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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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I'm not sure if you are at all serious or if you are just playing a
part.  Certainly it would be no problem to write the patent in a way
that would encompass both handheld use and use next to the ear.
Likewise if you don't specify the placement of components in the patent,
it would then cover all placements.  I have seen Motorola phones which
had the mic (and whatever else) in the flip part of the phone and I have
also seen Motorola phones which had *nothing* in the flip part.  The mic
was behind a small hole located at the base of the main part of the
phone.  The flipper only covered the push buttons and allowed you to
answer and end calls.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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I have a Motorola phone which has the earpiece in the flip part and the mic
in the main body [and no push buttons, just a touchscreen].

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Yes, that is my point.  Motorola has made many variations and I expect
they are all covered by their patent.  

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Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Markus,

I've been in touch with one of their licensing specialists. He requested
confidentiality so I won't tell you in detail what he told me, just that it
isn't as bad as it sounds. Suffice to say they encourage but don't demand
using the license under certain circumstances.

I can however tell you what I told him... I explained to him that the
license offer had created quite a lot of confusion in the embedded developer
community (this group, slashdot), as it's unclear under which circumstances
it would be needed. He promised to relay that to the proper people for
consideration in a reviewed text. If you want to know exactly how/when you'd
want this license, go ahead and e-mail the address on the page. If you're
concerned that your current products or projects will be impacted by it,
same thing, use the e-mail link on the page. They provided me with a decent
answer, I'm sure they'll do the same for anyone else asking.

Rob



Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Hi Rob

Thanks for shareing this with us. Seems like I have to contact them
then also.

Markus


Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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And their patents.

If you do your own implementation, using their patent claims (short & long
filenames), you may be infringing.  If you buy their license, it's not a
problem.  If you only implement short filenames, it's not a problem.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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No, the short/long filename thing can be used with FAT12 and FAT16 as
well.

If you don't implement long filenames, you won't infringe the patents.

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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But you can implement long filenames in a different manner if you
want, except that this gets back to the issue of people wanting to
use existing solutions instead of redesigning software.

--
Darin Johnson
    Caution! Under no circumstances confuse the mesh with the
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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
snipped-for-privacy@brouhaha.com> writes
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Long file names  have been around in Unix a lot longer than Ms?

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills  Staffs  England    /\/\/\/\/\
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\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Sure.  But Unix doesn't automatically associate two filenames with any
file whose base name is longer than eight characters or whose extension
is longer than three characters.  Microsoft invented that.  (Unfortunately.)
The filesystem does it behind your back.

Also, Unix doesn't normally break the long filenames into multiple
separate fixed-size directory entries, although I think I do recall
reading about some hacks to SVR2 to do that.  (SVR2 limited filenames to
14 characters.)

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT

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The effect of having two names associated with the same file doesn't
sound like something that could be patented; however a _technique_ of
doing that might be patentable.

That gets into the ugly issue of whether software should be
patentable.  I find it a bit of a stretch to think that this technique
is not obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art (ie, is it
'novel'), but apparently what really matters is who has the most
lawyers.

--
Darin Johnson
    Laziness is the father of invention

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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Many things are obvious after they are in common use.  But it took 15
years or more from the time we started working on PCs with 8.3 character
names to get around to having long filenames.  Clearly it was not all
that trivial.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
says...
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(Unfortunately.)
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I beg to differ.  When you look at the actual implementation of LFNs on
FAT12/16, it's not very difficult.  It simply chains extra directory
entries together, while using an "illegal" combination of attribute bits
to indicate the LFN to an OS that supports it, and causing it to be
ignored by an OS that doesn't.  Mostly, what was required was to wean
users away from DOS, so they wouldn't complain as much about the 8.3
name-mangling that occurs (if you never did a DIR again, but rather just
browsed in Explorer, you would never see the mangled file names anyway).

--Gene

Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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(Unfortunately.)
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I don't understand what you are disagreeing about.  The level of
difficulty is not at issue in any way.  The degree of "obviousness" is
unrelated.  If it had been obvious, Windows 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 would have
also used it or someone else would have added it as an addon package.  I
seem to recall that there was a large business around the time of
Windows 3.0 and 3.1 of adding features or fixing the ones that MS
implemented.  I specifically remember having to buy serial port drivers
for our code because the MS drivers were pretty much useless.  So why
did no one provide a long filename package at that time?  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
says...
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I disagreed with the phrase "Clearly it was not all that trivial",
because it was.

--Gene


Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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... snip ...
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They did, and it was available much earlier.  It was the
'description' field via 4dos, which could (and can) be searched
on, include blanks and funny characters, etc.

If you look at the download section of my page, URL below, you
will see those "long filenames" carried to a ridiculous extreme.

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Chuck F ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) ( snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net)
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
There was also a utility in Norton Utility
that could add descriptions to file names.
I think it was in 4.0.

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
[Top-posting and needless full-quote repaired...]


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That utility *was* that very same 4DOS, licenced by Norton and renamed
'ndos'.

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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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I think you guys are being a bit silly.  Obviously the "description" in
DOS was not the same as a "long filename".  If it was, it would have
been patented, not the long filenames that we are discussing.  If the
description was prior art, even though it may have been from the same
inventor, it would preclude the patent on long filenames.  

A lot of people think things are not valid patents because "they are
obvious".  That may well be true now that they are in common use.  But
someone had to be the first to invent it and that makes it patentable.
The "obviousness" is intended to cover things like using a screwdriver
to open a paint can, not the first time someone applies a tool to a new
area, like changing the shape of the screwdriver to self center in a
Philips type screw.  You could say that the Philips screw and driver
were obvious once the need for a machine operated driver required self
centering.  But someone had to be the first to do that.  

But then some people just like MS bashing (myself included), but there
are much better topics to bash MS on.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: Micro$oft to license FAT
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(which was actually 4dos, licensed and relabeled)

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On the contrary, the description provided all the functions of the
later MS long filenames, albeit in not quite as integrated a
manner.  It could be searched, converted to a short file name, the
results opened, deleted, renamed, etc. although some coding might
be needed to provide all those services.  I believe it would be
perfectly possible to provide all the functionality of the lfn DOS
calls through a DOS call interception TSR module providing the
same API as the MS system and using the 4DOS system.  The major
cost would be the loss of the filename "DESCRIPT.ION", which is
less likely to bite than the loss of NUL, CON, etc.

Not that I am advocating doing it now :-) (Unless someone wants to
pay me to do so)

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Chuck F ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) ( snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net)
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
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