[BBC-Micro] MOS6 - Any programmers want to see afree BBCMicrofirmware?

Rick Murray rick at rs432.net
Sat Oct 9 15:22:06 BST 2010

On 09/10/2010 12:18, famrowland wrote:

> And *we* have to provide evidence that the dissolved company owned the
> copyright at the time of dissolution.

Yeah, so in effect unless somebody is able to come up with an answer 
otherwise, this will remain forevermore in limbo.

> On the bright side, if Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost their records,
> they'd be hard put to bring any action in the courts if they decided
> to get litigious.

Oh, I don't know. Look at the goings-on of ACS:Law before they were 
stomped upon by peeved-geeks (and damn right too!) and may now be 
stomped upon by the old bill for an epic leak of sensitive data...

That you cannot prove your case in court doesn't stop copyright holders 
(or even not-really-copyright-holders) from DCMA takedowns and 
scary-size fines. Hell, even if they *can* prove their case in court, I 
fail to see how a guy who downloads movies "illegally" causes losses to 
the industry rivalling the GDP of a third-world country.

Perhaps the best thing in our favour is that it just simply isn't worth 
the bother for a lesser-known ancient *British* computer. Now, Apple, on 
the other hand, are quite protective of their AppleII stuff...

> Use away, I say, and let Debian users download a rompack from a non-kosher
> repository.

Indeed. I see there's no BBC emulator in the etch repository (I thought 
it might be cool to try running a Beeb emulator on my ARM OSD!).

Would it not suffice to have the emulator itself be "free" (as in 
Debian's concept of free) with the program able to wget the required 
(ROM...) files from one or more servers if they are not present when the 
program is started?

Any pro-Debian people, think very carefully before responding, as this 
is EXACTLY when the bundled media player did when I tried playing one of 
my recorded videos (H.263 MPEG-4 / AAC). If I remember correctly it said 
the required codecs were not installed, it asked if I would like the 
software to look for them, it did, it found them, downloaded them, 
installed them, then it just worked. If there was any mention of "wah 
these codecs are encumbered wah" it was brief and mostly forgettable.

Hence, if the emulator *itself* is sufficiently open to pass the test, 
an ability to retrieve "unknown status" ROM images should not be a 
hindrance as Debian would not be distributing the images, only the emulator.

> Sorry - I just can't get religious enough about free and open software.
> Personality disorder, probably.

Well, while I can understand Debian's approach, it is something of a 
pain in the ass for the *end* user. Okay, the "oops-let-me-do-this" 
approach is a hell of a lot nicer than:
   sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
(once a newbie has figured out WTF the "terminal" is)

It is especially a PITA when it doesn't "just work" due in large part to 
the foibles of the US legal system, specifically the Texas Eastern 
District Court... but what d'you expect from the state that gave us Dubyah?

Best wishes,


Rick Murray, eeePC901 & ADSL WiFI'd into it, all ETLAs!
BBC B: DNFS, 2 x 5.25" floppies, EPROM prog, Acorn TTX
E01S FileStore, A3000/A5000/RiscPC/various PCs/blahblah...

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