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from the Automation List department...
Rockwell patch for Windows XP?
PLCs and related questions. topic
Posted by Chris Elston on 31 January, 2002 - 11:11 am
Anyone know when might Rockwell software have a patch for Windows XP and RS Logix? Or is it just me and my laptop having trouble with this. RS Logix runs fine on Windows 2000 Pro, but can't get it to run right on XP Professional Edition. Which seems odd to me when 2K and XP run on an NT kernel...what's the difference!

I heard a rumor that there might be problems, but haven't been able to verify.

Any replies would be great.

Chris Elston
http://www.mrplc.com


Posted by Dale Witman on 31 January, 2002 - 3:07 pm
Chris,

I have recently contacted Rockwell about this very thing and their response is that they will have a new release available at the end of
February. You will need to contact them to receive the upgrade, which I believe they will consider a beta release until the performance has been field proven.

Dale


Posted by richvz on 31 January, 2002 - 3:42 pm
Product Installed version with Minimal Testing
( not supported ) Officially Supported Version Supported Version Availability
RSLinx 2.30.01 (Build 48) - no known issues 2.30.01 (Build 48) or higher Available now -Shipping
RSLogix 5 4.11.00 and 5.00.02 (Build 2) - no known issues 5.20.00 (Pro & Standard) or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
Advanced Programming Software (APS) 6.06 - Not tested not supported none Not planned
A.I. 500 8.18 - Not tested not supported none Not planned
A.I. 5 8.07 - no known issues
PLC 5 - 6200 5.32.04 - no known issues
RSLogix 500 4.50.00 - no known issues
5.00.00 - does not work 5.20.00 (Pro & Standard) or higher Mid first quarter 2002
RSLogix 5000 8.02.00 - no known issues 10.00.00 or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
RSEmulate 5 5.00.02.01 - no known issues 5.00.03 or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
RSEmulate 500 5.00.02 - no known issues 5.00.03 or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
RSLadder 5 4.11.01.03 - no known issues 5.00.03.00 or higher
RSLadder 500 4.50.02.00 - no known issues 5.00.02.00 or higher
RSView32 6.30.16 and 6.30.17 - fairly extensive testing has revealed no known issues none Planned for a future release
RSView32 Active Display Server 6.30.16 and 6.30.17; do not work - see note 1 none Planned for a future release
RSView32 Active Display Client 6.30.16 and 6.30.17 - do not work - see note 1 none Planned for a future release
RSView32 WebServer 1.00.20 ; does not work - see note 1 none Planned for a future release
RSView Enterprise SE 2.0 ; does not work - see note 2 3.0 or higher Planned for a future release
RSView Enterprise ME 2.0 - does not work - see note 3 3.0 or higher Planned for a future release
Recipe Pro 1.00.59 - minimal testing-no known issues Planned for a future release
SPC 1.10.21 - minimal testing-no known issues Planned for a future release
RSView32 Resource Kit 3.28.00 - no known issues Planned for a future release
RSView32 Messenger 1.10.07 - minimal testing-no known issues Planned for a future release
RSView32 TrendX and TrendX Wrapper 3.20.04 - minimal testing-no known issues Planned for a future release
RSNetWorx for DeviceNet 3.11.00 - no known issues 3.21 or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
RSNetWorx MD for DeviceNet 3.21 or higher (same status as RSNetWorx for DeviceNet)
RSNetWorx for ControlNet 3.00.02 (Build 5) - no known issues 3.21 or higher Available now as release candidate on the web
RSBizware Batch not until XP Server is available
RSBizware BatchCampaign not until XP Server is available
RSTune 12.0 or higher
RSLoop Optimizer 3.0 or higher
RSBizware eProcedure not until XP Server is available
RSBizware MaterialTrack not until XP Server is available
RSBizware BatchERP not until XP Server is available
RSEnergy TBD
RSPower32 TBD
RSWire Designer 4.0 4.05.03 or higher
RSWire Detailer 4.05.03 or higher
RSWire DocX TBD
RSBizware Historian 5.0 or higher
RSBizware ComplianceTrack TBD
RSBizware PlantMetrics 5.0 or higher
RSBizware Scheduler 5.0 or higher
RSSql 5.0 or higher
ControlPak 2.0.1 - Not tested not supported None
SoftLogix 5 2.1.1 - Not Supported None
SoftLogix 5800 8.03 - Not supported 11.00 or higher
PanelBuilder 32 3.70.00 and 3.71.00 -no known issues
PanelBuilder 1400e 5.15 - no known issues
Panelview e Transfer Utility 32 5.15 - no known issues
NET-ENI configuration software 1.01 - no known issues
InView Message Software 1.0 (editor 1.0.86.0) - no known issues

