[svlug] CPRM Letter 2
todd at mrball.net
Sat Mar 3 17:50:06 PST 2001
This one sickens me.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [temp t13] not seeing the BIG picture
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 17:23:38 -0700
From: "Hale Landis" <hlandis at indra.com>
Reply-To: t13 at tgi.com
To: "T13 Reflector" <t13 at tgi.com>
** This is the quasi-official and semi-temporary T13 email list
I think many of you discussing CPRM and similar things are missing the
We, the computer industry and especially the hard disk industry, are at
a major crossroads and there are lots of people and companies with BIG
BUCKS trying to pick the next road the industry will follow. The current
business model for the "personal computer" is failing. Hardware prices
are rock bottom and no hardware vendor is making any money. The big
software vendors are not doing much
better. You only need to review the press releases and product
announcements from the likes of Dell, Gateway, Intel and Microsoft to
see that near panic has set in. These companies can see that there is a
real possibility that the "general purpose personal computer" could be
replaced by a variety of proprietary devices. And many of these
proprietary devices have entertainment functionality.
The questions for many T13 members, especially those that make mass
storage devices, are: Are there any customers out there with money that
we can sell devices to? What do those customers want? The hard disk
vendors will give a customer anything if it means selling a few devices:
CPRM, SD, 1394, "serial ATA", USB, anything, even something completely
And it does not help that there are many young companies around the
world with lots of money doing new, different and strange storage
devcies. Many have the backing of the entertainment industry because
these young companies are willing to build proprietary device interfaces
including any kind of "copy protection" desired.
The old line hard disk vendors can not survive without bending to the
desires of the entertainment industry. Just as all those companies I
listed above will be unable to ignore the "requirements" of the
Basically your "general purpose personal computer", aka "home computer",
is history. This should not surprise anyone since Microsoft has done
everything in its power to convert the home computer into an Internet
appliance. And Intel still thinks it can convert home computer into the
central house and consumer electronics "control center". But I think
both Intel and Microsoft will find they can't fight the entertainment
industry either. They too will end up doing anything so they can
continue to sell hardware and software to the "home computer" market.
But we probably should start talking about the "computer enhanced
consumer electronics" market.
Unfortunately for many of us we are at the mercy of some very big
companies and hostage to some people with lots of money. One example is
the now nearly complete
control over small computer design: PCI, AGP, "serial ATA", recently
announced "wireless 1394", etc. With "serial ATA Intel has successfully
shutdown any public discussion of what will probably be a widely used
"low end" disk drive interface. And why is Intel doing a "wireless
1394"? What is wrong with BlueTooth? Answer: BlueTooth is not a
specification controller by Intel. And Microsoft thinks we should all be
"renting" our software. I'm not surprise since the only business model
that many companies seem to trying these days is one that collects money
every month from every household. No one wants to "sell" a product, they
only want to "rent" something or provide a "service". These products and
services are usually proprietary and have carefully crafted and limited
functionality. As an example,
just WHAT is Tevo "selling" anyway?
In my opinion if you are someone, like myself, that needs and uses low
cost general purpose computers then you should start praying that there
will be some hardware vendor left selling such a computer and that you
will be able to run some general purpose OS and adequate applications
software. And I would say it will be unlikely that such a computer will
have an Intel processor or that any of that application software will
come from Microsoft. This possible future must be driving product
planners at Intel and Microsoft crazy.
But back to T13. Where does this leave T13? In my opinion, and trying to
be "kind", T13 has become nothing but a rubber stamp for the few
proposals that are made public. As pointed out by others there are lots
of hard disk drive "features" that are not public information. I expect
this will only continue to get worse as more and more companies attempt
to "protect" their proprietay products and services.
We are seeing the end of "open device interface standards" and
especially the end of T13. I just wonder how long it will be before T10,
SCSI, 1394, and others, meet that same fate?
So have fun fighting the battle against CPRM and alike but please do not
be surprised when you fail, afterall the war has been lost, long live
the new world order: proprietary devices, proprietary interfaces, copy
protection, limited functionality, and prepare you credit card accounts
for all those monthly rental and service charages you will be paying for
every "computer controller consumer electronics device" you use.
+++ Hale Landis --- Niwot, CO USA --- www.ata-atapi.com +++
+++ hlandis at attglobal.net --- hlandis at ata-atapi.com +++
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