Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dreamcast Modem Is Reverse Engineered

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the dialup-fever dept.

Hardware 149

00_NOP writes "The hobbyist's favourite console - the Dreamcast - comes with one of those braindead Winmodems that have made it very difficult for those on the active DC development scene to use. But now all that is about to change. Thanks to a find on the internet and some heavy duty hacking - real modem support is almost here. This is fantastic news for the Linux and the NetBSD teams and for *nix advocates everywhere - as immediately millions more people could access these OSes and use them in a meaningful way to get online etc. Don't forget - four million plus of these things were sold in North America alone!"

cancel ×

149 comments

Should have put this in the original post... (4, Informative)

00_NOP (559413) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441906)

But any kernel hackers interested in Linux on the DC are more than welcome at the #linuxdc channel on freenode/openprojects - irc.openprojects.net. Maybe you know about modems and you'd like to write us the driver?

Re:Should have put this in the original post... (0, Troll)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442160)

man, that is some skillful karma whoring. Post an incomplete story for +3, then add to it for +3. You are a genious.

Actually, in reality I don't really care. Kep up the goodwork. The Dreamcast Hack scene is good stuff for my 50.00 system.

Re:Should have put this in the original post... (0, Offtopic)

00_NOP (559413) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442182)

I don't need the karma. I just realised it would be good to post the link.

Re:Should have put this in the original post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442188)

I was seriously just kidding. geez.

How about modem to ethernet mod? (3, Interesting)

certron (57841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441917)

While it is a great thing that the modem now works (better?) I would think an ethernet connection would be more exciting.

OK, pretend I'm not complaining, since I only just bought my dreamcast, and and trying to figure out what to do to make a good dreamcast linux cd.

Can someone figure out how to make a broadband adapter that doesn't cost $150 on ebay? Or even one that does, but doesn't cost $150 to make? (Step #n. Profit!)

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (5, Informative)

squarefish (561836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442028)

as previosly mentioned here [slashdot.org] , you can pre-order an ethernet adapter for the dreamcast at ncsx.org [ncsx.org] for 50 bucks!
--scroll down about 1/2 way.

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (3, Informative)

certron (57841) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442067)

I followed the link, was happy, then was ... less happy.

http://hh141.hiphip.com/templates/frmTemplateE.a sp ?CatalogID=4661&SearchYN=N&subFolderID=33

it says that preorders are closed. :-( What does it mean? They needed 1000 to make a run, will they make a couple more...? Please? :-)

Your comment deserves more mod points, too.

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (4, Informative)

zaffir (546764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442071)

According to the site, pre-orders have closed. Bummer, right? Well, i mailed them about this a week or so ago, and was told:

Hello, the production will proceed and we will update our website and customers once we have more news on the ship date. Thanks.

If this means that there will be plenty to go around, i do not know - but i hope so, seeing as i didn't get a pre-order in on time. I'm betting that major resalers ordered quite a few, though.

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (1)

spoon42 (41389) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442519)

yaaaaay.

just hope lik-sang's back up by then.

microsoft_hating++;

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442447)

Who wants to bet that prices on the original U.S. run of BBAs will stay high (on the order of maybe +/- $125)? For non-hacker-geek console collectors, having a unit that can be proved to be from the original production run (with original documentation and packaging) is preferable to owning a re-release version. Like other collectors, console collectors work on a whole different set of values that nullifies logic.

Last year, some of the smaller Japanese shops and import game stores still had surplus Japanese stock of BBAs lying about. Those had a resale value of only 90%-100% of retail price on auction sites, because collectors (A) knew about them and (B) didn't want them. Hackers, of course, didn't care, and bought them up at reasonable prices.

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (2, Interesting)

NoahsMyBro (569357) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442860)

Actually, I have spent a lot of time following Dreamcast doings on various videogame-related websites & newsgroups, and my understanding is that the after-market BBAs were NOT compatible with the BBA-enabled games. The difference in value is not solely du to lesser collectability.

Why (or whether) the games don't simply use a hardware-abstracting driver, thus allowing the use of any standard IP connection, I don't know. But it was made clear to online Dreamcast enthusiasts that the Asian BBAs would not allow Dreamcast players to play their BBA-compatible games; it was only useful for ethernet networking for other reasons (hacking/hobbyist pursuits). I don't know if they were compatible with the Dreamcast web browsers.

