Albert Cahalan acahalan at
Thu May 15 21:15:34 EDT 2008

Seth Woodworth writes:

> So as a fair practice I think it's clear that no special actions can
> ethically be made to prevent Windows or any other OS from running on
> the machine.  So a Windows port for the XO isn't something that
> could have been preventative.

Wrong. It's called tit-for-tat, otherwise known as fair-is-fair.
It's perfectly ethical to defend oneself against an adversary
who has no qualms about anything.

Just look at the deal. Dual-boot costs $7 extra. Governments will
not pay the extra $7 to allow dual-boot.

I do believe in fairness. The XO should run Windows about as well
as the Xbox 360 runs Linux. Note that the Xbox 360 has numerous
hardware features which were purposely designed to impede Linux.
Fairness mandates that we have hardware to lock out Windows.

Hardware is costly of course. A slightly weaker solution would be
to have the firmware use SMM/SMI tricks to regularly get a bit of
CPU time to scan for Windows in memory. If the firmware finds that
Windows is running, then it silently corrupts RAM. The ideal would
be to make Windows survive about an hour before crashing.
(keep the feature secret of course, to make debugging painful)

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