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Jumping to Conclusions on BIOS, Phoenix, and Windows

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-fast dept.

Windows 107

tomlasusa writes "In a post on LinuxQuestions.org, user 'chessonly' cites a 2003 article from Networkcomputing.com by writer Steven J. Schuchart as evidence of that Phoenix Technologies has made its BIOS more Windows-friendly — thereby locking out users from using other OSs. In a rebuttal posted at nwc.com, Schuchart says that this is just not true."

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I have an idea that I can make money on (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731031)

The title for this article gave me an idea...
I need Slashdotter's opinion on this: what do you think of a "jump to conclusions" mat? I could make millions!

Re:I have an idea that I can make money on (5, Funny)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731249)

a "jump to conclusions" mat

A "Jump to delusions" mat would make a lot more money, especially here.

Re:I have an idea that I can make money on (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731709)

And thousands of parents would appreaciate a "jump to the big blue room with yellow light" mat for their basement dwelling children, especially here. ;)

Re:I have an idea that I can make money on (2, Funny)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732715)

That's the worst idea I've ever heard in my life, Anonymous Coward
Yes, this is horrible, this idea.

Re:I have an idea that I can make money on (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733227)

Sort of like a variation on Twister?

Re:I have an idea that I can make money on (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18739653)

It was a line form a movie called "office space". This guy had his job axed at some software company, decided to kill himself, backed out of it at the last minute and then backed out of his driveway to be hit by a drunk drives.

Then sitting in a wheelchair with almost every visible part of his body in a cast of some sorts, he tell an ex-coworker that he now has time to work on his baby, the jump to conclusions mat because he made a fortune off the accident settlement.

Hmm.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731041)

A Slashdot post about a Digg story? Now we really have gone too far.

Re:Hmm.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731165)

Actually you seem to make a good point. The entire point behind this story appears to be "Digg user posts false story!!1!11" with the apparent motive of painting Slashdot as being different from Digg and taking the time to actually fact-check stories and not falling to pure anti-MS sensationalism.

Which, of course, is utter bullshit. Slashdot does that all the time.

This story was posted only to take a shot at Digg. It's otherwise completely non-newsworthy, something I can't say about Digg's current stories.

Re:Hmm.. (2, Interesting)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731595)

Eh, I think if this had been posted to Slashdot then the users (not all of them, of course, but enough) would have called it out. I mean, it's an article from 2003 so it's pretty easy to prove false.

On a side note, I think a lot of Slashdotters go to both Digg and Slashdot (I do). The difference is though that I use Slashdot for the summary and discussion (article if it's interesting enough), whereas the summary and discussion on Digg tend to be pretty crappy, but some times I can find a link to an interesting article--although most of the time lately it's been to a blog entry and then I have to click through a few layers to get to the actual article... BTW, there's a special place in hell for people who post about news stories without providing a link to the news story.

Gogo Shepherd Book! (4, Funny)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732511)

This special place in hell you speak of... Is it right next to the level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theate?

Re:Gogo Shepherd Book! (1)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732561)

Child molesters are clearly much further down in hell. But it is right next to people who talk in theaters--especially people who do so while drunk or who give away the ending.

Re:Gogo Shepherd Book! (4, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733095)

If you don't tell Spiderman that the wall is about to fall on him, then he might not see it. What will happen then, tough guy? Huh? Huh?

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731573)

They should change their stupid site name to Dick, that makes more sense.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

dueyfinster (872608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18736505)

The sad thing is I RTFA to see that!

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731073)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731147)

who the fuck cares?

Spazamataz? (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731149)

Every time specs, or the workings of any piece of PC hardware changes, a certain part of the OSS community cries foul, or says its "Windows-friendly" because MSFT is (quite predictably) out of the gate with support.

Hardware development isn't going to stop just because 4 out of 5 kernel devs agree to release a driver as stable.

I think the programmer side of the community is flexible enough to deal with hardware changes, and it's just that annoying end-user whining because he wants hardware X to work today, and the fact that he doesnt have it proves some world conspiracy against him.

Re:Spazamataz? (4, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731303)

What actually happens is when a piece of PC hardware is changed/created, the hardware manufacturer writes only windows drivers for it that mostly follow the specs, but also contain various workarounds for the bugs/mistakes that they introduced. It's then in MS's favour to then still allow that hardware to be classed as 'ready for Vista' despite not adhering to the various open standards/specs, since it will make Linux's work more trouble.