Once I learned the above, I didn't bother pursuing one myself, even when I found one for under $50. With the new units coming out at ncsx, I'm curious to find out if the above holds true for them, or even if it was ever true to begin with. It certainly doesn't seem likely.

google groups are great! [google.com]

another reference [google.com]

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442917)

nope, japanese ones only 10 base t and don't work w/games....

the one on ebay is 100base-t and can be used w/games :-)

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442070)

Have a look here [electronsrus.com] . It's coming along...

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (1)

iconian (222724) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442265)

How about a USB port mod? Tie that with the correct linux drivers and that would open up the DC to a HUGE range of hardware including USB ethernets.

Re:How about modem to ethernet mod? (2, Interesting)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442291)

The ethernet adapter has been working fine for a while, Marcus Comstedt(sp?) even had a disk you could burn, swap to a game, and the game would be sent over the network. It took a few hours, but it worked. More info on Marcus and the DC scene in general here [mc.pp.se]
This is the same guy that ported SNES9x to the dreamcast..just when I finally got past my tetris attack addiction..

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441918)

FIRST POST!

OMG! Send one to Junis in Kabul (4, Funny)

Marijuana al-Shehi (609113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441920)

Wow, you mean you can hax0r one of these puppies for 56K dialup access? What's that sound? It's the sound of third-worlders cheering.

Re:OMG! Send one to Junis in Kabul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441932)

Uhh.. you've been able to use dialup access on the dreamcast since it came out.

Goatse.cx Reverse Enginerred (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441924)

Thanks to loopback technology [goatse.cx]

Invalid form key: WQKv7KEi2Y !

I think this could be good (4, Insightful)

Klerck (213193) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441930)

But wouldn't it be smarter to develop the driver in a clean-room environment? That is without any reverse engineering or especially the use of documents that you probably aren't supposed to have? Frankly, it just seems like you're looking for a lawsuit.

Re:I think this could be good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441965)

Hey Klerck, you woose. Why no page widening, buddy boy? Did Malda cut your balls off, faggot? Or did you suck Hemo's dick? I thought I smelled sperm on your breath.

Give me WIDER. Wider is BETTER.

Re:I think this could be good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442041)

Amazing! Klerck is actually insightful!
Next thing you know, RIAA will be giving away free MP3s!

Re:I think this could be good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442583)

Quit karma whoring, bitch. You aren't fooling anyone.

Re:I think this could be good (0)

Surye (580125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442922)

Why is every good point a karma whore? Your the one wasting the bandwidth on slashdot.

this is good news and a great achievement (0, Offtopic)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441937)

but, how many people who have a DC now have gone and bought a PS2 or X-Box?

Shouldn't matter... (3, Interesting)

Corfe (246685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442022)

but, how many people who have a DC now have gone and bought a PS2 or X-Box?

If you still have the dreamcast, it doesn't matter if you've bought the PS2 or X-Box - use the PS2 or X-Box to play games, and use your dreamcast for a browser! Unless you've sold your old dreamcast, but come on how many people do that? Almost as many as those who bought used Dreamcasts I bet :)

Re:Shouldn't matter... (1)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442087)

fair point never thought of that :( i'm not up to date on the console scene but aren't xbox and ps2 broadband launching later this year? I've already seen 56k unofficial modems for them. The xbox broadband is an ethernet card already built in i *believe* which should be easier to get working with linux. So this will be outdated pretty soon hopefully.

Where's the hack? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441939)

"Thanks to a find on the internet and some heavy duty hacking"

Since when is DOWNLOADING A DATA SHEET considered a hack (or even reverse engineering)?

Re:Where's the hack? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441941)

Since it got posted on slashdot

Re:Where's the hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441946)

How very true...

Re:Where's the hack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442235)

You're telling that the datasheet also contained full source code for a Linux driver??

Guess not. Then someone must have done some heavy duty hacking, right?

If you mean 'heavy duty hacking == reverse engineering', then you're right. But almost noone is a hacker then.