Comm Cards
KT, KTX(D), PKTX(D), PCMK, KTCX, PCC, PCIC, KFD, PCIDS, Yes
PCD old w2k and new w2k drivers do not work a driver update will be posted to the website when A-B system testing is completed
Drivers
Ethernet, TCP, DF1, PLC5EMU, SLCEMU, SDNPT, DF1 Polling master, DF1 Slave, SS, PIC (see note 4). YES
Virtual Backplane NO


Note 1: Windows XP does not support the underlying IIS method that RSView32 Active Display and WebServer use to inform directories to publish via http: This is being investigated.

Note 2: RSView Enterprise SE does not install or run on Windows XP. Windows XP does not support the underlying IIS method that RSView
Enterprise uses to inform directories to publish via http: Windows XP support is planned for a future release.

Note 3: RSView Enterprise ME 2.0 does not install on Windows XP. It detects the fact that you're installing on a platform other than Windows 2000, a pop up window reminds you that it is only supported in Windows 2000 and the installation is aborted.

Note 4: In the 2.30.02 release of RSLinx, the PIC driver for W2k / XP is included in the install, and the issue with Windows Advanced
Configuration and Power Interface PC (ACPI) has been corrected. For PIC driver issues in XP:

Jump to P20955 Failed to swap out the PIC2K driver message appears when deleting a PIC driver or closing RSLinx


Posted by a.langham on 21 March, 2002 - 12:11 pm
you can run any program in compatibalty mode
by creating a shortcut to it then right click on the shortcut, select properties,compatibilty.
you then can set it to emulate different os


Posted by Eric M. Klintworth on 1 February, 2002 - 11:06 am
You didn't say which RSLogix, but I had occasion to call Rockwell tech support last week about a bug in RSLogix500. The tech told me that RSLogix500 version 5.2 would be coming out in about two weeks and would fix my bug, as well as run on XP.

My (very) limited experience with XP leads me to believe it stands for extra pain (as well as extra profits). I would love to hear from someone with some real insight (i.e. facts) about how Microsoft managed to break so much with XP, and what good it did.

Eric M. Klintworth


Posted by Mark Hill on 1 February, 2002 - 1:21 pm
Ouch !!!

FYI ..... I'm a technical beta tester for MS and I've been involved in the XP beta program for over a year. I run XP and .NET on all my platforms, and would NEVER go back !! If you'd like to discuss the NUMEROUS advantages of the XP kernel, we can take our discussion offline.

About the RSLogix500 issue, has anyone tried running it in a WindowsXP's "compatibility mode"? If it ran in 9X, NT or 2K, chances are it will run in XP.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to RSLogix500 so I can't comment.

Regards
Mark Hill
Microsoft Associate eXPert
MarkHill@PAOnline.com

BTW .... XP = eXPerience


Posted by Bob Peterson on 1 February, 2002 - 2:09 pm
Actually, since most of us are eventually going to be trapped into some version of XP, maybe it would be considered on topic to discuss the benefits you perceive from XP.

