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Re: WSJ - Article on Linux netbooks



O> is done by the host computer.  There are things the printer can do that
> will break the printer.  We are talking about things like how long to
> heat the little wire to flash-steam the ink etc.  Do it for too long and
> you damage the wire.  On the mickysoft driver, this is all buried in a
> binary blob and while folks could in theory binary edit it, they won't
> for the most part.  In the OSS world, if they released sources, that

You honestly think the bad guys wouldn't just sniff the wire, disassemble
the driver and write printer exploding worms given the chance.

> almost certainly wouldn't be as true.  This puts Lexmark in a very bad
> position.  If they open it up they would need to figure out a way to
> tell if a modified driver caused damage and not cover that damage under
> warranty repairs.

I don't doubt that the printer control is done from the PC end, but I'd
be suprised if Lexmark were dumb enough to just trust the PC commands.
You don't DRM your toner cartridges and then act careless on the rest
surely. I'd have thought they'd have DRM on the driver interface too !

Linux actually supports a fair number of "dumb" printers, usually by
rasterising with ghostscript and then driving the rasteriser through some
custom printer driver.

And printers are one area where the what to buy data is really quite good:

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/OpenPrinting

Alan


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