OT: A call to arms (sort of)

From: William Donzelli <aw288_at_osfn.org>
Date: Fri Jul 16 13:03:36 1999

> I guess that only applies to a relatively small proportion of all products out
> there (that is, networking-related).

Yes, a service manual for a terminal is not going to have these. Bigger
stuff, networking gear, etc. ("professional" things), very well could
have "secrets". Pentiums, too (remember when those "hidden registers"
were discovered?

> One thing I would like, is for companies to make (internal) service manuals &
> possibly other info too, available for old & obsolete products which they do
> not support any more.
> After five years say, the company may not even be supporting the product at all
> (i.e. not providing a repair service), so I can't see how releasing the info
> could harm them.

For products five years old (except networking/telecom and mainframe
equipment), it would not hurt them much - except if something deep in the
hearts of the equipment holds some company secret to high performance.

> Though the proportion of people interested in this info would be small, I'm
> sure some good publicity spin could be given to doing this. And it needn't be
> expensive at all; just converting the documentation to PDF format (or scanning
> it if only paper copies are available) and putting it on a web page would be
> enough.

It may not be worth any companies time. Look at corporate museums - it
has been proven that they are more liabilities than assets.

> Does anyone know of any companies that have done something like this?

DEC has done a pretty good job, letting loose with information on their
older systems (PDP-12 and such). While some of us applaud the release, I
doubt it effected sales one bit for their real products.

William Donzelli
Received on Fri Jul 16 1999 - 13:03:36 BST

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