And yeah Microsoft does have various conspiracies against linux. See the recent news on Bill Gates asking how to make an open ACPI spec that would be difficult for linux to implement.

Re:Spazamataz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731513)

I'm shocked, are you suggesting that a company with a commercial interest in it being more successful than Linux is not doing everything in its power to help the community out? A community which hates Microsoft and states it outright? A community which claims that everything that ever went wrong with Linux is due to a Microsoft conspiracy? Come on people, if you don't like it then do something serious about it instead of whining about how Microsoft a.k.a. "the man" is holding you down. Linux has amazing potential and it will succeed if it is developed into a genuinely easier to use and more functional product than Windows, however that is not currently the case. When Linux works better than Windows, people will switch, but that time is not now so you're going to have to put up with a little resistance from the fellows at Microsoft. And please don't try to tell me anything about how Windows is fundamentally inferior, because the fact is that I can use it without resorting to reading manuals for four hours on how to get plug and play MTP support for my mp3 player. Its things like that which keep Linux down, not the Microsoft conspiracy.

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731675)

I'm 'suggesting' that Microsoft uses immoral tactics.

The rest of your points are just overblown and silly. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft and their tactics, but saying that everyone in the community hates them is too strong. Same thing for the rest of your post.

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18736111)

"And yeah Microsoft does have various conspiracies against linux. See the recent news on Bill Gates asking how to make an open ACPI spec that would be difficult for linux to implement."

What is kind of funny, because ACPI on Windows is so bloody HARD to use nowadays, while on Linux you can use it even from the command line :) (But I get that the point was to make it hard for the kernel developers.)

Re:Spazamataz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731395)

The only story here is that after so many years, Toshiba BIOSes are still complete crap.

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731719)

Why do you say that? I'm running Linux on a Toshiba Satellite, and have had ZERO issues with the BIOS. It even tells me what button to press to get to the boot device selection menu (the only part of the BIOS I regularly use).

Re:Spazamataz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732649)

Why do you say that?

Because it is true, especially on their older laptops.

You are able to running Linux without much trouble because Linux has a whole host of workarounds for buggy BIOSes. Toshiba are some of the worst.

If hardware specifications would be open.. (1)

elteck (874753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732133)

That makes only sense if the hardware specifications were open. The major problem is that they are not, and the OSS community depends on reverse engineering of Vendor created Windows drivers to create a driver.

Re:Spazamataz? (2, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733269)

Just for fun, try this command as root:
strings /proc/acpi/dsdt | grep Microsoft

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18734035)

Just if anyone is wondering, DSDT [sourceforge.net] stands for Differentiated System Decriptor Table. It defines the configuration of the system motherboard (stored on the BIOS), so that the kernel does not need to be recompiled.

strings /proc/acpi/dsdt is simply extracting this data from the BIOS.

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18734623)

Nothing on my machine. Old MSI 6163 mainboard. Must be your newfangled Vista-licensed OEM Bioses

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

Roger_Wilco (138600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18735979)

The mainboard that by AMD Athlon(tm) Processor 1009.004 MHz came connected to, which predates Vista by a certain amount, gives three "Microsoft Windows NT" lines. This isn't super new.

Re:Spazamataz? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18739729)

But there is a conspiracy here. If you open chessonly's article (why does he exclude the superior but less popular game of Go) in Opera 9.20

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread .php?p=2705017#post2705017 [linuxquestions.org]

Hover over the double underlined link to security in the second blockquote and the text goes all fubar so you can't read it anymore. Works fine in IE and Firefox.

Oh noes! it must be a conspiracy against the superior but less popular Opera browser by those Firefox bastards.

Or it could just be that they only test their website on IE and Firefox, because Opera has bugger all market share...

...from using other OSs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731159)

Like Mac OS 10.5?

Perhaps this is the REAL delay of Apple's next OS?

It's that or because AACS has been cracked so soundly?

Re:...from using other OSs. (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731425)

I don't think that OS X 10.5 will be released for common PC hardware( But who knows, nothing surprises me these days). I think that if apple were to allow their OS to run on other machines, Apple would probably bundle their OS with a major PC manufacture like HP.

Re:...from using other OSs. (1)

XO (250276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733721)

Exactly how many years would it take for Apple to get hardware support for a wide range of devices?

That's a huge advantage to the mostly closed-box principle.