The end of the world is near! (4, Funny)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441948)

They reverse engineered the DC modem?!

Soon, hack attacks from Dreamcasts [slashdot.org] will bring every network in the world to their very knees, society will break down, and World War III/Armageddon will erupt, leaving 6 billion dead in its wake, save for the 144,000 virgins (many of them slashdot users) who will be saved by Jesus Christ on judgement day!

But But But... (2, Funny)

schatten (163083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441961)

We have the good ol' DMCA to protect us from 133t h4x0rs reverse engineering products that are no longer on the market!

blah

Re:The end of the world is near! (5, Funny)

stygar (539704) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442012)

Ahh, finally we know what alias Steve Gibson uses on Slashdot.

Mods: Please bitchslap SexyKellyOsbourne (-1, Flamebait)

Marijuana al-Shehi (609113) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442021)

Infidel bitch SexyKellyOsbourne [slashdot.org] likes to hide gay porn links [slashdot.org] in slashdot comments!

Re:Mods: Please bitchslap SexyKellyOsbourne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442238)

yes, everyone with mod power should hunt down everything he posts and mod it down immediatly, im tired of seeing his crap modded way up because the mods don't see the blatant trolls. Read his journal, seriously!

I found a Packard Bell Multimedia 705 in the trash (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441949)

You can find better stuff in other peoples garbage. Recently I found a PB 705 in some guy's garbage pile -- 2 gig disk, cd rom, Lucent win modem, 64M, S3 SVGA video, Win 98, and Cyrix PR 300. Run Linux, BSD, Windows, whatever. Why would I want an odd ball Dreamcast? You can find better stuff in the garbage.

$199 Wal-Mart PC (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441957)

'nuff said.

It's free software and the developers can develop whatever they want... I just know someone at Microsoft must be LOL over the waste of time projects that the open source community does instead of truly trying to compete. "While they're busy... Hah hah hah Getting a software modem in a GAME CONSOLE hah hah hah, oh my god, I'm gonna die laughing, we're putting the finishing touches on the next version of DirectX that will revolutionize gaming."

Re:$199 Wal-Mart PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442132)

Do you really think the people the are working on getting the DC modem working would be doing something else productive for the open source community if it wasn't for this?

Re:$199 Wal-Mart PC (3, Informative)

monthos (591823) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442171)

Why does it have to be the Open source comminity as a whole trying to compete?. The beuty of The open Source model is that i can do whatever the hell i want with my time and if you like it, you will use it. Its Projects like this that make it more diverse and more appealing. Not many people start there projects as competition to any other company/project, but as something they are intersted in.

I use the dreamcast as a dumb X terminal, it loads up, and i get X Windows and can browse the web, use irc chat or do email. It works great for that and it serves its point in my home network. Im sure its the same way with other peoples setup or even the little kiddie who knows nothing of computer architecture and programming and just wants to see how different another system running on a completly different CPU architecture is.

Re:$199 Wal-Mart PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442388)

you are soooooo right. I agree 100% with everything you say.

Some people just don't get the magic behind projects like these. I personally had no idea about DC's running linux -I accidentaly discovered this site- but I really am amazed now.

Even if only 400 DC's get to use the modem, this will still be a great achievement. I and a friend develop a 2D Worms-like game. It'll be free and probably open-source. I don't know if 400 people will get to see it. But if they do, i'll be ultra-happy. I'll be happy even if 1 person in the whole world will download my game. A game that i'll have spent more than 2 years to program. If i was to think like many of you do, I'd never even start this game.

The magic lies in creating and discovering. Some people are tired of getting everything ready. If you don't like a project, don't deal with it. But, please, don't pretend to be so "above all"! The least you can do is show some respect :-)

not a winmodem... (3, Insightful)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441959)

The dreamcast modem while not using a serial
interface does not qualify as a 'win' modem
because that implies the dreamcast is running
windows, which it certainly doesn't...

Re:not a winmodem... (3, Interesting)

Kaypro (35263) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441975)

It actually runs a modified version of WinCE. Whether or not this supports/refutes your argument, I'm not sure. Anyone else?

