Dish Network Source Code!

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ZiaTioN
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Dish Network Source Code!

Post by ZiaTioN »

Ever want to see the source code of your Dish Network DVR (if you have one)? Well it turns out you can. Take one guess at what Operating System they use? Come on, take a guess, I bet you will get it the first time. That's right, Linux!

This is for most dvr's except the 721 and 921
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/prod ... ourceCode/

This is for the 721
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/prod ... ndex.shtml

This is for the 921
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/prod ... ndex.shtml

According to their site, these are only the portions of code that are covered under the GNU or GPL license and they admit that there are portions of the code that are proprietary and are not included in these downloads but it is still interesting to look at if you are geeky in that sort of way. They also state that if you try to load your box with a build based on these downloads that you will of course void your warranty and break your box. Who knows about the second claim.

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Void Main
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Re: Dish Network Source Code!

Post by Void Main »

ZiaTioN wrote:They also state that if you try to load your box with a build based on these downloads that you will of course void your warranty and break your box. Who knows about the second claim.
If you have been following the development of v3 of the GPL you will know that this is an extremely important topic to Richard Stallman. Not Dish Network in particular but developing hardware with built in capabilities of only being able to run a specific binary. That is, if you recompile the source and change it in any way the hardware will not run it because of a check for a specific build (like a checksum on the OS image). Richard would like to introduce language into GPL version 3 so this would not be possible. He has high level opponents on this language. Linus Torvalds for one. I'm on Richard's side on this one. This would be a good topic to start a discussion on.
Last edited by Void Main on Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ZiaTioN »

I was unaware of that. I took the statement to mean that since these builds were missing portions of the code that it is incomplete and would be unable to be run on a dvr box for this reason. I can see; however, a company doing this but to use the GPL to do so is crap. It goes against what the license stands for.

There are always ways around such things though. Look at microsoft and their xbox game console. They designed a bios that would only accept a specific image as it's dashboard (xbox term for OS) and would not play burned disks and would not recognize any hard disk drive other than their factory drive. So what did people do? They coded numerous other bios' that you could flash your chip with and then run anything you wanted. They even designed and created hardware mod chips tyo bypass the limiting hardware. Software and even hardware limits sometimes are always bypassable.

Bungie tried to do the same thing with their Halo and Halo2 games but soon after release users coded application to inject items into the game and in the end you were able to create entire levels yourself and then just "resign" the game with the new checksum. I took a desert multiplayer level and covered it in snow and added trees and rocks, changed the weapons and made them more powerful (made the sub machine gun fire rockets instead of bullets, lol), changed the jump height so you could jump almost off the level. It is fun hacking things up that are supposedly not hackable. :-)

The difference between what you are saying about Dish Network and what Microsoft and Bungie did is that Dish Network is trying to use the GPL to do so and Microsoft and Bungie are not.

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Post by Void Main »

ZiaTioN wrote:I was unaware of that. I took the statement to mean that since these builds were missing portions of the code that it is incomplete and would be unable to be run on a dvr box for this reason. I can see; however, a company doing this but to use the GPL to do so is crap. It goes against what the license stands for.
Actually I wasn't meaning to infer that this DVR is specifically designed not to let other binaries run because I don't think that is the case. You are probably right that it's just a disclaimer that if you mess with the factory installed stuff you won't get any support if you break something (much like the Linksys routers). I believe that Tivo is actually the company that is forcing a specific binary build. I should actually spend the 30 seconds and google for the article.

EDIT: Here's the transcript of a Stallman speach that covers "Tivo-isation":

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?stor ... 0094249412

It's a great read, I should actually listen to the Ogg, maybe tonight. Again, I am not saying that this DVR is in this category. I get the fealing it's more like the Linksys unit (of which I have 4 running a customized OpenWRT Linux distro).

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Post by Void Main »

Another interview of Stallman on GPLv3 and tivo-ization:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?stor ... 5001523547

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Post by ZiaTioN »

Ahhh good ole' Spain! Wish I could check it out someday. LOL...

Very interesting article.

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Post by Void Main »

Check what out, Spain? About 9 months of my life was spent in Spain. I had a good time there. I really do prefer the beaches there over our beaches here in the U.S. :)

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