Jumping to conclutions is human nature (5, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731169)

It saves time, and is often correct.

Jumping to conclutions is human nature because (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731381)

Lions on the savanna didn't care about whether the prey (apes) were pondering whether that movement was a threat. Same goes for putting stuff in mental boxes, makes it easier to sort out the universe.

Re:Jumping to conclutions is human nature (1)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731683)

It's also a million dollar idea. jump to conclusions mat [imageshack.us]

Re:Jumping to conclutions is human nature (1)

lysse (516445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732559)

I guess that's why habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence are so unnecessary.

Re:Jumping to conclutions is human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732855)

Agreed 100%, and just to reinforce your point, we jump to conclusions every time we correctly say 10 times 10 is 100 in less than the time it requires to do the calculation. So, jumping to conclusions is a natural process of the human mind that can be often useful, and should not be always seen as a sign of immaturity.

Of course the art lies in the right balance of the above "often" and "always".

Mr President? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18734169)

President Bush? Is that you?

Re:Jumping to conclutions is human nature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18739023)

Why the hell was this modded insightful/interesting?

It should have been modded funny, because the parent itself is jumping to a conclusion.

It is human nature because we humans are for the most part lazy. Jumping to conclusions can be right or wrong and unless you take the effort to verify your conclusions you don't know which, and if you do make that effort why jump to conclusions in the first place?

As the the idiot in another post who said that we jump to conclusions every time we take 10 times 10 to equal 100, that isn't jumping to conclusions, that is remembering a previously calculated result.

What are the facts of the case? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731181)

This guy's rebuttal doesn't do anything to address the facts save a call to a Phoenix BIOS person who says "we didn't and don't do that."

But what of the purported fact that the guy cannot get another OS on there? An effective rebuttal would include a good explanation why this problem occured; even better if it discussed a work-around or a fix.

Phoenix can claim they aren't [intentionally] doing this, but is it really happening in effect whether intentional or not? If it is, what is their response? If it isn't, who is this guy making this claim and what is he doing wrong?

Does anyone here have such a laptop? Would you care to install Linux on it as a test? Has anyone here tried? Did it work?

What are the facts? Can any of this be confirmed?

Re:What are the facts of the case? (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731273)

From what I can tell, there's a bug with the user's laptop and some "USB-to-serial thing" according to his forum post [linuxquestions.org] . Whatever it did, it managed to get the BIOS to set a password. The user decides this is because they installed Linux, and the BIOS is "only for Windows Vista" and therefore locks out non-Windows OSes.

He then links to another post [notebookreview.com] as "proof" which you'll not never mentions any non-Windows OS. My guess is that it's the "USB-to-serial thing" that's causing some bug in the BIOS that corrupts parts of the CMOS, causing a password to be set. (As an added bonus, if it's truly random data, it could be an untypable password.)

So, nothing to do with running Linux, and everything to do with the "USB-to-serial" thing that the user used. At least, that's my guess.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731379)

GP: What are the facts? Can any of this be confirmed?
You: At least, that's my guess.

So, in other words, no, you don't have any facts.

Why the fuck did you bother to post? We have all the mindless speculation we need in the article already.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731631)

Well, to be fair, the GP did ask for likely explanations, and since nobody here is going to go to this "chessonly" guy's house and steal his laptop just to find out what happened and post it on slashdot, this is pretty much the best we're gonna get. Sorry about the world. It sucks sometimes.

Ok, yes, there is a slight chance that someone else reading /. has the same model laptop and the same model usb-serial thing. But even then, it is fairly likely that they haven't run into the same problem, and I for one wouldn't ask them to deliberately try and screw up their bios just so we on slashdot can "get the facts"...

Re:What are the facts of the case? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731693)

I'm not the same poster as above (somewhere), but I do have an HP dv9000z
with a Phoenix BIOS.

There is no capability in the BIOS to boot off of the second hard drive;
fortunately GRUB on openSuSE 10.2 knows how to scribble itself in to the
MBR on the primary drive, and permit me to boot either Linux or Windows.

However, even despite setting the appropriate items in the BIOS, I'm having
a VERY difficult time booting off of an external USB(2.0) Western Digital "Book"
drive. I can get to a GRUB> prompt, but it won't automatically boot what's
been set up in the /boot directory of the first partition of the drive. Why?
The Phoenix crap CLAIMS it can boot off of a USB Drive, but I have very grave
suspicions, at the very least, that perhaps it can't for some nefarious reason.