Re:not a winmodem... (5, Informative)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442000)

Actually, would be more accurate to say 'is capable of' running a version of WinCE. It's a title by title basis; the hardware itself doesn't run an OS, only a bootstrapper and a few hard-coded utils to play CDs, change the clock, and futz with the memory cards.

Re:not a winmodem... (1)

ActiveSX (301342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442001)

It can run Windows CE, but it doesn't by default. WinCE was meant as a way to port games from x86 Windows to Dreamcast easier, and was used a few times. For the most part, though, developers opted to run closer to the metal than WinCE allowed.

Re:not a winmodem... (1)

zaffir (546764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442084)

It uses WinCE for it's web stuff, so yes, it is a WinModem.

Re:not a winmodem... (5, Informative)

The Vulture (248871) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442134)

Nope.

The Dreamcast is not inherently tied to Windows CE in anyway.

I can't really comment on the non-Sega projects for the Dreamcast, since I honestly haven't really followed them, but there are three official IP stacks for the Dreamcast.

1. Windows CE - This one isn't really used that much. Windows CE was meant mainly as a quick port of existing Windows games. From what I recall hearing, there was a plan to have Windows CE exclusively as the Dreamcast OS (much like the original Dreamcast was supposed to use 3dfx chips, instead of PowerVR), but I think the execs at SOJ (Sega of Japsn) didn't like that idea, hence the SegaOS was made.

2. PlanetWeb - The web browser that shipped with every Dreamcast, and was available in magazines, was called PlanetWeb, and I believe the company that made it was also known as PlanetWeb. They had the "official" Dreamcast IP stack if you were using the SegaOS - Windows CE was not required for IP connectivity.

3. I can't remember the name of the third stack, but it was used mainly for broadband related titles. It was developed by a third party, and paid for by Sega of America and Sega of Europe, as an alternative to the PlanetWeb stack (because we wanted source code, and an optimized stack, and PlanetWeb didn't seem to care about that).

Note that Windows CE, last time I checked (well, while I was working at Sega anyway, and I don't think that they released a new toolkit since then) NEVER supported the broadband adapter, they supported the modem only.

-- Joe

Re:not a winmodem... (5, Informative)

Talez (468021) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442401)

No

Since another person has kindly derailed your WindowsCE argument, let me derail you on the hardware side.

The Dreamcast uses a something along the lines of a hardware-accelerated software modem. The Hitachi SH4 that the dreamcast uses has a couple of registers and, IIRC, a couple of instructions specifically for working with the modem so that you don't have to fuck around when you're trying to work with the hardware.

It's a software modem but not software in the sense that we're used to.

Re:not a winmodem... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441978)

could have sworn it ran on win ce...

Re:not a winmodem... (2)

GearheadX (414240) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441979)

If memory serves, the DC actually *does* run an incarnation of Windows CE.

Re:not a winmodem... (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441981)

While you are slightly correct in your pendantry, some DC titles actually used a form of Windows as their base environment. I do not know if they ever made a modem "driver" for that, but it is possible that this is a true Winmodem. However, more to the point, "Winmodem" is shorthand for "software modem", which this definatly is. Because of that, you can argue that winmodem is the correct term.

Re:not a winmodem... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442093)


While you are slightly correct in your pendantry,...

I'm not quite sure what a necklace has to do with the attention to detail shown by the previous poster.

Re:not a winmodem... (1)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441984)

i was under the impression that it ran a form of Windows CE of course i read that about 3 years ago or something when the DC was first announced so chances are i'm wrong

Re:not a winmodem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441988)

It can run WinCE. Most games do not use it as it is not really the best choice for making real console games.

Re:not a winmodem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4441993)

look on the front of the damned box... do you see a 'compatible with windows ce' label?

derf.

Re:not a winmodem... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442003)

Actually, Winmodem has come to be a generic term to describe modems that don't have an onboard DSP to do the MOdulation and DEModelation and simply rely on the host CPU to provide the DA and AD conversion. As such, no winmodem is truly a serial device as it merely emulates a COM port as a pseudo COM port.

And yes...the DC did run Windows. While most games were built using the Katana libraries and dev kit, several games and applications (web browser included) actually ran on Windows CE. As a matter of fact, the basis for the first "illegal?" homebrew applications was to strip down namco museum (A WinCE app) and use it as a WinCE base. Of course now there are free development libraries available that are not intruding on Segas intellectual property.

