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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Ettus Research News

From: Don Fanning
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Ettus Research News
Date: Fri, 05 Feb 2010 17:17:33 -0800
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090812)

Marcus D. Leech wrote:
On 02/05/2010 04:59 PM, Don Fanning wrote:
Am I denying that he shouldn't be paid? No. He has done a great bit of work and much congratulations to him for
taking his business to the "next level".

I'm not going to get all "awestruck" about the guy.  No one is worthy
of that.  He may be your friend, but this is just business.  Nothing

When someone touts a product that doesn't include all the pieces, then
they should be given a chance to respond and make it right.
So, near as I can tell, the "missing piece" that you're all bothered
about is that the PCB design
  files were never released, and this, somehow, makes the product "not
include all the pieces".
I'm sure there are a few other files such as a true schematic so that the PCB layout could be reconfigured to meet a different form factor. But no worries, we all know that in open source: "Some assembly is required..."

  Last time I bought an LCD TV, for example, I didn't even get
printed-on-paper schematics, let
  alone electronic design files.  Matt could have chosen to not give
away *any* of the hardware
  design information in an e-useful format, and he'd *still* be a
towering member of the Open
  Source community.  There is no "code" that says that "if you give away
any of it, you have to
  give away all of it".

You're right. And lauds to him. But don't blame me if you chose to buy a LCD TV without schematics. Any true hacker worth their salt I'm sure could find a TV with such details. And you probably didn't get the SAMS manual with your TV... that costs extra. :)

Not only is *all* the firmware, fpga designs, software (via gnu radio),
available openly, but so are
other "manufacturing" files like the BOMs, and schematic-capture files.
Which the USRP2 is missing.... at least with my checkout of the SVN I found... But to give him the benefit of the doubt, he did say he's cleaning it up and re-releasing the BOM's so I'll just be patient unless NI takes control of the information.
Matt, as the owner of this stuff in the intellectual sense, has chosen
to hold-back a rather-small
  piece of the pie--that's his choice, and he's been very public about
that choice from the very
  early days--and I've been around since the very beginning so I think
I'm speaking with at least
  some authority on the subject.  I have a USRP1 with a very low serial
number, and I was one
  of the BETA customers for the DBS_RX, and even in those days, the
policy was that the PCB
  files were held back.

Good for you to support the project at an early stage. But what happens when your project won't fit into the square form factor? What if you have this great idea but can only fit into the form factor of say a cell phone... then what? I'm not the only one with the same idea... Look at the beagleboard guys doing their USRP work.
Seems to me that the only people really affected by such a decision are
those who want to put
  *zero* effort into exact-cloning his work.   If the *real* reason is
that you want to "integrate pieces of
  the design into your own product", then *everything* you need is
already openly available.
  Implying otherwise is disingenuous in the extreme.

Umm... plagiarism has been said to be the greatest form of flattery.. but no, having the files helps *expand* a device's potential... an example would be a USRP2 with 4 ports instead of two on one board. And if this were really true, wouldn't you think some board manufacture in asia would be flooding the market with USRP knockoffs? I think you give too much credit to being a early pioneer and having all the arrows in your back...

Currently, there's a "glitch" in that websites got shuffled and Matt
chose to take that opportunity
  to clean things up before putting all of that stuff back up.   I think
it really sucks that you're
  effectively accusing Matt of having a hidden agenda.  Perhaps, I might
suggest, Don, that maybe
  you're the one with the hidden agenda.

WTF? Doesn't anyone backup files? Or leave the old site up while they migrate the information? That's IT 101 there...
Some peoples children....

I give Matt major props for developing the hardware, I really do... The rest of you are just appliance users.

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