Those are my personal observations, and I'm entitled to them. If Phoenix can
explain their way out of it, so be it. I'm sure HP will do their little dance
that basically says "Windows or nothing" as usual, since the spineless cowards
in Houston they inherited from Compaq absolutely hate any non-Windows OS, since
they're totally incapable of trying to understand them.

Re:What are the facts of the case? wd book drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731841)

those drives are nototiousley shitty under Linux and MacOS 10.4 IA-32 sometimes pull ing the plug and reinserting it causes the drive to spin up properley this is after reformats re-parts etc.

  In on it to S3-suspend is a Microsoft Conspiracy
compaq execs they made an there own flavor of processor the alpha that only ran Conpaq VMS alpha or some such it also ran Nt 4.0 or and early nt 5 beta but never well

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

XO (250276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733519)

You should check your drive in another machine, to see if it works properly. HP dv6000 here works perfectly booting from a whole host of USB devices.

This guy probably was screwing around and set his BIOS password, or one of his friends was screwing around and did it, and now he's trying to setup some gigantic conspiracy theory.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18734647)

If you get a grub> prompt, then your bios is correctly booting from the external drive. There are a handful of reasons grub may not 'correctly' (from your perspective) boot the kernel and configurations you've specified however.

Make sure you've got grub set up correctly for what you intend. Try manually booting a kernel and then modify grub.conf to reflect these verified settings. Don't forget that changing the bios boot device setting can reshuffle your device strings and such. Did you use the wrong 'root' setting, assuming that your external drive would still be hd* instead of hd0?

Re:What are the facts of the case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732075)

If what you are saying is true, how comes Windows installs fine with the 'USB to serial' thing? Seems you have only shown a complete misunderstanding of the situation yourself.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732339)

If what you are saying is true, how comes Windows installs fine with the 'USB to serial' thing?

At this point, I don't think we should rule out that the drivers Linux is using for this USB-to-serial thingy are broken...

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732891)

What? This isnt a conspiracy of the highest order from the most powerful men in Business? Its just a bug that some fanboy went apeshit about? I refuse to believe it sir! Conspiracies make me feel important in my OS of choice and sell more ads for slashdot and other sites I visit. If it makes it to the slashdot front page, it must be true.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

zarozarozaro (756135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18734301)

If Toshiba had just put a serial port on the thing there wouldn't have been any problem. USB to serial devices tend to suck. The drivers are terrible, the support is bad, and they seem to stop working for no reason. I need to connect to serial devices all the time(configuring pro av gear) and you tend to get locked out of using the less expensive laptops(low end Toshibas, Acer) because they don't have serial ports. My advice is to use a pcmcia or express card to serial adapter, they tend to be more stable IMHO.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18735481)

My guess is that it's the "USB-to-serial thing" that's causing some bug in the BIOS that corrupts parts of the CMOS, causing a password to be set. Frankly I don't think that's any less ridiculous speculation than the original post on Linuxquestions that people are bitching about. In fact I think that's less likely as it would require the CMOS to be corrupted, but only part of the CMOS where the password set while leaving the rest of it functional. Fails Occam's razor IMHO.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18736475)

Not to mention that every BIOS in existance takes a checksum of the CMOS contents. In fact, some most motherboards reset the CMOS contents by simply wiping the contents of the CMOS checksum, causing the BIOS to detect the CMOS is corrupted on boot and then reset the contents with defaults.

There's absolutely no way a bug could possibly set the BIOS password. The GP poster is a complete idiot.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 7 years ago | (#18737637)

Hmmm I hadn't thought about the checksum, that's a *really* good point as well.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731325)

I don't think he wrote the piece as a rebuttal. I think that he wrote it to clarify his position. Calling them up and saying "What's up with that?" is pretty reasonable and well in line with supporting his "I don't think this is intentional" argument.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

user_ecs (878826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731409)

"It is directly against Phoenix's policy to create BIOS that would lock customers into any single OS. It has never been or will it ever be Phoenix's intention to lock a customer into a particular OS." -Gaurav Banga, CTO & SVP of Engineering at Phoenix Technologies Ltd.
That MIGHT be Phoenix's policy but it CERTAINLY is NOT Microsoft's policy. Microsoft will attempt to get Phoenix to add features to make switching OSes harder. Microsoft's makes billions in extra profits through its monopoly. Also Phoenix and Toshiba have no real $ incentive to fight back and very HUGE $$$ incentive to help Microsoft. If it is the money or the principle, they will take the money.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (2, Insightful)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731759)

But what of the purported fact that the guy cannot get another OS on there? An effective rebuttal would include a good explanation why this problem occured; even better if it discussed a work-around or a fix.


