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Is Intel's plan to replace BIOS good for consumers?
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pjp
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 8:29 pm    Post subject: Is Intel's plan to replace BIOS good for consumers? Reply with quote

The end of the old PC as we know it? wrote:
Digital rights management and security designers also have an interest in EFI because it gives them a new level of control over the hardware.

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AlterEgo
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just another sneaky way of introducing TCPA/Palladium crap, disguised into a nice wrapping to lull consumers into deep sleep.
When they wake up, they have become slaves.
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henke
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

:?

Quote:
Because EFI has its own filing system that lives on a reserved part of the hard disk, it can become the standard home for a whole set of utilities that have always had an awkward fit with the BIOS.


8O NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! :cry:

This is bad on so many levels. Ignore the TCPA/Palladium thing for a while.

Storing parts of the BIOS on the harddrive is a horrible idea. Compaq computers allready do this. If you remove this partition on a Compaq Armada 7750MT you are no longer able to boot from the CD-ROM. You have to download restore floppies to get the BIOS into a usable state. Sound fun yet?

On the positive side someone will probably write a worm that will erase the EFI leaving millions of computers in a unbootable state in just 15 minutes. And that would be the end of TCPA/Palladium :twisted:
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PowerFactor
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, what are the alternatives to standard pc hardware? It appears to me that in the future if we want to have control over our machines we will have to REALLY build them from scratch.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Architecture Needed is interesting. Think I've linked to it before.

EDIT: Fixed link.
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Last edited by pjp on Mon Feb 24, 2003 3:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PowerFactor
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:
New Architecture Needed is interesting. Think I've linked to it before.
That link is broken.

EDIT: I think I found it. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,650896,00.asp


Last edited by PowerFactor on Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.linuxbios.org :)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bAZiK wrote:
http://www.linuxbios.org :)
I've seen that before and I like what they are doing. But will I be able to put it on tcpa/palladium enforced hardware.
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zhenlin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably not, since all executables must be signed... Or encrypted, can't remember which. I have no idea how they are going to implement this... Perhaps a mandatory signature of every executable page?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentoomen, please leave the conspiracy theories at the door. Just because one ZDnet reporter doesn't understand what he's mumbling about doesn't mean we all need to suffer the same paranoid delusions over EFI all of a sudden. This has been in the works for five years, is primarily intended for 64-bit architectures, has been standard for Itanium processors since they were released, is based on recommendations by the Open Software Foundation and generally a good thing. I certainly hope it'll make inroads into conventional PCs as soon as possible, because I'm just sick of the B in BIOS meaning Broken more often than not.

Linux is a non-issue. There's been kernel support on IA-64 for the past two years, GNU-EFI tools are available, GNU parted supports it, and this presentation by Hewlett-Packard is already one year old news. Their call for action included to get busy backporting it to IA-32...

Welcome back to the real world. If I hear "Palladium" in this thread once more, I shall go frolicking merrily in the nearest meadow catching pink elephants. :mrgreen:
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idl
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never had a problem with my BIOS *touch wood* Why change it anyway? whats so deprecated with the BIOS design anyway?

Palladium
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What? I can't hear you? :P

Click here for a very simple explanation why the BIOS should have been buried years ago.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proponents of DRM claim its a Good Thing too.

Palladium!
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plate
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[img:69996275be]http://www.geocities.com/oracleofallknowledge/elefant.gif[/img:69996275be]
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henke
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plate wrote:

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say ;)

After having read through a bit of the EFI specification I stand by my claim. Having part of the BIOS stored in a place where it can be easily changed/erased is a Bad Idea (TM).

EFI 1.10 specification (page 32) wrote:
Architectually shareable system partition. Initiatives to expand platform capabilities and add new devices often require software support. In many cases, when these platform innovations are activated before the OS takes control of the platform, they must be supported by code that is specific to the platform rather than to the
customer's choice of OS. The traditional approach to this problem has been
to embed code in the platform during manufacturing (for example, in flash memory devices). Demand for such persistent storage is increasing at a
rapid rate. This specification defines persistent store on large mass storage media types for use by platform support code extensions to supplement the traditonal approach. The definition of how this works is made clear in the specification to ensure that firmware developers, OEMs, operating system vendors, and perhaps even third parties can share the space safely while adding to platform capability.


(page 34) wrote:
System partition The System partition defines a partition and file system that are designed to allow safe sharing between multiple vendors, and for diffrent purposes. The ability to include a sepaarate sharable system partition presents an opportunity to increase platform value-add without significantly growing the need for non volatile platform memory.


What happens if you (or someone else) does a
Code:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=1k count=1
Have you just removed your computers ability to boot from CD while at the same time removing the existing operating system? Been there, done that with a Compaq laptop. It took me half a day to figure out what was wrong and fix it. I'll never buy a Compaq computer again.
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