linux) with a closed, proprietary IPed chipset that augments mutimedia functions. It was developed primarily for the smartphone market.

Charbax wrote:But for sure you cannot take that source code, modify it and install it on the 604 Wi-Fi, since the 604 Wi-Fi probably has all sorts of un-crackable 128bit or more firmware encryption algorithms that make it impossible for anyone else than Archos to produce a firmware update file that will install without modifying the actual hardware, with a modchip or something, and that makes it useless for most users.


I seriously doubt they added anything extra like that to the 604 Wifi, since their previous models were very hackable. Given the way the system updates its software, its very likely that the bootloader is a simple checksum checker that can be re-flashed... as in previous models.

Charbax wrote:Now again, I am sure Archos can put as much proprietary stuff they want on top of that Linux, that proprietary stuff is probably drivers, multimedia encode decode functions, overlay features and more proprietary hardware stuff including the hardware that makes DRM, Macrovision, Plug-ins, managment of codec Licences and more.


Drivers that hook into the OS violate the GPL2 unless they are open source. If they are open source, they must be released. Since Archos is distributing,... Archos must supply. It's that simple.

Codecs can be different, especially if they are running on a proprietary player program... I have no issues with Archos doing this. I simply want PIM capability on my Archos and the ability to mod it to install what I want and do what I want with it...
honeymonkey
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Post by honeymonkey »

Reguardless of how you feel about this thread, the end result is us the consumers are going to benifit IF Archos is in violation and will comply to showing the code. Everyone knows that Archos wants to keep control of the OS so it can move the 604 in the direction of their roadmap at their own pace AND possiblly reep financial rewards when doing so.

I have first hand experience when it comes to buying a piece of electronics, getting it home only then to realize its shortcomings and limitations. Amazingly I wake up one morning to try to solve some of my issues and find that many other people have been experiencing the same issues and have already done something about it.
In the timeframe of 24 hours, I had researched enough that allowed me to reflash my new mp3 player and added dozens of NEW features that were lacking on the locked down firmware. The unit's boot time was 25 sec, they rewrote the code and made it boot in 6 seconds.
These Opensource hackers also fixed many issues with my player like sound problems, Battery meter not being accurate and even added options to use higher amp hour batteries. They made it read text, play games, browse pictures, fixed charging rates, gave it PDA functions, alarm clocks, etc, and added 100 or so optional plugins.
Many people purchased this unit because of the possibilities.
So when I see someone in the forum putting some pressure on Archos, I don't see it as "Bashing" them and being "anti archos" but rather Pro Consumer. If they are guilty of some wrong doing, then they have to comply or stop using Linux and pay someone to write their own OS. I bought the 604 wifi for its present features and would be happy with the 604 if it remained stock, but hacking it was always in the back of my mind.
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Well said Honeymonkey...

Please look here for a slightly related expose on this type of subject at Groklaw:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?stor ... 3015212989
zachman123
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Post by zachman123 »

I just called up and asked when/if archos planned on releasing the modified source code. The guy I talked to didn't know anything about it, so he put me on hold and went and talked with his supervisors I guess. When he came back, he asked me for my email and said that he would contact archos france because they made the os, and email me back in a few days.

Hopefully I'll get some info, more people should call up as well.
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Good idea. If enough people call up, they will realize that the jig is up, and that they must comply with the GPL 2, like Tivo did and like Linksys did... Both of them played the non-disclosure game until threatened.
zachman123
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Post by zachman123 »

I also sent a quick email to the FSF.
zachman123
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Post by zachman123 »

I just got an email back from the FSF.

"Zach,

Thanks for letting us know about this. We'll get in touch with Archos to
address the situation.

Best regards,

--
Brett Smith
Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation"
StanRex
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Post by StanRex »

Good thing.
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Cool...
Buckwheat
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Post by Buckwheat »

I hope they jam it up archos arse
Buckwheat
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Post by Buckwheat »

:oops:
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Hey, I just want the ability to put Open Source Linux software on the thing...
zachman123
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Post by zachman123 »

I called up Archos again today (after not getting an email reply from them), and the lady told me that they did have copies of the source code, but they haven't been posted on the site yet. She told me to email the corporate email and I could get a copy that way.

Hopefully I'll get an email soon, and I'll give a link to the source (or post it here).

edit: If I don't get an email, there's a corporate number I can try.
zachman123
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Post by zachman123 »

Wow, already got a reply. Unfortunately, the address ([email protected]) seems to also be technical support, and I got this reply:

"Zach,
We do not have the source code in tech support. We are waiting for the home
office to send it to us.


Thank you,
Tim S
Archos Technical Support"

I asked them how long they expect for this to happen.
uberlinuxgeek
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The power of Open Source

Post by uberlinuxgeek »

I am glad that some headway seems to be being made on this. The main reason I bought the Archos was that it ran a Linux distro, because I like to have a go at my options too and Linux has been giving me that chance for a decade. Thanks for looking into this guys!

I can value a companies position to not allow out propriatary info, but proper programing/inferfaces can allow companies to keep their secrets and give the rest of us the flexiability we want. Heck look at Linksys, they sell a router 1 Linux based the other was a Zeos/CE based but that has changed. Both the same HW they charge and make more money on the Linux one and it sells more than the other. Even they saw some of the light in the end, with people that want more options.
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Hey does anyone know of a project to put some sort of java or perl based PIM on the hard drive and access it through the browser??? or is the browser locked from being able to access local files???

I remember that the Yopy had a website based PIM function where to access it from your PC, you actually ran the html app in a window on your machine,... so it was completely platform agnostic as to what PC you ran the thing from. I don't think that the Yopy is sold any more...

I've searched for some web-based PIMs but to no avail. The one SourceForge project out there has seen no action in a few years...
Buckwheat
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Post by Buckwheat »

JaseP wrote:Good idea. If enough people call up, they will realize that the jig is up, and that they must comply with the GPL 2, like Tivo did and like Linksys did... Both of them played the non-disclosure game until threatened.


Yes keep threatening Archos :twisted:
JaseP
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Post by JaseP »

Buckwheat wrote:Yes keep threatening Archos :twisted:


Hey, both Tivo and linksys relented when they realized they were wrong. What are they going to do? Stop making Archos players? Rewrite all software from scratch? C-mon, they are French,... They will most likely surrender...
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Post by fonz32 »

C-mon, they are French,... They will most likely surrender...


That, and only that, is funny!
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