What'd be effective is to verify the purported fact first - the guy hasn't taken it in for servicing. The Phoenix guys do not have any information on the problem from the blog post and you want them to duplicate it, and figure out what is going wrong. Come on. If its a BIOS password a work-around or a fix is rather well known - its called flashing the bloody BIOS.

You go on to ask what Phoenix's response is - apparently you did RTFA so let me summarize "They didn't do it. They won't do it. This article is to spread anti-MS FUD. They do not know where the problem is and they won't find out from a bloody blogpost. And ofcourse the last line - I suspect that chessonly's problem is somewhere between the chair and the keyboard."

Does anyone here have such a laptop? Would you care to install Linux on it as a test? Has anyone here tried? Did it work?

You could check [tuxmobil.org] couldn't [comcast.net] you. There I am linking to sites that apparently have the linux on his laptop. PROOF: that chessonly is a moron. [/sarcasm]

Re:What are the facts of the case? (2, Informative)

nicomachus (185745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731833)

I have a Toshiba Satellite U205 which has been happily running Ubuntu Linux since about 4 hours after I bought it in December 2006. The install, as is typical of Ubuntu, was completely trouble-free and required no intelligence at all (I did manually partition it first so as to leave the OEM XP system intact). Suspend to RAM doesn't work (not a surprise), and I've never taken the time to get the fingerprint reader working, but everything else is fine. And toshset works, for the most part. On the other hand, I've never tried to get the BIOS functions on the Fn keys working. I should add that my work desktop and the server I'm one of the admins for both run FreeBSD, so Linux isn't exactly my life.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18735093)

And I have a Compal HGL-30 that has all the Fn buttons working (brightness, play/pause/stop, volume) right out of the box with Kubuntu 7.10 beta. It has trouble hibernating, but I think that's because of the NVIDIA drivers. I've never tried to suspend, though, as it boots and shuts down quickly enough that I don't need to worry about it. Only thing that doesn't have native drivers as far as I know is the USB-based webcam and the USB-based fingerprint reader, both of which are being worked on, and are pretty new hardware. Highly recommended hardware for Linux.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733735)

I saw a submission about this yesterday in Firehose, and after going three links deep, I still couldn't figure out WTF was really going on. So I voted it down.

My best guess is that something (maybe even a bug in Toshiba's build of his BIOS) caused a password to be set, then the guy went all Chicken Little about "Teh Evel Micro$ofts" and "Darth Gate$". Nowhere could I find any hard evidence that it was something intentional in the design of the BIOS.

For a while I thought it might have had something to do with someone stupidly installing an EFI BIOS, but it didn't even seem to be that.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18735537)

An effective rebuttal would include a good explanation why this problem occured; even better if it discussed a work-around or a fix.

I doubt this guy is Psychic, and able to determine the cause of a reported problem, based on a couple lines of whining complaints on a blog...

Phoenix can claim they aren't [intentionally] doing this, but is it really happening in effect whether intentional or not?

Since there is precisely ONE person, ANYWHERE, claiming this problem exists, it's quite safe to assume it's not actually happening, anywhere.

Re:What are the facts of the case? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18739765)

Since there is precisely ONE person, ANYWHERE, claiming this problem exists, it's quite safe to assume it's not actually happening, anywhere.

My friend Bob has the same problem. So what do you say to that, MS Fudboy?

Well, that was a waste of time (4, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731219)

At the risk of being modded troll...

The article basically says "a post made by a clueless chap on a forum is almost certainly conplete twaddle. I wouldn't have even written this but his post quotes me."

So, IOW: the article is one big "nothing happened"

How is this news?

Re:Well, that was a waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731797)

"How is this news?"

It qualifies as news in the same sense that 50% of everything on Slashdot is news.

The problem is that nothing happened. (1)

Erris (531066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18738133)

the article is one big "nothing happened"

and the guy still has a broken laptop. What I get out of that is avoid Toshiba.

