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Actual manufacturer NOT in any kernel interface | 113 comments | Create New Account
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Actual manufacturer NOT in any kernel interface
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, November 28 2012 @ 12:20 AM EST

All the kernel interfaces that purport to identify the manufacturer of the computer or its parts really don't do so, especially in a case like this.

Each of these interfaces returns either:

  • The manufacturer whom's identifier namespace was used to describe an interface, e.g. the VID in a PCI bus ID. In the Raspberry Pi, that would generally be the designer or modified mask maker of a chip or chip part.
  • The manufacturer named in on board firmware. This would be the Raspberry Pi foundation, except that there allegedly isn't any such firmware in a Raspberry Pi.
  • The manufacturer whom's EUI-48 prefix is found in a burned in MAC address of an Ethernet-like adapter. This is a feature present only on the larger Pi board, and even then it is unclear if the ultra-low Raspberry chip count design means that this value is either a) not stored on board, b) embedded in the Ethernet chip by its maker using the chipmakers prefix, c) burned into the board using a Raspberry Pi foundation prefix or d) burned into the board using the board assembly plant owners prefix.

It is more likely that the only way to identify the board maker is to look at a sticker or printed text and compare some part of an obscure manufacturing code to a list of who made which boards.

However even if it was easy to tell Sony blemished boards from others once you hold them in your hand, it would still be near impossible to:

  1. Know this prior to purchasing the thing and accepting any shrink-wrap legal traps preventing return.
  2. Know the extend to which Sony, through its cooperation with the foundation, has some obscure legal interest in code, tools or other items used with later non-Sony boards.

Given that this product is entirely targeted at the audience most prominently wronged by Sony's past actions; And also given the binary blob issue for the display hardware, I would say that Raspberry Pi has just committed suicide.

Time to look for another cheap Linux board with a price and performance between a Soekris 4xxx or ALIX board, a Netgear router and an Arduino.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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