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Author Topic: Is this going to break a lot of ham software?  (Read 3421 times)
AC7CW
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Posts: 675




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« on: August 20, 2016, 01:22:31 PM »

It costs a few hundred bucks to get the Microsoft cross-signing on older drivers. I wonder how much of our hobby software will be affected?

https://www.osr.com/blog/2016/06/02/driver-signing-details-emerge/

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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
W4KYR
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 05:53:40 PM »

It costs a few hundred bucks to get the Microsoft cross-signing on older drivers. I wonder how much of our hobby software will be affected?

https://www.osr.com/blog/2016/06/02/driver-signing-details-emerge/



Unless the software developers heft up the fee, then it looks like some software will not run on Windows 10.

I have said many times, never ever get rid of computers with older operating systems. Old XP computers are fine for use off the net, you can run a lot of ham radio programs with no issues. Many of the older XP computers even have serial ports, which means one can connect older TNC's and other interfaces directly without the need for a serial to usb adapter.


Someone with a Windows 98 computer can make use of the fine but abandoned ham software that is free around the net but never found it's way to XP.


There are numerous ham radio DOS programs out there for free for the taking. It's out there on the web too. One good example  that can still be put to use today is the classic  PaKet 6   http://www.qsl.net/vu2msy/Paket6.htm

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Still using Windows 98  ------------------ for Packet Radio.
W9WQA
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 07:20:06 PM »

so if you have w98 install discs you can make w98 computers forever?
btw i hate the new freecell cards on new comps so i put my old w98 freecell on new units, even win8, like the good old days!
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G4AON
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Posts: 771




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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 02:13:58 AM »

While keeping an old computer going isn't a bad idea, a space saving solution is to use Oracle's free Virtual Box (https://www.virtualbox.org) You can install legacy operating systems on modern hardware without worrying too much about drivers. For example, I can run AMTOR with XPWare connecting to a Kam plus on a Prolific chip set USB to RS232 dongle under 32 bit XP installed under V/B running on a Windows 10/64 bit PC (the Prolific RS232 dongle won't work directly on Win 10).

No need for A/V or updates, you isolate the guest O/S from the net and only allow specified USB memory sticks and host O/S directories to be accessible to the guest O/S. On my PC the XP guest operates like "greased lightning", with no obvious degradation of either O/S.

If that sounds complicated it isn't and with a dual monitor PC, you can simultaneously have Win XP on one screen and Win 10 on the other, you switch the mouse and keyboard over by moving the mouse pointer from one  screen to the other.

73 Dave
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N0IU
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 04:05:48 AM »

Many of the older XP computers even have serial ports, which means one can connect older TNC's and other interfaces directly without the need for a serial to usb adapter.

For just that reason I put a PCIExpress dual RS232 serial card in my computer. (One for FSK RTTY and one for CW) The computer came with Win8.1 when I bought it and the serial card survived the transition to Win10 with no issues. The card cost me less than $15.... shipping from China included!
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WA2ISE
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 01:12:59 PM »

I wonder if it is possible to write a "translation compiler" program that could take an old driver and create an updated driver that would work on say win 10.  It would figure out what software parts the old driver was connecting to in XP, and substitute code to make it point to the equivalent software parts in win 10 (if it's not obvious, I'm not a SW expert). Oh, I know you could run win 10 in XP mode, but if you could make your own win 10 driver with this compiler, you wouldn't have to.  Oh, the result may not be all that efficient, but as long as it's not too slow (file size less a concern) it'd be fine. 
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 03:07:29 PM »

depends on whether there are any "magic workarounds" in the code.  some old APIs have gone away, and determining which, and what translation is needed, is pretty high-level stuff.  there must be a reason squillions of large corporations are clinging desperately to Windows 7 Professional and the code that was written three to five dev teams ago.  like, for instance, mine.
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W8JX
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Posts: 9710




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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 04:38:55 PM »

Those concerned should be jumping on the Win8x bandwagon as unlike WIn7 it is still a fully supported OS and it has ability to use unsigned drivers too. Win 8x is little understood and unappreciated by many when it is a very flexible OS. It supports all new programing standards that 10 does and 7 does not and can used unsigned drivers if you want.