The things I have seen so far are a major PITA. Like forcing you to register your software so it will even work (although this is an issue with office and not XP itself, for now). Other then the obvious update notification situation, what possible benefit to the end user is there in MS having a record of the people using their software? And what benefit does the end user get from having software that cannot be reinstalled if need be w/o the registration being done?

Maybe MS is doing this to push people towards Linux. :-)

Bob Peterson


Posted by Mark Hill on 1 February, 2002 - 4:16 pm
Bob;

Good Points !
Maybe a little misguided, but still good points that concern all who use MS products.

First, Product Activation. .....
PA (Product Activation) is now required on all XP products, including Office and the OS (Pro and Home). Please don't confuse this with "Registration" which is an entirely different topic. During PA, the software assembles a "hash" number which is generated by the serial numbers from various components of your hardware. It is this number that's sent to MS, not your personal information. If you'd care to "Register" your product, you're prompted for a bunch of personal stuff. Registration is not mandatory. For example, I've activated dozens of XP platforms, and not registered one !!

If your computer doesn't have internet access, PA may be a slight PITA! With net access, it takes less than 10 seconds to push the button, send the hash number to MS and receive authorization. If you don't have net access, a 800 number is provided where it takes about 2 minutes to receive authorization from a real person.

PA will allow you to change 8 pieces of hardware (in a desktop, 6 in a laptop) without getting upset and demanding that you re-activate. If you've changed more than 8 pieces of hardware, the software thinks it's on a new platform and refuses to activate. This is not a horrible situation for most users. For example, you can change your NIC 1,000 times without problems, because it's considered one piece of hardware. I constantly build test beds for XP an .NET and have never been asked to re-activate.

I've heard dozens of people state that MS is limiting their installation to one platform. Believe it or not, this has always been the case. When you buy a product from MS, you are granted rights to install it on one computer (Office is 2, laptop and desktop).

If you'd like to read a good technical third-party discussion on PA, drop by the Licenturion site at: "http://www.licenturion.com/xp/fully-licensed-wpa.txt":http: //www.licenturion.com/xp/fully-licensed-wpa.txt

There's lots of pages on the MS site that discuss PA, but I'm sure most people won't believe them.

Hardware Compatibility
If you're looking for hardware that's guaranteed to work, here's the new HCL that MS has created which makes searching simple !!

"http://www.microsoft.com/hcl/default.asp":http://www.mic rosoft.com/hcl/default.asp

If you have any other questions, I'll be glad to research them for you online, or provide you with answers via email.

Regards
Mark Hill
MarkHill@PAOnline.com


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 4 February, 2002 - 12:19 pm
I fully concur with Mark. Anyone who sees XP in their future should read all that material very carefully and strive to see where this is going. It's crucial that you fully understand the new models for licensing and support, especially in the contexts of the DMCA amd UCITA and privacy. This is the next step from the silly shrinkwrap licenses and may actually have the full force of law. Also read the articles on wallets and passports and the refusal of the FTC to hear complaints. It's one of those things you should know in great detail _before_ you jump on that bandwagon. It will be very difficult to get off with your data and private property intact. And extremely easy to run afoul of now enforceable laws. This will be a new and long term relationship, please exercise due diligence, or better, healthy scepticism. Many of you will have no choice, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't proceed with your eyes wide open. A word to the wise is sufficient. Know where your wallet is at all times.

Regards

cww


Posted by Michael Griffin on 5 February, 2002 - 10:46 am
I'm not an expert on Windows XP, but I have done a bit of research into the product activation issue, and the situation is actually a bit more complicated than this. There are versions with and without product activation.

With versions which have product activation, the exact way it will work will
also depend upon how Windows was installed. When you buy a computer with Windows XP already installed, the computer OEM will have configured the product activation method (in the OEM version of XP) to work in a manner which suits their production system (they want to install various options without having to individually configure each one). The method they used affects the sensitivity of XP to future hardware changes. This apparently means that you cannot depend upon previous testing or experience to predict
how a new system will behave in this respect, except within fairly broad parameters.

