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2007 Apr 23 17:37

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] The incredible moving ethernet adapter
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Re: [vox-tech] The incredible moving ethernet adapter



On Monday 23 April 2007 14:45, Bob Scofield wrote:
> On Monday 23 April 2007 11:32, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> > Apparently (I finally got hold of the paperwork they sent back with
> > the laptop after it was repaired), IBM decided to flash the BIOS
> > with a new revision.  That apparently mucked up the MAC addr.
> >
> > *Whew!*  That was a close one! :^)
>
> 1)  The thought the MAC address was set by the card itself.  I guess
> I was wrong.

Maybe the MAC is built into the motherboard. But flashing the firmware 
still shouldn't change the MAC.

> 2)  I thought BIOS flashing was dangerous enough that one should do
> it only when necessary.
>
> 3)  Why would IBM flash the BIOS on a hinge repair job?  Just to be
> nice?

Maybe they're just being nice. Certainly they're in a position to 
replace any component they break by behaving dangerously.

Maybe the new firmware helps to better enforce some kind of DRM. I seem 
to recall this happening with some kind of CD-ROM firmware update that 
gave CD-ROM drives worse error recovery, enabling various copy 
protection schemes to take advantage of the worse error recovery. But I 
don't recall hearing hardware vendors purposely installing the new 
firmware.

Maybe they swapped hard drives and send back a new laptop with identical 
specs and the old HDD? This seems most likely, given that the MAC 
changed. Is the laptop missing any distinctive marks or decorations?

--Ken

-- 
Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.
http://www.iit.edu/~kbloom1/

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