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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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If they manage to do that, that'll be a rather serious problem for
storage media portability.  As of today FAT is the *only* filesystem
full accessible out of the box to just about every operating system
platform worth bothering with. Microsoft Windows itself is the major
limiting factor in that, since for non-optical drives it supports only
the FAT family and the rather fiercely guarded NTFS.  If they did kill
FAT, that might make files stored by MS Windows legally inaccessible
to all other systems because of the patents and trade secrets they
hold on NTFS.

Dual-booted PCs would no longer be able to access one platform's files
when currently running the other.

--
Hans-Bernhard Broeker ( snipped-for-privacy@physik.rwth-aachen.de)
Even if all the snow were burnt, ashes would remain.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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LFNs are supported on FAT12 and FAT16 as well as FAT32.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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A common misconception is that FAT32 and long filenames are in some
way interrelated - not so.The long filename trick works just fine on
FAT12 and FAT16 too,FAT12 being used on floppies for example.
It's also quite possible to have a short-filenames-only FAT32 volume.

A skim read would suggest that it's mainly flash based consumer
gadgets that are being clamped down,with no mention at all of other
platform desktop systems like FreeBSD,nor embedded uses like
oscilloscopes etc...
Sprow.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
wrote in comp.arch.embedded:

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LFN's for FAT were introduced with Windows 95 first edition, which did
not have FAT32 but did support VFAT16.  FAT32 support was introduced
with OSR2 of Windows 95.

And as others have pointed out, LFNs can be used on FAT16 and even
FAT12 floppy disks.

--
Jack Klein
Home: http://JK-Technology.Com
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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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To you and the others who replied, - I know. I just did not expressed
myself precisely enough - sorry for that. The page - and that's my
main concern - while only listing LFN related patent numbers claims to
license FAT in it's whole and apart from other posters opinions the
"tone" on the page to me clearly indicates that M$ want's 0.25 per
device and from the media manufacturers 0.25 per preformatted media.

While the page clearly lists certain mainly protable devices, it does
not at all exclude any other useage as being free or such but states
that a special arangement must be made. Bearing in mind how M$ usually
behaves I have a feeling that this does not mean that they don't care.
It just means that the fees would be subject of the agreement and with
lower quanties I'm afraid that the fees would be higher - not lower.

I also wonder what the impact of this will be for the linux comunity
where FAT implementations are used also. Do we see a FAT free linux in
the future? :-)

Well, let's see how things develop.

What I really wonder is if there is a *simple* hirarchical filesystem
available that is in the public domain. I'm just curious.

Markus


Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Markus,

If I read their text it appears their license is a license to use *their
implementation* of FAT, which includes LFN and possibly other stuff. It
doesn't seem to cover other implementations of FAT per se. It's a bit like
this: You can probably come up with your own way of implementing malloc()
and then try to license it to others, but that doesn't mean others are
*required* to license your implementation.

I have requested additional information from Microsoft to explain what is
and isn't covered by the license.

Rob



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
Hi Rob

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Oh, let's hope that this really is the case. Your statement along wiht
what Chuck F said makes me feel a lot better!

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Thank you for the effort. Would you mind posting the result of this
here?

Markus

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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This seems to be twofold.  MP3 case shows that you can have your very own
implementation of it (hardware, software, anyware), but are still required to
pay Thomson Multimedia for the privilege of using the algorithms.  Patented
algorithms, btw.  Which is not the case with FAT -- the references to
"methods and apparatus" to deal with long file names have nothing to do with
plain vanilla FAT.  Dunno how can they get it patented *now* .

All thoughts that can get into your mind while you are reading this personal
opinion are subjects of intellectual property.  Unlicensed cogitation of
aforementioned thoughts is prohibited :-)

  Vadim

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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Something that used encryption or compression may indeed have validly
patentable components.  The FAT file system however is merely a data
layout with a table lookup and bitmap of free sectors, none of which
is novel and all of which precedes Microsoft's existence.
 
(The broken patent system however could patent anything, requiring
mountains of cash to overturn it, so who knows...)

--
Darin Johnson
    "Look here.  There's a crop circle in my ficus!"  -- The Tick

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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The simplicity of the components have nothing to do with the novelty of
the invention.  Motorola patented the "flip phone", a cell phone with a
hinge in the middle.  Certainly the cell phone was not patentable (or
already covered) and hinges have been around for hundreds of years.  But
the combination was new and, I guess, not obvious.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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What about Captain Kirk comunicator?

--
Steve Sousa



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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That makes you wonder, will Motorola charge Kirk when he gets his captains
commission in a couple hundred years from now, or will Kirk get to charge
Motorola by then for using 'his' technology for the past centuries? Time
travel can be so confusing..

At some point a local magazine printed an article how to build a working
Star Trek communicator using CB frequencies, back in 1980 or so. Would that
count as prior art?

Rob



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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That reminds me of a website I found once that claimed that they
trademarked the name "Tricorder" long before Startrek ever flew a
mission.  Seems Captin Kirk is still paying royalties!  No joke...

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Well, a quick web trademark search shows 5 tricorder hits,
the oldest being 1976.



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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I think the Patent Office has lost sight of the meaning "Trivial".
Just because you nail two things together that have never been
nailed together before doesn't make it patentable.

Jim

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to

The patent examiner should have asked about prior art from ca. 1966-1967,
specifically the "Star Trek" communicators.



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 15:32:20 -0600, "John R. Strohm"

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Ahh, but that was different.  Kirk held the communicator up in front
of him, not to his ear.  The Star Trek communicator didn't have any
electronics on the upper part, merely a grill to protect the rest of
the communicator.

God, I'm such a nerd.
--
Alex Pavloff - remove BLAH to email
Software Engineer, ESA Technology

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 18:11:06 GMT, Alex Pavloff

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Didn't you ever get the Starfleet Technical Manual?  That was the
antenna.

Regards,

                               -=Dave
--
Change is inevitable, progress is not.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Damn, I was trying to keep my geekiness in the closet, but...

If you read further, that circuit was altered to conform to 20th century
knowledge to prevent temporal disruption.  (The 27.125 MHz ch14 operation
was also a tip-off.)

--
Ron Sharp.



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 20:43:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Dave Hansen)

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Well still, even if the Captain Kirk commnicator used the grille as
the antenna, I don't see how it can be prior art for the Motorola flip
phones.  The only commonality between the two is the fact that there's
a piece of the device attached by a hinge.  The placement of
components and the use of the devices are completely different.

God, not only am I a nerd, I'm like a lawyer-nerd.  The horrors!
--
Alex Pavloff - remove BLAH to email
Software Engineer, ESA Technology

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