Tech: Caution on BIOS upgrades and iTunes

So I was running the A02 BIOS on my laptop. I decided to kick it up to the current version, A04. I’m so glad the update process has gotten so damned easy. It used to be you had to download the BIOS patch, burn it to floppy or CD, and then boot from that for it to patch.

Now it just runs as a windows application and tells you to reboot to use the new BIOS.

It solved the disk stutter problems I was having with iTunes sure but when I went to sync my iPod Touch I was told I’d have to re-authorize a bunch of applications. So now I know that Apple uses the BIOS version key to authorize a computer. Grrrr… it reminds me of back in the early 1990’s when I was working at Brown University.

We had a Data General Eclipse MV9500 and we ran the WordPerfect suite which also served as the login front-end for all the terminals (Mostly PacerTerm on Macintosh computers.)

That MV9500, that’s the processor or CPU designator. A decision was made to upgrade to an MV9600U processor. Which of course broke the WordPerfect license we were using because WP decided to authenticate against processor identifier.

Had to scramble a bit to write an unbreakable shell under AOS/VS II or Data General’s answer to DEC’s VMS product at the time. I put together a great little CLI shell that you could NOT escape without logoff.

That’s something I’m also good at, getting systems to work when they break.

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