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FTDI chips?

 
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vickyg2003
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:19 am    Post subject: FTDI chips? Reply with quote

This week old headline caught my eye this morning.

FTDI abuses Windows Update, pushing driver that breaks counterfeit chips

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/ftdi-abuses-windows-update-pushing-driver-that-breaks-counterfeit-chips/

Quote:
The chip in question is an RS-232 to USB converter commonly found inside pre-built, finished products widely available for order online, as well as sold in hobbyist projects such as Arduino.


I am not a hardware person, and have no idea what chipset we use in the JP1 world, but did recognize a buzzword "Arduino" as another IR hobbyest project.

Does this effect our hardware in any way? If so which hardware?
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The FT232R is indeed the chip used in our JP1.x interfaces and widgets (except for Tommy's final designs which used the later FT230X chip). Tommy's products use genuine FTDI chips and I presume the TxSat products that are to Tommy's designs do so too. I have no idea about other suppliers. However, I think the fact that FTDI's recent drivers break counterfeit chips has been known for a few years now. I am sure I have seen posts in our forums about it in the past.
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Barf
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK, for the Arduinos I have been recommending here it is not really an issue, since they contain a CH340 chip, requiring a "CH340 driver", not a masqueraded FTDI.

Apart from that, the linked article really should cause afterthought
Quote:

Although it is not directly Microsoft's fault, this exacerbates the preexisting issue of Windows 10 updates lacking any public description of value. The extent to which end users lose control over what their PC does in regard to software updates is too aggressive, particularly in cases where Windows updates cause infinite boot loops, break display drivers, or in the case of FTDI, break devices that happen to use a specific component. This is an obvious conflation of two distinct issues, but the loss of control over updates combined with the troubling privacy implications surrounding the OS should give pause to power users expecting a semblance of reliability or security in their ability to control their computer.
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3FG
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In about Sept 2014, FTDI issued driver updates which were pushed out by Microsoft, and these drivers did "break" counterfeit chips by overwriting the Vendor ID number. That meant the chip wouldn't work for any purpose until (or if) an expert restored the Vendor ID. The outcry was large enough that FTDI removed this "feature" from their drivers. At that time, they did say that they would probably try again to stop counterfeiters from using their IP.

The new drivers just pushed by Microsoft do not break counterfeit chips; instead the FTDI driver simply won't work with the counterfeit chip.

As before, a user who has purchased a counterfeit chip can manually revert to version 10 drivers. These will work with counterfeit chips.
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vickyg2003
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barf wrote:

Apart from that, the linked article really should cause afterthought
Quote:

Although it is not directly Microsoft's fault, this exacerbates the preexisting issue of Windows 10 updates lacking any public description of value. The extent to which end users lose control over what their PC does in regard to software updates is too aggressive, particularly in cases where Windows updates cause infinite boot loops, break display drivers, or in the case of FTDI, break devices that happen to use a specific component. This is an obvious conflation of two distinct issues, but the loss of control over updates combined with the troubling privacy implications surrounding the OS should give pause to power users expecting a semblance of reliability or security in their ability to control their computer.


Yeah, we should all be thinking about that. Those updates are a real problem for me. I finally got them to stop rebooting, while I'm working, but still the timing of the updates are just horrid. I'm also having terrible problems googling what went wrong, when there is no error message that can link me to the correct post. All the cryptic dialog boxes drive me nuts. I want the kind of information that used to be available when I made a bone head move.

3FG wrote:


The new drivers just pushed by Microsoft do not break counterfeit chips; instead the FTDI driver simply won't work with the counterfeit chip.

As before, a user who has purchased a counterfeit chip can manually revert to version 10 drivers. These will work with counterfeit chips.


So does that effect us? When people come in with a "No Remote Found", does that mean that we need to ask people if they are using Windows 10 and if they last used their cable after Feb 2, 2016.

For Example would this topic be related to the FTDI chip change?
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16905
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3FG
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vicky,
Yes, it could be a cause for no remotes found. It isn't clear to me that existng drivers are being updated automatically, because I have a Win 10 computer which received lots of upgrades on Tuesday, but the FTDI drivers haven't been changed. I have another Win10 computer which had no FTDI drivers installed, and when I plugged my interface cable into that computer the new version of the drivers was installed.
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