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SubjectRe: [OT] Re: UPS's
On Sun, 25 Jul 1999, Paul Jakma wrote:

> I remember only that only a year or two ago (before you cracked
> 'SmartUPS') that buying an APC for use with linux was money wasted.

No, credit is due where it is due.

Miquel van Smoorenburg's -- powerd.c
Christian Holtje's -- backups.c
Pavel Korensky's -- apcd.(c,h) 1995

Because CZ's laws wrt reverse-engineering for non-commerial appications,
Pavel and company did the o-scope work and "published" the results.
With this information to begin the polling proccess and decoding results,
I was able to exploit the UPS into telling me what it can do.
I could talk to it, but could not understand what it was telling me for
the most part. Since there were no classes in CS/IT that could even
attempt to analize the returns, it became a puzzle worse that
four-lettered Rubic's cube from the 70's.

Pavel took the risk and provided the insight. Even with all that he
provided back in 1995, no one that I know of attempted to expand upon it.

It was not until I had a nice control structure that mastered every
possible use of the simple signal, and getting a RM1400SU that I could
attempt the task. I even discounted Pavel's work at first glance.
It took me 6 months to make heads or tails of the data and employ a
comparable information management/usuage of the unlimited combinations
that the "chatty little beasts" could provide.

There are still things that I do not know how to address.
Many of the new decode results were accidents of discovery.
Like the bit flag returned to announce that your batteries are fried and
you need to get new ones, or that a cycle is defined as the time period
elapses during the cascading sweep of the LED's on the UPS.

It was only 4 months ago that I finally was able to conceive of an
auto-feature learning routine that could potentially yield an UPS
auto-detection daemon.

> You couldn't use the extra features of the APC. But if you bought a
> Best then you could use all the features - no matter what Unix you
> used. And if it sucked then you could improve it for private use.

I am cururious, what are the full blown extra features that BEST claims to
fame?

> I can't comment about the code, i havn't seen it or used it. But i do
> think the fact that it was there is a point in favour of Best.

Just because I give you a car, does not mean it can be driven.

> i think they're both important factors. And let's face it, both the
> APC and Best UPS's meet the bar in terms of hardware
> features/quality. They both do the job. They both do pretty much the
> same thing, or at least as far my standards are concerned.

Longevity becomes the driving force.
Which do you trust to block a direct Lightening strike and keep on running?
I have UPS's that have survived this kind of abuse.

The only company that I will tip my hat to is TrippLite and there
CSU/DSU/T1 surge blockers. This toy took everything a bolt could hammer
and is still in use, mind you that the ISDN switch that comes into the
facility did not fair as well. But that belonged to the phone company.

> So the next factor becomes the Company. Which one has the better
> attitude? Which one do you want to reward with your money? In my case
> I'd rather reward Best for co-operating from the beginning, rather
> than APC for making things difficult.

When you are the new kid on the block, you try any thing to win.

> True. But i assume Best wouldn't be averse to patches. OpenSource
^^^^^^ ass-u-me

> won, but wouldn't if be nicer if APC had co-operated? Then maybe
> those who bought SmartUPS could have got the full-use of them a lot
> earlier. And what happens if APC next revision of SmartUPS is again
> closed and you're not around to crack it?

The methodology to repeat the process is out, so you mean that if it
happened again. So the world would halt if I did not do it again,
I doubt it.........I have an hier to my keyboard. He is just now learning
to walk, using a keyboard for balance.........
> Basically, When the hardware is pretty level, which corporate outlook
> do you support and reward?

The one that has the best warrentee and inssurance package.

> The triumph of opensource over corporate hostility is another matter.
> You are to be commended for getting the software out there, but APC
> shouldn't be.

Thanks, but the team that I managed for several years in private desire
more praise than me, they tolerated me and the restrictions needed to
allow the source to develop under a NDA that was open-ended. It could
only become NULL-n-VOID when the code made it to a GPL-release.
Translation :: a lifetime NDA, if we could not pull off the GPL-release.

> If your fight has made APC see the light, then i'll change my
> attitude.

When you can potentially prove that a third party package could boost the
bottom line, you do get there attention. Did you know that they had a 2:1
stock split 5 days after the GPLing........I am sure that it is totally
unrelated, but you wonder.........
Andre Hedrick
The Linux IDE guy


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