Re:not a winmodem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442430)

... used to be software modem, but I guess that's less memorable than WinModem.

Re:not a winmodem... (3, Informative)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442004)

the dreamcast modem uses a DSP of its own rather
than the main processor which makes it an
embedded modem rather than a winmodem
(even when it is running CE which it technically
can but which most games do not use because
of the overhead that would bring with it)

Re:not a winmodem... (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442280)

Winmodem, windows printer, etc. refer to devices which have had their brains removed and use software drivers as a substitute. To save a few bucks, they remove specialized processing from a relatively cheap peripheral and instead use resources of the much more expensive main cpu. Sounds like Microsoft, somehow.

Re:not a winmodem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442825)

For most non mouth breathers, the term "winmodem" is a generic term for modems that implement some or all of the "modeming" process with code running on the host CPU, and/or use some totally proprietary and undocumented interface that makes writing an driver for alternative operating environments difficult.

Fanatic Groups (3, Interesting)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441970)

This reminds me of the many intelligent and resourceful people that shored up the Amiga movement. It's fine for a hobby, but I don't think it will ever amount to much.

Re:Fanatic Groups (-1, Offtopic)

Wiz (6870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441997)

*gasp* You are not saying (like *BSD) that the Amiga is dead are you?!!?

Somewhat Implausable... but I'll go with it... (5, Insightful)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4441998)

OK, so 4 million dereamcast consoles were sold in the US alone. Ang I have to say, it's cool that you can now use CD linux and FreeBSD to get online with this hardware, but where does the contributor of this article get the notion that this will significantly increase the userbase Linux of FreeBSD. Somehow I seriously doubt that any new adopters of Linux or FreeBSD will be so balzy as to choose to do their first installation on a DC console just because they have one. Certainly, logic dicates that the vast extreme majority of DC *nix users were already *nix hobbyists.

--CTH

Re:Somewhat Implausable... but I'll go with it... (5, Insightful)

MyHair (589485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442107)

Somehow I seriously doubt that any new adopters of Linux or FreeBSD will be so balzy as to choose to do their first installation on a DC console just because they have one.

installation = insert CD and turn on

Right?

I doubt this will push Linux into world domination, but a newbie somewhat curious about Linux and owning a Dreamcast may get a Linux CD from a friend and drop it in.

What is the number one problem for Linux newbies? I believe it is hard drvie partitioning.

While the average geek knows that booting a live filesystem Linux CD our computers doesn't pose a danger, a newbie might not realize that. But there will be no psychological barrier to putting just another CD into their Dreamcast.

Re:Somewhat Implausable... but I'll go with it... (0, Offtopic)

woogieoogieboogie (598162) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442179)

"What is the number one problem for Linux newbies? I believe it is hard drvie partitioning."

In Mandrake 8.+ it involves nothing more than pushing a button. Kinda easy if you ask me.

Re:Somewhat Implausable... but I'll go with it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442403)

Most people do not have the keyboard for the Dreamcast, *nix won't be very useful on this.

"Millions more people" ??? (5, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442020)

My first thought was "who cares", but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was the right reaction. Yes, the DC may be "the hobbyist's favorite console" but it isn't going to get millions more people to try Linux or BSD. Millions more people will try Linux by buying Lindows PCs, or buying RH 8.0 in a store (with a bit of luck on their HW platform during the install).
I mean, coolness points for reverse-engineering the modem, but this won't open some Open Source floodgate.

Who cares? (2)

Tony-A (29931) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442233)

I do, for one. And it's not because I have any intention or significant probability of using the thing. It has to do with where the battles are fought. You want the front lines to be safely distant from general headquarters. This doesn't affect RH 8.0, but does affect what I can reasonably expect from RH 8.2 and RH 9.0.
The recent fun&games with OpenSSL and Apache have convinced me that open source, of whatever breed, is the only feasible way to maintain effective security. It's not that they always handle it the "right way", whatever that means. It's that it will be discovered and handled by somebody, somewhere, somehow. Flame wars and such solve the problem of who watches the watchers. You almost feel sorry for the poor worms.
I completely agree that millions more people will try Linux by buying Lindows PCs or buying Red Hat, but the scope of the Linux that people will be buying will be determined more by the lunatic fringe doing the battles than by the central soft core. This doesn't open the floodgates. It's just yet another leak in the earthen dam.

