C. Scott Ananian
cscott at laptop.org
Thu May 22 12:40:01 EDT 2008
On 5/22/08, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net> wrote:
> On 22.05.2008 17:01, C. Scott Ananian wrote:
> > On 5/22/08, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net> wrote:
> A statement of security is a nice theft deterrent. This may change once
> the bad guys realize circumvention is very doable.
Again, it's a matter of cost. All security is bypassable for some
cost. How much do you want to make it cost, and how much does it cost
> > Yes, there were some design details with Gen 1 hardware that turned
> > out to make it difficult to safely reflash, even though the flash chip
> > is big enough to accomodate a backup OFW. The EC is perfectly capable
> > of recovering OFW, but the EC memory map coincides with the erase
> > block size of the SPI flash, unfortunately, so there's a critical
> > window during which all of the EC code must be erased. We hope to fix
> > that with Gen 2.
> There are SPI flash chips on the market which have an erase granularity
> of half the size of the EC code or even less. Selecting such a chip
> should work even for Gen 1 unless I'm missing a key detail.
> >> > k) more open software: we may not need an EC, and if we do we may be
> >> > able to ensure its code is open. We may change the wireless device,
> >> > and/or be able to switch to open firmware for it.
> >> I believe item k) was already in the contracts with Quanta and Marvell,
> >> unless the official announcements back then were wrong. It has been
> >> stated repeatedly by OLPC officials that the only thing preventing a
> >> full open source wireless firmware is the lack of time for porting the
> >> code to another embedded OS. There were also statements like "We are
> >> working with Quanta to release EC source code", so I think that's also
> >> mostly a problem with lack of time.
> > Yes, it was intended, but the production schedule and component
> > availability forced us to build on some pre-existing closed-source
> > components, and now that we've reached this point in the manufacturing
> > cycle for XO-1, we have very little leverage left with Quanta. We did
> > make our best effort, but there were also some unforeseen interactions
> > with the manufacturing contract we signed with Quanta. Quanta
> > designed the motherboard and took responsibility for making
> > modifications for manufacturability and to address defects, and now
> > they've ended up with significant IP rights in our schematic. This
> > has made it hard to properly support the open EC effort, since by the
> > terms of the contract we can't even show them the pinout of the EC.
> > We recently hired Paul Fox as firmware engineer, so we're still hard
> > at work on this. We hope that we can work out agreements with Quanta
> > to publish at least pinout information for the EC. It's complicated
> > by the fact that most of Quanta's team working on the XO-1 design has
> > moved on to other projects now.
> That's really a nice writeup of the current situation. Could you please
> put it (perhaps even verbatim) into the wiki and link it from the EC and
> OpenEC pages? Thanks!
I'd appreciate if you (or someone else on devel@) could do so.
> > The http://www.open80211s.org/ effort is being funded by OLPC to try
> > to address the wireless firmware issue (among other goals). I don't
> > really know what mesh solutions are being considered for XO-2, but
> > there are more vendors with 802.11s solutions now than there were when
> > we designed the XO-1, so we have more choices and leverage.
> That's good to hear. Again, adding this info to the wiki would help
> public perception a lot.
Open80211s.org really needs better publicity; there are a lot of
experiments I'd like to try with the 802.11s protocols if I had
someone with the time to hack into the code & get the numbers.
( http://cscott.net/ )
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