Only someone with their head firmly buried could think there is nothing wrong with BIOS. They are not free and the companies that make them work closely with M$, a company famous for sabotaging their competitors. This makes all new equipment a crap shoot. The author may have pussed out of his original sentiment, but things have not changed at all since he wrote the article:

convicted monopolist Microsoft should stop trying to push the hardware and BIOS industries into sentencing alternative operating systems to a second-rate electronic Siberia. Customers should take note and hope that competing BIOS manufacturers, such as American Megatrends, have a clearer vision than the people running Phoenix.

ACPI and APM before it were royal pains that took years for free software to master. Hardware that can only be manipulated with Windoze only software adds further insult to those who would avoid non free software. Finally, there are plenty of stores that won't take your laptop back if you have installed free software on it. Finally the author admits, "Toshiba's BIOS download page indicates that their BIOS is only designed for Windows Vista," but then blames the user for his misfortune when it did not work. Let's hear it for choice.

The upshot to all of this is that I won't buy any computer unless I've booted it and seen all of it work or read a page where someone has made it work.

Chess only has a real problem and a real gripe. His laptop does not work and no one has stepped up to the plate with a solution. Insults like, " I suspect that chessonly's problem is somewhere between the chair and the keyboard" are shameful. Screw you Network Computing, I hope you get forced onto Vista next week.

I like this part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731265)

I like the part in the linuxquestions.org post where the dipshit points to "another user" who has the exact same problem as "proof" of a conspiracy. Let's see, the "other user" happened to make a posting the day before with the exact same problems, using the exact same grammar/language mistakes. Gee, could it possibly be the same moron who can't figure out how to use his computer?!? Must be a conspiracy!!!

Toshiba :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731285)

The truth is that my Toshiba laptop doesn't allow to choose boot options after windows XP has hibernated, the text that shows at boot up and the keys to press for showing the boot devices vanishes, meaning that i am unable to boot other OS if i hibernate Windows XP !

Re:Toshiba :( (1, Insightful)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731853)

Hmmm, well there could just be a reason for that.

I am no BIOS expert or anything like that, but it seems to me from a logical POV that Windows, *nix, or any other OS would have to rely on the state of the machine when comming back from hibernation. If the BIOS allowed you to boot into another OS while a different OS was in a hibernated state, when you attempt to bring the hibernated OS back in, then the machine state would be quite different then when it went into hibernation. It would seem to me that this could cause any number of problems and a significant amount of chaos.

It also seems that the machine does not completely power down on hibernation. Try an experiment. Hibernate windows then disconect the power cord and pull the battery out and leave it out for say 5 minutes. Then pop the battery back in and see if Windows restores to its correct state. If it does, then perhaps there is something to be said for your asertion that this could be something evil. If it fails to come back to life properly then its all about preserving the machine state.

Re:Toshiba :( (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732175)

the laptop powers off after hibernation, it is not a sleep or something like that.
Since i installed grub i can actually choose to load another OS(ubuntu)in the same drive and boot it. What just annoys me is i can't boot a usb pen or a cd.
As far the windows partitions i can read files as long i don't do any alterations to that partition, since it is in a inconsistent state.
The weird is that i looked at others laptops(non Toshiba) and they don't have this behavior.

Re:Toshiba :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732807)

I think you really need to investigate more how hibernation and, generally speaking, operating system kernels work. I don't mean to be a jerk about it but you're really off base here.

Re:Toshiba :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18732895)

ok, np. i will try and read something about it.

Re:Toshiba :( (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18737565)

I'm guessing you don't own a laptop, or you would have discovered that your experiment contradicts your explanation. I've managed to hibernate on windows, restart the laptop, boot into linux and hibernate that, with no ill effects. Whatever state windows recorded has to have been blown away by that. Primarily because hibernate is also known as "suspend to disk". Suspend to RAM though, is another story. The "good" news is that as of Vista business edition, Linux has caught up with Windows on that front. Video fails to restore after resume for me on Vista about 50 percent of the time.

But suspend to ram has a spec in ACPI. It does have to set a few registers, so that ACPI knows where to run code from on the warm restart. mjg59 [advogato.org] has a nice article detailing the specifics of suspend and Linux, and the common culprits (video cards).

Re:Toshiba :( (2, Insightful)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731867)

In my experience, toshiba laptops have had several features that are windows-only, but they still do a great job of supporting Linux. What other manufacturer still has detailed specs online for 11 year old laptops?