Some customers will be allowed to buy a version of XP which does not have product activation. I believe that these customers are limited to very large companies which can negotiate directly with Microsoft. If you are a small customer, you have to use the product activation version. I am rather curious as to why a version without product activation was necessary if this feature is not expected to be a problem.

There are pirate versions of Windows XP circulating which do not have product activation. These are widely available in certain countries at very low prices. I suspect that anyone who intends to pirate a copy of XP will simply use one of these.



--
************************
Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
************************


Posted by Michael Brown on 6 February, 2002 - 1:16 pm
>Some customers will be allowed to buy a version of XP which does not have
>product activation. I believe that these customers are limited to very
large
>companies which can negotiate directly with Microsoft. If you are a small
>customer, you have to use the product activation version. I am rather
curious
>as to why a version without product activation was necessary if this
feature
>is not expected to be a problem.


You may purchase as few as 5 licenses in order to get a Volume License version of XP. Contact a Microsoft dealer like CDW "http://www.cdw.com":http://www.cdw.com
"http://www.cdw.com/":http://www.cdw.com/ and they can help.

You can also call MS direct. There is also a small discount, like 5% on purchasing like this.

I believe activation is a pain, that is why it is worth getting the VLK version.


Michael Brown, MCSE
LESSCO / Advanced Solutions Group
Ph. (706) 278-0272
Fx. (770) 234-5782


Posted by Michael Griffin on 7 February, 2002 - 11:37 am
The "volume license" is just what is generically referred to as the "corporate version". There are a number of variations on this, tailored for different markets. The 5 license version you are referring to is what Microsoft calls the "Open License" (I don't know what the "open" refers to here). There is by the way some sort of complicated "point system" involved, so I don't know if the "5 licenses" necessarily translates into 5 actual licenses.
For the purposes of what we are discussing, the corporate version is even
more restrictive than the activation version, provided you actually intend to obey the relevant laws and license agreements. This version is only for use within a single company. You are not allowed to build systems which use your corporate license and then sell them to your customers.
In addition, the corporate version doesn't really get rid of the activation issue, as you still have to type in the serial number which comes with the installation CD. You are supposed to keep this serial number under close control, which means you can't simply tell everyone what it is so that they can re-install it themselves.

The corporate version solves certain problems faced by IT managers in medium to large companies. I can also see where it may be useful in situations where a customer supplies the computer, and a contractor supplies programming services (e.g. possibly some MMI system projects).
I don't however see how it applies to the situation I was discussing, which is automated test systems. In this case the test equipment OEM is supplying the complete system. You can also have situations where after a service call or software upgrade the OEM ends up with the customer's original hard drive (and copy of Windows XP), while the customer ends up with the OEM's drive. There are too many things which can go wrong if you are trying to keep the licenses straight.


--
************************
Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
************************


Posted by Bob Peterson on 5 February, 2002 - 11:31 am
OK. So I mispoke and called it registration instead of Product activation. I really do not care what they call it. The fact is that they are holding my hardware and software hostage.

Many of my systems go overseas where there just is no internet access and calling up MS to get some secret code so a piece of equipment will work is not all that easy either. What happens when my PC shipped over to rural China fails, the software has to be reinstalled and there is no easy way to get in touch with MS so it can be reauthorized? As far as I am concerned, this issue in and of itself is enough to make me stay away from XP forever. Presently I can get windows 2000 which does not have this onerous problem and
it works fine. As far as I can tell there is nothing that XP brings to the plate that w2000 does not do as well, at least for me. And I suspect this applys to >95% of all installations. There may be a very few cases where XP does something that W2000 cannot, or does it better enough thats its worth the aggravation, but its likely to only exist in a very, very few cases.

You mention that you can replace upto 8 pieces of hardware before it cries foul. Does this include things like keyboards, mice, printers? Or does this count exclude peripherals? What happens if you have to replace a motherboard? I have been told you are just dead in that case if you have an OEM version, which is how this is typically sold. What if my Dell motherboard dies? Can I replace it with an off the shelve motherboard of non-Dell origin?

