09-09-2000, 08:16 PM
I don't know if anyone else has heard about this but i thought it was a humorous story of ingneuity over corporations. This is off the top of my head so my facts may be off. Radioshack will be sending with their new catalogs a bar code scanner which one can attach to their compter and use for online shopping. This thing probably only has about $2 worth of parts in it so it's a cheap venture. It would seem that this thing wouldn't be profitable but the trick was that the driver's included in the package were for win95 only and if you wanted to use it for the more recent OS you would have to pay about $20 i think and download it from their website. That's perfectly legal, but there was a linux user who got this scanner and found out it didn't have any driver's for that OS. I'll venture a guess but probably less than .1% of the computers users in the world use linux as their primary OS, so this guy decided rather than wait 5 years for the people at radioshack to release a driver for linux he would make one himself. So, he took it apart figured everything out and created a driver that would work for linux. I think he then posted it on his webpage for download. Radioshack got wind of this and told him that he wasn't allowed to do that. This was jsut some bull**** to cover up the fact that new drivers needed to be downloaded. If someone can write a driver for linux then they can be written for win98, NT, and others and their little scheme wouldn't be profitable. So, they are now threatening to sue this person because he took apart their product and posted the new driver's he made. Under this line of reasoning it is illegal for a person to pop the hood of their car and perform maintanance or even upgrade a home computer. This was a erson who saw this thing as a challenge and decided that he wanted to create this software, and he succeeded. Furthermore he wanted to tell people about his accomplishment. It's the same as the old computer seminars wiht the Altar (i think that's what it was called). IT was a body of motivated people who wanted to be challenged by computers and to share their triumphs (and failures) with a curious new piece of hardware. These are the people who drive the computer industry and know a hell of a lot more about computers than most of the population. I believe the man's response to radioshack's lawsuit (i don't even know if there's going to be a trial though) was basically "Go ahead and sue me. I, a "lowly" computer enthusiast, will make a multibillion dollar company look like a bunch of fools". If you want more info about this tory look through the archives at slashdot.com (nice site). Feel free to correct any discrepencies i've made because im sure i made a few errors.