Re:Toshiba :( (3, Insightful)

sabernet (751826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732049)

To be fair: Dell

I've fixed 300Mhz old Dell laptops using freely available service manuals with detailed assembly and disassembly instructions from their support.dell.com site.

But it's good Toshiba does it too.

Re:Toshiba :( (1)

niXcamiC (835033) | more than 7 years ago | (#18738753)

IBM? Dell? And both seem to have much better quality hardware then Toshiba...

dugg down (1, Offtopic)

masteroffm (1026700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731289)

so i posted a response on digg to the first post that proclaimed "OUCH! there is no way in hell my next motherboard purchase will have a Phoenix BIOS..." and I pointed out that this was a laptop, not a motherboard and that i could kind of understand but that it was no excuse. my comment was dugg up briefly, but then very quickly dugg way down. it frustrated me so much that people could be so ignorant to digg up the first comment about declaring a boycott of Phoenix bios motherboard when posting referred to a laptop and then buried my comment. this type of mob stoopidity that has become so rampant has left me disillusioned about digg i dont plan make use of the site anymore. between slashdot, engadget, gizmodo, and fark i can get all the news i need, but without a bunch of 13 year old juveniles piss all over it.

Re:dugg down (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731371)

I'm not surprised you were modded down. This post is barely coherent, and stupid at best. Maybe you should look inward first?

Re:dugg down (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731375)

And we care why?

my take (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731297)

My take of the situation is that this guy found some hardware/BIOS problem that will brick a certain model of laptop when you try to cold boot it with a certain model usb-serial adapter is installed. That's it.

Re:my take (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732421)

Close, but actually he found some hardware/BIOS problem that will brick a certain model of laptop when you try to cold boot it with a certain model usb-serial adapter installed and *run linux*. Either the hardware disagrees with Linux (Doubtful, or else why would it work with everything except that adapter?) or the Linux (Well, the software) disagrees with the hardware (More likely, it's a lot more probable that there's a glitch in the drivers).

Most hardware companies don't care about linux. (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731339)

Face facts guys, windows is the domanant OS now so all hardware manufactuers make sure that what ever they make supports it. Thats what they put most of their time, effort, and investment into. If what ever they make just happens to work with linux then they say, "Hey that's great, let's put out a driver or what ever, and if we sell a few more then super." Any company that only made hardware for linux, would probably go out of business quickly, because the damand for it just isn't there, if there is one, then I don't think I've heard of it.

Re:Most hardware companies don't care about linux. (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731809)

It must suck to be unable to use Google

Re:Most hardware companies don't care about linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18733489)

There's quite a difference between ignoring an OS and actively working against an OS, don't you think?

Re:Most hardware companies don't care about linux. (1)

cab15625 (710956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18735723)

Who said anything about linux only? ACPI is a standard that all sorts of folks agreed to ... like IBM and Intel, as well as MS. If people would comply with the standard that would be a useful first step. A handy second step would be letting at least developers know about what your specific modifications are. Some BIOS manufacturers can't seem to do either. Coding a BIOS that works properly may be tricky for specific hardware may be tricky in some instances. Telling dev's what gets triggered when you push a button shouldn't be any harder in one OS than it is in another. Unless politics get in the way.

So what...? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731345)

Isn't Slashdot the official-Jumping-to-Conclusions-portal?

It sure isn't the official-Journalism-portal.

Re:So what...? (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731497)

Isn't Slashdot the official-Jumping-to-Conclusions-portal?
Great, now all we need is the mat...

there is a precedent .. (3, Informative)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731493)

One thing I find myself wondering about is whether we shouldn't try and make the "ACPI" extensions somehow Windows specific

It seems unfortunate if we do this work and get our partners to do the work and the results is that Linux works great without having to do the work

Maybe there is no way to avoid this problem but it does bother me.

Maybe we could define the APIs so that they work well with NT and not the others even if they are open.

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/0 11607/3000/PX03020.pdf [edge-op.org]

Re:there is a precedent .. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732027)

Or maybe we could patent something related to this.

If they fix a significant technical problem, they should get a patent to preserve at least some competitive advantage. Maybe 15 years is too long, but some force-of-law to encourage people to solve problems and tell everyone how they did it is a good thing.

