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Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On a sunny day (Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:23:38 -0700) it happened John Larkin
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They are identical!
Stop complaining.

Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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I think it's a bit of a stretch to call the various operating parameters
stored in flash or NVRAM part of the "firmware" -- I consider "firmware" to be
the output from an assembler or compiler.

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To save some money?

While I support regulation of intelectual property, certainly don't support
pirating of software, etc., *in this particular case* I tend to side more with
Dave than Rigol:

-- They specifically *added circuitry!* to turn their 100MHz scope into a
50MHz scope; this suggests that they set out to build a 100MHz scope in the
first place -- there was no additional engineering cost to recover as there
might be, if, e.g., they started with a 50MHz scope and then made some design
tweaks to turn it into a 100MHz scope.  Instead, it's just "pricing to the
market."   (At least that what I'm guessing -- I fully realize there's no way
to know this for certain if one isn't inside of Rigol and familiar with the
development.)
-- The commands needed to remove the 50MHz limitation are just "regular old
commands" -- while they're undocumented by Rigol, they don't contain any,
e.g., encryption or checksums or anything at all to suggest that Rigol was
trying to control or prevent access to them (...and hence would have a basis
for charging Dave with, e.g., circumventing anti-piracy safeguards)

Clearly this is a somewhat gray area.  But I don't see it as that different
from, e.g., years ago with all-analog scopes where the only difference between
the 20MHz and 30MHz models was the binning of transistors, with the better
ones going into the 30MHz models: Would it have been wrong for someone to buy
the 20MHz model and replace the relevant transistors with ones they'd binned
themselves to get to 30MHz?

Heck, in the case of the Rigol, there are people who are working on replacing
100% of the firmware with one of their own making.  Surely it's not wrong for
those people to not artificially cripple the hardware capabilities of the
device with that replacement firmware?  (Look at all the replacement firmwares
available for, e.g., wireless routers like the WRT54G family that provide all
sorts of new features that were previously only avaialble on much higher-end,
more expensive devices...)  If someone replaces the firmware in one of your
boxes and provides features that you normally charge for, are you going to try
to get them to stop via legal means?

---Joel



Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 11:58:27 -0700, "Joel Koltner"

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It also does the standard bandwidth limit function, so it would have
been there anyhow.

Since the ADCs are overclocked, it may be that Rigol selects the best
scopes to be the 100 MHz versions.

John



Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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OK, but there's still an extra resistor needed to set it to 50MHz vs. 20MHz.
:-)

You never did tell us if you'd pursue legal action against someone taking one
of your widgets, completely replacing the firmware, and thereby providing
functionality that you currently charge for?

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Good point.

---Joel


Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On Wed, 31 Mar 2010 14:08:19 -0700, "Joel Koltner"

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I doubt that would be illegal. It would be illegal if they violated my
copyrights. I think it would be legal if they disassembled the code to
understand how it works, and then wrote their own, as long as they
don't copy my code.

If someone bought a baseline unit from me and modified the firmware to
enable a feature and then sold it for a profit, I think I would have
legal recourse to stop them. I'm not sure. If they used a computer in
the process, as they almost certainly would, it may be a DCMA
violation. I trust that none of my customers would do that, or
purchase a unit from a hacker.

I did once design a cryogenic temperature sensor module and sold a
bunch to Jefferson Labs. Someone else designed a register-compatible
clone, which was probably legal, but Jlabs refused to buy any. I did
once do a clone of a LeCroy module for Los Alamos, and LeCroy cut
their price in half on the next bid, to kill me, and Los Alamos bought
mine anyhow.

John



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Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E



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John,

I cannot understand your logic - it is ok for Rigol to overclock slow
ADCs and deprive ADC makers from income but it is not ok to "overclock"
a Rigol scope?

Tom

Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E



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There's nothing illegal about overclocking, or exploding, any chip. It
might void a warranty, as power dissipation probably rises with clock
rate. It may be illegal to use a computer to hack firmware if it
deprives the IP owner of revenue.

I just tested some plain vanilla 10 ohm 1206 resistors for overload
capability. They die at 26 volts in 1 millisecond, 1 Hz rep rate.
That's 2.6 amps, 68 watts. They are cool to watch on the IR viewer,
sort of like a pulsing LED. So it looks safe to use them at 22 volts
for 120 microseconds, which is what I need. I don't think anybody will
sue me for resistor abuse.

John


Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E



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There in lies your problem; prior publication. The IP owner has nil
chance of proving that his IP doesn't rely on someone else's IP. That is
how the whole process of technical development has taken place. The
concept that some brilliant individual created something new is 99%
bullshit. I've never met any programmer who is totally self taught
without recourse to any example(someone else's IP).



Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On Thu, 1 Apr 2010 02:53:24 +0000 (UTC), terryc

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It's your IP if you copyright it. And it's easy to copyright code.

John




Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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In US patent law, there's a strong presumption that any granted patent
is valid.  That's supposed to be what the USPTO does for a living.  (I
know, I know.)

Thus it's up to the alleged infringer to prove the patent invalid, and
that's one of the forms the defense always takes.  In a patent suit,
each side has to provide a couple of reports to the other, containing
the arguments they intend to present at trial and the evidence they
intend to use.  (It's actually a pretty good system in its
way--otherwise more cases would be wrongly decided due to the good guys
[whichever side that is] getting blindsided at the trial.)

I've done two expert witness gigs in the last year, one defending an
alleged patent infringement and one defending an alleged trade secret
misappropriation.  It's pretty interesting, and it makes much more sense
when you get into it.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal
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Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On Thu, 01 Apr 2010 09:43:23 -0400, Phil Hobbs

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Hypothetically, what would happen if there were no patent or copyright
laws?

John


Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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China.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs

--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


On Thu, 01 Apr 2010 08:31:32 -0700, John Larkin

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"Discovery" as it's called in the US and Canada is an essential part
of the civil law process. Typically there can't be a serious attempt
to settle a lawsuit until all the actual evidence on both sides that
could appear at trial has been seen by everyone. That's the theory
anyhow-- it's rather gamed in practice, IME.

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A lot of people would be employed differently. It might be better, all
told, if monopolies of arbitrary duration were not imposed by
governments. Consumer labeling laws (much as we have now) could deal
with a lot of the confusion that would arise. Software companies would
have to sell service and/or lock their software so it called home or
used a dongle if they wanted to get paid for it. Would open-source
software be more available or less available under those conditions?


Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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The idea of patents is to make it attractive for people to disclose
their trade secrets, and that makes the art advance.

Cheers

Phil Hobbs


--
Dr Philip C D Hobbs
Principal
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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World would be a better place.

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

17 years in US, for starters, is way too long. Patents often used to lock
competitors out, thus artificially decresing efficiency.
Etc, etc.

--
Andrew



Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E




Andrew wrote:

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They would have to send bandits or use whatever other non-economic means
of competition. Problem is not in the patents, problem is with the people.

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Write a complaint to the World League for sexual reforms?

VLV

Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E


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"They" could do it right now. It is not related to the patents.

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Patent laws is not the biggest problem US is facing right now.

As for the options:

- Use technical means to keep trade secrets rather than legal and sell you
product outside of US.
- Elect someone with at least a crude understanding of the economy.
- Write a complaint to <put one's favorite place here> if it makes one feel
better.
- Wrap oneself in white sheets and slowly crawl to the graveyard.

--
Andrew



Re: Turn your Rigol DS1052E Oscilloscope into a 100MHz DS1102E




Andrew wrote: