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J Willis: What the Hack? Iopener

Apr 21, 2000, 18:14 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by J Willis)

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[ Linux Today reader J Willis sent us the following prose: ]

The Iopener seems incomplete without a "hack of the
week" story, so here it comes, replete with a hack to
"complete" the week.

When last we left the 'evil' hackers, BIOS mongers
were storming the gates of the towering MBR lair.

QNX had been found on the Usenet and twisted to
infiltrate the surrounding borders of the QNX
compound.. designed to keep hackers out.

Fortunately for our hero's QSSL had left the
skeleton key lying on the table.. rather than use
a 'known' safe encryption algorithm.. they created
their own and branded it qnx_crypt(), this facsimile
would proved their undoing, and gave the intrepid
hackers cart blanche to render a surrender from
the kernel (Proc32) used to run the QNX operating
system.

Deftly shutting down the myriad apps running, and
quitely putting the watchdog process to sleep.. they
threw a life line over the wall by connecting the
modem to another modem without a normal phone line.

MacGyvering a file transfer program they quickly
downloaded a cobbled together QNXFlasher program
and an illicit copy of the original BIOS to reflash
the newest vintage with an older version, effectely
'downgrading' (depends on your point of view) the
units to the original hackable versions.

All the while they avoided the treacherous epoxy tar pits
surrounding the new BIOS.. and reactiveate the
ability to flash a new OS image directly on the
SANS disk.

Effectively replacing their "inside man" with "another".
Where will this all lead?

Stories abound on the Western Front, but fantastic
tails of booting from 2.2 GB Orb disks without so much
as scrapping the tender silver warranty tag have begun
floating about.

Bluesky Innovations, and MegaBoot Managers that boot
both from the parallel and USB ports are being downloaded
as we speak.

Rumours Quanta (manufacturers of the Iopener) have mated
at glass panel micro touch screen and plan to sell a
similar "Padlet 2.0" unit very soon make it seem likely
the form factor may endure.

"Pad + Applet" get it? Cute.

Where for art thou' Qubit? Yonder there, wonder here
Freepad? For the luv of peat Cyrix Webpad?

Defacto standard? People may just have to pony it up
themseleves, let corporate america go finda flashlight
on their own time.. me I'm just rubbing my eyes and
taking another look at the Iopener.

Billy.. did you loose my number?

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