Re:"Millions more people" ??? (2)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442268)

Speaking of the millions buying Lindows PCs, I ordered one two weeks ago from Walmart, and last night Walmart told me....

"there is a delay in shipping the item(s) listed below from your order due to availability."

For the most part I would never have thought that Lindows from Walmart was going to be a big seller, but this statement from Walmart may indicate that it is a good seller and lend credence to your (wishful?) statement of the millions of people trying Linux by buying Lindows PCs.

But can you reverse engineer this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442030)

SEX FOR FAT PEOPLE [sexuality.org]

Minor problem... (5, Informative)

baboyer (109846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442036)

I know people here hate patents, but everyone should note that any modem driver written for this thing is going to infringe on a rather large number of patents. You've never seen such a mess of patents until you've looked at all the compression and error correction routines needed for a full software modem.

Re:Minor problem... (1)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442870)

Patents? What patents?? I dont see no stenkin patents.

Since I cant see them, I guess I cant infringe them, eh?

Math? (5, Insightful)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442038)

as immediately millions more people could access these OSes and use them in a meaningful way to get online etc. Don't forget - four million plus of these things were sold in North America alone!"

Let's make some basic assumptions that the Dreamcast owners with the desire and/or technical expertise to setup Linux on the console comprise about 0.01% of the DC owners. 4,000,000 * 0.0001 = 400. Given that the market for basic Internet appliances consists of Christmas/birthday presents for mothers/grandmothers, and that they require the simplest and most basic of functionality, and that no ISPs are going to support the boxes, there will probably be about 4 of these modified DC systems to ever be utilized and will belong to EE students and be used for a final project.

The only exception will be an MIT or Berkeley student that will cram it into a stuffed animal and use it as a webserver/router, thus getting the story posted on /. and the DC box burnt to a crisp.

Re:Math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442056)

Errr... what if you gave them a CD with it on? I know may of these people are not going to be techically minded but they might manage - (1) insert CD (2) switch on (3) ???? (4) Make $$$$$$$

Re:Math? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442130)

...there will probably be about 4 of these modified DC systems to ever be utilized and will belong to EE students and be used for a final project.

And while I've got it booting, I'm still trying to pick up a keyboard for less than $10 total on eBay [ebay.com] .

So, it's only 3 right now.

Re:Math? (2, Funny)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442441)

I was right, it would take someone very geeky. Like one of the first 3,800 people to get a /. account :)

Re:Math? (1)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442736)

Damn. This sounds like the same logic found in the "BSD is Dead" posts.

I feel sorry for the idiot moderator who actually modded this up. The sad thing is that the BSD is Dead sounded convincing at first. This doesnt even come close, yet +5

Re:Math? (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442843)

Hehe, sorry. Didn't mean to kill your hopes of a bright future for the Dreamcast ;)

In other news... (5, Funny)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442044)

...the light gun for the original "Nintendo" entertainment system has been reverse-engineered for use as a pointing device by the Linux-On-Useless-Crap team! Way to go, fellas!

- A.P.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442061)

OMG! Do you have a link! Quick, who has a downloadable Duck Hunt ROM!!!!

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442072)

I rue the fact that I have no mod points today. Everytime I hear [insert geeks that will never reproduce] just loaded linux on [insert useless item here] and you can reduce their silly website to rubble [here].

Well said.

Re:In other news... (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442239)

Actually, somebody did make a driver for the Nintendo Power Glove. Search Slashdot. It made it here.

Wouldn't work (3, Interesting)

Froobly (206960) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442522)

Light gun games worked by quickly flashing the bounding boxes on the screen different colors when the trigger was pulled, so that the gun could easily decide whether the player "hit" (pointed the gun at the right color) or "missed" (pointed the gun at the wrong color). Since I don't think the light gun can support all that many colors, it would be impossible for it to tell which icon the user shot at.

Now the Namco GunCon on the other hand, would be perfect for such an interface.