Not sure why some make a big deal about driver thing. Drivers are potentially a big security risk and need to be closely checked. Apple has done this for years. People bitch when a hole is found in windows yet also bitch when they try to "tighten up" driver security.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 06:07:10 PM by W8JX » Logged

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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20 WPM Extra
AC7CW
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Posts: 675




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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 08:06:50 AM »

Not sure why some make a big deal about driver thing.

Because we're a hobby funded by hobbyists and driver certs are $1000.
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 12:32:26 PM »

Not sure why some make a big deal about driver thing.

Because we're a hobby funded by hobbyists and driver certs are $1000.

Well then stick to old unsupported outdated OS'es and software and play Russian Roulette with security. Modern threats require modern security measures and a old unsigned/unapproved driver is a liability that needs to be locked out by default. If you want to write and produce for todays software you need to certify your apps and drivers or close up shop as you will not stay alive long banking on those using unsupported OS'es with unsigned drivers to keep you alive long term. 
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20 WPM Extra
AC7CW
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Posts: 675




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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2016, 09:50:33 AM »

Not sure why some make a big deal about driver thing.

Because we're a hobby funded by hobbyists and driver certs are $1000.

Well then stick to old unsupported outdated OS'es and software and play Russian Roulette with security. Modern threats require modern security measures and a old unsigned/unapproved driver is a liability that needs to be locked out by default. If you want to write and produce for todays software you need to certify your apps and drivers or close up shop as you will not stay alive long banking on those using unsupported OS'es with unsigned drivers to keep you alive long term. 

The thread is about how many ham radio applications will be broken by the new policy. If you want to discuss security feel free to bone up on password managers, whitelisting, multi-step authorization, hardware firewalls, software firewalls, drive encryption, deadman switches, withholding of admin privileges, encryption of the internet, encryption of the last mile, dns cache poisoning, obfuscation via vpn, bitcoin, general con artistry and hardware isolation.  Oh and if you find a stray thumb drive on your doorstep don't plug it into your computer... I would discuss security with you but honestly, I ain't feeling the need...

So anyhow, back to the topic... TAPR is struggling to raise $1000 to get a driver signed but somebody came up with a workaround. It's inconvenient in that everytime you build a machine you have to allow an unsigned driver to install then change some settings so it will run... I have no idea if it works or not
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
W8JX
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Posts: 9710




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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2016, 05:32:45 PM »


The thread is about how many ham radio applications will be broken by the new policy.


Yes it is about that and what you (and many others too) fail to understand is that a bad/sloppy drivers can create a access point for hacking or even system stability issues. Certifying all drivers is long overdue.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20 WPM Extra
G4AON
Member

Posts: 771




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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 11:59:13 PM »

Drivers are a big issue with Win 10 and old hardware. I have a legacy RS232 card that suffered from a lack of drivers, I replaced it with an external DeLock USB to 8 x RS232 port box (the manufacturer stated Win 10 64 bit compatible). The DeLock unit initially worked, then didn't after the Win 10 Anniversary update but now works!

When I contacted DeLock support they said I needed to contact the chip set maker as it wasn't their fault their hardware wouldn't work under the latest update of Win 10. You couldn't make it up! Must be my fault for being a customer...

73 Dave
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AC7CW
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Posts: 675




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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 03:33:23 PM »

TAPR has raised $300 so far. Driver signings become unregistered after 1yr or 3yrs depending on how much you pay. It takes about $1000 for 3 years.
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Novice 1958, 20WPM Extra now... (and get off my lawn)
K0JEG
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Posts: 866




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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2016, 07:44:25 AM »

Software developers shouldn't be writing device drivers, that's a task for hardware manufacturers. It is highly unlikely that your favorite device will break, other than that garbage Baofeng programming cable that uses a knockoff Prolific chip (you gets what you pays for).

All the devices I own use variants of Silicon Labs CP210X USB to serial chip. Otherwise, for legacy serial devices (that require USB to RS232 adapters) I use a known good and OS-X supported adapter. The only thing application software needs to do is push data to the interface.

If you have some 1990s era program that the developer is too lazy (or too deceased) to bring up to modern specs, maybe you should think about moving on to something new. The main reason why programmers took shortcuts by bypassing the kernel and writing directly to hardware was to get a little better performance out of their program. Today's computers (or at least anything from this century) can push data at serial speeds in sleep mode.
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