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DATE 2015-10-01

HANGOUT

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MESSAGE
DATE 2015-10-27
FROM Rick Moen
SUBJECT Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] free wifi router choices at good prices
From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Tue Oct 27 20:23:53 2015
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Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com), who is citing someone else,
here:

> https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/free-software-wireless-n-broadband-router-gnu-linux-tpe-nwifirouter2
>
>
> Introducing the first and only commercially available 100% free
> software wireless router with Respect Your Freedom certification. The
> router ships with the most up-to-date free software embedded GNU/Linux
> distribution today: LibreCMC.
>
> LibreCMC was built from the Linux-libre kernel and a stripped down
> version of OpenWRT without the non-free bits. LibreCMC is the modern
> free software distribution designed for todays routers.

It's important to know for context what is being referred to by the term
'non-free bits'. This means several binary-only firmware BLOBs for
particular wireless chipset, and two Broadcom utilities (nas and wl)
specific to peculiar Broadcom chips to assist 802.xx authentication and
to set wireless driver parameters, respectively.

FSF went on a tear about firmware BLOBs (Binary Large OBjects) starting
(IIRC) in the late 1990s. I remember this well, because I was relying
on a trusty ol' PCMCIA 802.11b card using a Lucent Orinoco chipset.
Orinoco-based wireless card, like all ethernet cards of the same era,
had embedded firmware ROMs -- physical ROMs -- holding the code to
initialise the card. And, important for my point: This limited amount
of low-level code to initialise the card was binary-only and
proprietary, and nobody including FSF appeared especially concerned
about that fact.

Some bean-counter at some place like Broadcom had a sudden brainstorm:
'Hey, we can save 10 cents a unit on future cards by _omitting_ the ROM
chip and instead providing the same code as part of the proprietary
driver we write for Microsoft, and have the driver IPL the card exactly
the way the ROM currently does.'

And _this_, this substitution of firmware as BLOB for the exact same
firmware in a physical ROM -- this thing, FSF went on a tear about, and
is the main reason why FSF certifies only a couple of odd little distros
you've never heard of as 'respecting your freedom'.

I keep wondering why FSF didn't deplore the lack of freedom in my Lucent
card. Move the goalposts much?

FWIW, I have at home an old Linksys WRT54G v.3, based on a 200MHz
Broadcom 4712 SoC with 4MB flash storage and 16MB of RAM. It's loaded
with ridiculously outdated circa-2009 'trunk' cvs-checkout code of the
then-cutting-edge 8.09.1 (I think) 'kamikaze' branch of OpenWRT.

And the _reason_ I made a point out of seeking out and compiling from
source code that entire distro is that OpenWRT had stubbornly worked
through reverse-engineering of the Broadcom 4712 SoC, becoming the first
router distro to be able to support that chip without antique 2.4
kernels and cruddy old binary BLOBs from Broadcom. Thus, I have faith
in OpenWRT's leadership and good judgement, and I'd rather support them
than a distro (LibreCMC) whose apparent only notion of leadership is to
strip things out.

That's not to call ThinkPenguin's offer a bad deal. On the contrary,
it's an attractive one. But the first thing I'd do, if ordering one, is
to blow away LibreCMC and install my own installation of OpenWRT.



> What is the USB to TTL

Reference is to the page's offer of a 'USB to TTL Serial Cable Adapter'.
That's talking about one of these, to get the equivalent of serial
console (via its USB port) on a router that has otherwise no console
capability.

http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/Cables/USBTTLSerial.htm



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http://www.nylxs.com/

  1. 2015-10-01 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Adult Education through NYC
  2. 2015-10-04 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Put down the damn phone!
  3. 2015-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] running for governor
  4. 2015-10-07 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Good Voluteer Oppurtunity for Grad students et al
  5. 2015-10-14 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: Server Upgrade - popmail question
  6. 2015-10-14 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: Server Upgrade - popmail question
  7. 2015-10-14 nylxs <mrbrklyn-at-optonline.net> goign threw
  8. 2015-10-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> going threw 2
  9. 2015-10-14 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: going threw 2
  10. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] hit me
  11. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  12. 2015-10-20 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  13. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  14. 2015-10-20 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  15. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Music Wars and IP
  16. 2015-10-20 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  17. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] visual cobol
  18. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] popop
  19. 2015-10-20 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  20. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  21. 2015-10-20 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  22. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  23. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  24. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Hack the Subway
  25. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Time for a career change?
  26. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  27. 2015-10-20 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  28. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] hack the subway
  29. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Music Wars and IP
  30. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  31. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Time for a career change?
  32. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] mailman roster?
  33. 2015-10-20 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  34. 2015-10-20 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  35. 2015-10-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] one more
  36. 2015-10-21 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  37. 2015-10-21 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  38. 2015-10-21 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  39. 2015-10-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  40. 2015-10-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  41. 2015-10-21 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  42. 2015-10-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  43. 2015-10-21 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] events
  44. 2015-10-21 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  45. 2015-10-21 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: The George Sideris Student Travel Awards
  46. 2015-10-21 Ruben <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] visirule
  47. 2015-10-21 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] visirule
  48. 2015-10-21 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  49. 2015-10-21 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  50. 2015-10-21 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  51. 2015-10-22 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  52. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] visirule
  53. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  54. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  55. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  56. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] WS here we are!
  57. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] base64
  58. 2015-10-22 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] WS here we are!
  59. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] WS here we are!
  60. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] WS here we are!
  61. 2015-10-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] WS here we are!
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  66. 2015-10-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Spin a few records
  67. 2015-10-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Spin a few records
  68. 2015-10-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Spin a few records
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  73. 2015-10-25 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Puppet a bad solution!
  74. 2015-10-26 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  75. 2015-10-26 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  76. 2015-10-26 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  77. 2015-10-27 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  78. 2015-10-27 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  79. 2015-10-27 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] OK Ready for the WS
  80. 2015-10-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] free wifi router choices at good prices
  81. 2015-10-27 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] free wifi router choices at good prices
  82. 2015-10-27 prmarino1-at-gmail.com Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] free wifi router choices at good prices
  83. 2015-10-27 Chris Knadle <Chris.Knadle-at-coredump.us> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] messed up
  84. 2015-10-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] wintv
  85. 2015-10-28 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] wintv
  86. 2015-10-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] what is TAP?
  87. 2015-10-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] what is TAP?
  88. 2015-10-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] take a trip
  89. 2015-10-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: Just arrived!
  90. 2015-10-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: Just arrived!
  91. 2015-10-29 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: Just arrived!
  92. 2015-10-29 Rick Moen <rick-at-linuxmafia.com> Re: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: Just arrived!
  93. 2015-10-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] New Perl Text
  94. 2015-10-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Fwd: [isoc-ny] JOB: Spring 2016 NYC area adjunct

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