Re:there is a precedent .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732519)

'If they fix a significant technical problem, they should get a patent to preserve at least some competitive advantage'

I don't know if you read the same email but it seems patently clear that what was being proposed was breaking ACPI to make it Windows specific and use patents to prevent it being used on Linux. And since Linux is GPL it could not use patented ACPI extensions. Using broken extensions to preserve 'competitive advantage' is the act of a paranoid, greedy, untrustworthy and petty organization [synthesist.net] '

Re:there is a precedent .. (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733125)

IF they fix a significant problem

and IF it's non-obvious to one skilled in the art

and IF it's truly novel, as opposed to simple combination of existing art

THEN maybe it's patentable.

There's far too many patents of the kind, "Here's a solution to a problem that I happened to think of first. Once you think of the problem, the solution is obvious, but since I thought of the problem first, I deserve a patent on it."

Re:there is a precedent .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18733169)

Actually, it usually is not "Here's a solution to a problem that I happened to think of first [...]", but rather something along the lines of "Here's a problem that I happened to be the first to patent, therefore everyone who finds a solution has to pay me royalties".

I also think that in the fast-paced world of IT, the head start one has by first realizing an idea should be sufficent. Patents would only protect it for too long - not even to think of things like patent trolls or patenting a technology after a competitor announced it to keep the actual inventor down.

Re:there is a precedent .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18734545)

If they fix a significant technical problem, they should get a patent to preserve at least some competitive advantage. Maybe 15 years is too long, but some force-of-law to encourage people to solve problems and tell everyone how they did it is a good thing.

Or even better, they could do what the vast majority of the software patents out there do and simply claim "process for solving problem X" where the actual process isn't really specified, but by golly, if someone figures out how to solve it, that solution is covered. This can be seen in patents ranging anywhere from "process for scheduling appointments online" ("we don't have anything that makes appointments, but if anyone does, we own it") to "filing system for organizing and storing files on a rotating magnetic disk" (lol FAT).

Not to be stupid but... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731583)

Couldn't somebody with the knowledge remove the BIOS and check to see what is on it? I mean it isn't like BIOSes are typically encrypted. Shouldn't it be possible to look into the code to check these kinds of claims without the cooperation of the manufacturer?

Bah! (4, Insightful)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18731721)

What this BIOS porbably does (apart form the mentioned updates on the webpage) is add the SLIC data for Toshiba into the BIOS. All OEM venders need to have the SLIC data in the ACPI section of the BIOS so they can use thier OEM Digital Certificates that they supply on the Install for Vista DVD's. The Digital Certificate allows Vista to be instantly activated on a PC with the SLIC data, VLK, and Digital Cert.

They are just covering thier own backs that on the slight chance that the data changes in the ACPI could cause some crap on other OS'es. The user probably set a password, or corrputed his BIOS during the flash phase, and is pointing fingers at anyone else so he no longer looks like a dumbass.

I get this all the time with people who bring thier CellPhones in for repair becuase they locked thier phones and forgot thier password. They state clearly that they never changed it, and when I load the phone into my PST's and retreive the code the look of realization comes over them and say, "oh yeah, I remember it now"

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18731799)

Yep. My thought, to. He goes to far out of his way to say "I didnt flash it" and " I know what I'm doing" to believe him. Usually when they say that it means they know they screwed up but won't admit it.

Obligatory.... (0)

Null Perception (914562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18732521)

In Soviet Russia, conclusions jump to you

More Windows-friendly (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733749)

Well, its their product they can support whatever they want.

If they choose to support 90% of the market, well, thats their choice. Its our choice not to use their products ( if that bothers you )

Where's the leap? (1)

cab15625 (710956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18733857)

What's the big mystery? ACPI features work seamlessly under windows for any laptop I've ever had with a phenix BIOS ... getting even the simplest features to work under linux has been a major chore. Do hot keys work? Under windows, yes, under linux no. Do lcd controls work, under linux no, under windows yes. Have a look at the ACPI for linux web page at http://acpi.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] Anything phoenix related is completely screwed for Linux. There is not hiding this phoenix is onzered by MS. PERIOD. Look at your dsdt. Depending on when you made your purchase you will find several entries for MS operating systems. If you are lucky, you will find one for Linux (that's one of the uses for the acpi_os_name= parameter in the kernel flags ... trick BIOS's from completely braindead/lazy BIOS manufactureres into thinking you have an OS you don't.

Re:Where's the leap? (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18737943)

Could that be because most laptops are based on Phoenix BIOS, and laptops have more complex ACPI calls than desktops or servers?
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