[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian-installer, older hardware, boot loaders, miboot & amiboot & ..

Henning Makholm wrote:

I don't think your understanding of reverse-engineering is applicable in
the U.S.

I thin you don't understand which kind of reverse engineering I'm
talking about. I'm afraid I am not able to be any clearer without
repeating myself.

Read my lips: I am *not* talking about "a *functionally* identical
result" or "clean rooms". I am talking about a deliberate (and quick)
reconstruction of assembler source for the excat bits that Apple has a
copyright on.

How does this differ from simply running the code through a disassembler? It seems that this is no more than disassembly by genetic algorithm. In my opinion, there is a very good chance that Apple would be able to claim that this not reverse engineering, merely copying in court, and win. This being the case, what's the point in providing disassembled source?

It is very likely that the bootsector is straight-line code, for which assembler source gives very little benefit over machine code. If you can make a disassembly with such minimal effort, why not just ask Apple to release the boot sector into the public domain?

If the code is as small and simple as described, clean-room implementation should take about as much time as getting a reply from Apple, and may have the nice side-effect of invalidating Apple's copyright claim on the boot sector.

Chances are I'll never have cause to work on the old-world mac rom, so I might try my hand at documenting the boot sector. Is there anywhere I can download just the bootsector image (not as a .sit)?

Lewis Jardine

Reply to: