22 February 2005

DRM for computer hardware?

A blogger has found that his HP laptop (Compaq/HP nx9110) won't accept a new 802.11g card, not because of hardware incompatibilities but because it's not on the list of "accepted" cards in the BIOS. I'm not sure if the HP hardware was upfront about this ("as per your BIOS, this card is not supported") or whether the blogger had to do a little snooping. I can't believe that this is the first instance of such an economic atrocity, but it's the first that I've heard of. Instead of a may-or-may-not-work situation as you hunt down applicable drivers, you're stuck with a certainty as defined by the manufacturer. Talk about mixed blessing. As Cory says over at BoingBoing, sorry, no modern hardware for you, your laptop only works with museum pieces.

I have a slightly different situation on my Audiovox Thera phone. Although it has an SD slot, the OS doesn't have the abstraction layer to allow SD WiFi cards to run (and as far as I've found, it can't be added). This is less an insidious restriction that an idiotic misstep.

[ via HP BIOS locks out all cards save those on a whitelist (BoingBoing) -> Welcome to Trusted Computing (Hardcore Hogbender) ]

[ posted by sstrader on 22 February 2005 at 9:42:47 AM in Science & Technology ]