Why I love Slashdot... (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442781)

Speaking for the great majority who love having all the humor in the world flattened by technical explanations, allow me to thank you.

Flash DC sales on eBay (0, Troll)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442053)

Okay people the amount orprice for DCs has just been increased from 4.01 to $0.05 ..please bid on eBay for your very own Dreamcast with Linux running..

Or better yet install some p2p software and give RIAA and Hilary Rosen a run for her money..

Wait, hmm there is an idea..P2p on dreamcast..why not?

Re:Flash DC sales on eBay (1)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442065)

because it hasn't got a hard drive iirc?

Re:Flash DC sales on eBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442161)

YES! And then when the JACK-BOOT THUGS from the RIAA come and BREAK YOUR DOOR DOWN for SHARING the latest EMINEMINEMINEM SONG (you know, the one were he CUTS HIS MOTHER UP with a CHAINSAW), you can just point to your DREAMCAST and say I DON'T HAVE a COMPUTER, I only have a VIDEO GAME machine OFFICER!

THEN, they'll turn to one another and speak in GRUNTS: "urg, this one no have com-poo-ter". AND LEAVE YOU ALONE! Normally, they TAKE the computer and also cut off your PENIS! OUCH!

GREAT, now i can spend time surfing on a 56k line! (3, Insightful)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442066)

Not to be negative, but i don't think that this is going to go very far (as stated earlier). BUT, and it is a big BUT, if some company could start bundling a easy to use Bootable Linux w/ drivers for internet and a nice little GUI, i think people would buy the DC (With keyboard & mouse) (all for under 100$), and use it for net surfing, it would be a great, easy to use, net station. Hell, i would even buy one for my grandma!

Re:GREAT, now i can spend time surfing on a 56k li (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442420)

Not to be negative, but i don't think that this is going to go very far (as stated earlier). BUT, and it is a big BUT,

No, THIS is a big BUT. [goatse.cx]

Re:GREAT, now i can spend time surfing on a 56k li (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442507)

Ask yourself: Why does it have to run Linux? Why not use the Planetweb browser?

The only reason I can think of (without dedicating too much time to the effort) is that you can update the OS and browser, then burn updated boot discs as needed. But with the Planetweb browser disc, you can have, _now_, a working net station for close to $100 (using conservative prices).

Used DC w/one controller, modem, browser disc (2.0 or 2.62) - $60 or so
Keyboard - $15
Mouse - $15
VGA adapter - $20 (or more, depending on quality)

Supply your own monitor and you're golden, or you can use a TV.

Maybe more winmodems now work under "normal" Linux (2, Interesting)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442116)

Perhaps that now that they reverse engineered this particular DC modem, they find that it shares some similarities with all the other PCI winmodems out there.

Being the case, it wouldn't be that hard to get all those unsupported modems working on Linux. It sure would help a lot of people.

Re:Maybe more winmodems now work under "normal" Li (1)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442178)

from what i've seen the difference between software and hardware modems are about £3 hardly a earth shattering sum if your that desperate to use the net through linux

Re:Maybe more winmodems now work under "normal" Li (1)

Dean Sas (614171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442187)

though its a reason that more people will count against installing linux when they look into it

Re:Maybe more winmodems now work under "normal" Li (1)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442606)

It's not a problem with *my* modem, it's a problem with a thousand (million?) people's winmodems that don't have linux drivers...

Usefulness? (3, Insightful)

xenofalcon (605906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442274)

And in other news, about 5% of the owners of the 4 million-odd-machines know what a software modem is, let alone that their Dreamcast has one.

Re:Usefulness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442693)

fuckin troll

How can you reverse engineer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442444)

braindead Winmodems. These were never engineered in the first place...

Dreamcast Modem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4442468)

Orginal Design was done in Montreal by a company called Trisignal Comm's purchase by Eicon....

No longer in exsistance too bad

I knew they could do it!!! (1, Troll)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442626)

Mod this whatever way you want, I don't care, but I just have to say W00t!!! This is a great day for Dreamcast lovers.

Dreaming? Running Linux? Hacked Network Devices? (0, Troll)

nizcolas (597301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4442785)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...