As far as the one installation thing, I think most everyone knows that stealing software (or anything else for that matter) is just plain wrong. Its no different than stealing a car. But the fact is that someone is going to figure out how to beat this system (as every copy protection scheme to date has been beaten - this one has probably been beaten already as well).

Quite frankly, what I suspect MS is moving towards is renting software including Operating systems for some limited period of time, rather then what amounts to an unlimited time period now. Thats the only logical reason that they would do this. I fully expect that this will be implemented as an option in some future version of software (maybe even the next version OS), and as a requirement in the following version. The obfuscations about it being strictly to prevent theft of their software, notwithstanding.

Linux is looking better everyday.

Bob Peterson


Posted by Michael Griffin on 6 February, 2002 - 2:06 pm
Bob Peterson wrote:

<clip>
> OK. So I mispoke and called it registration instead of Product
> activation. I really do not care what they call it.
<clip>

Don't feel bad. I suspect that the confusion between "registration" and "activation" is deliberate policy by Microsoft. They want you to "register" so they can give this information to their marketting department. This isn't much different from the "warranty cards" which come with kitchen appliances. You don't have to fill those out either, but the manufacturer would like to make you think you do.

> Many of my systems go overseas where there just is no internet access
> and calling up MS to get some secret code so a piece of equipment will
> work is not all that easy either. =A0What happens when my PC shipped
> over to rural China fails, the software has to be reinstalled and there
> is no easy way to get in touch with MS so it can be reauthorized?
<clip>

I suspect that your customers will simply install "Windows XP Pirate Edition" for less than the cost of a phone call to you. Pirate copies of the final release version of Windows XP (without the activation feature) were available in China a week or more before the product was released in the United States. I suspect that your more serious problems will arise in countries where software piracy is much less common. This doesn't make your concerns any less valid though.


> You mention that you can replace upto 8 pieces of hardware before it
> cries foul. Does this include things like keyboards, mice, printers?
> Or does this count exclude peripherals? What happens if you have to
> replace a motherboard? I have been told you are just dead in that case
> if you have an OEM version, which is how this is typically sold. What
> if my Dell motherboard dies? Can I replace it with an off the shelve
> motherboard of non-Dell origin?

To give a fairly typical example of something which is common in industrial applications, but rare in office installations, image a computerised test system. There are test system OEMs which produce hundreds of identical systems. The better ones will use swappable hard drives.

The customer will have a spare drive on the shelf which they can swap into a system in the event the original hard drive fails or becomes corrupted. The OEM's service personnel will carry a spare hard drive with them on a service call so they can swap in a software set they know is good. In addition, software upgrades are handled by installing the new software into an off-line computer and swapping the hard drive into the tester since the actual test system is not available long enough (the line can't shut down long enough) to use it as an installation system.

So we have a situation where swapping the hard drive between machines is a normal and expected activity. The question becomes whether
the activation feature of WIndows XP can distinguish between being installed in several "identical" machines.

I say "identical", but they aren't really identical. Various bits of hardware will have different serial numbers or version information which the activation system looks at. Everything may be fine (or at least close enough) from a software point of view, but the activation system has noticed that it is in a completely different machine. This may happen a number of times, and leaving the difficulty of arranging re-activation aside, I believe there is a limit to the number of re-activations you are allowed.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what a customer or OEM is supposed to do in the above scenario? I haven't seen this paritcular issue being addressed anywhere yet.

> As far as the one installation thing, I think most everyone knows that
> stealing software (or anything else for that matter) is just plain
> wrong. Its no different than stealing a car. But the fact is that
> someone is going to figure out how to beat this system (as every copy
> protection scheme to date has been beaten - this one has probably been
> beaten already as well).

The system has already been beaten, as I have mentioned above. There are pirate versions based on the "corporate" version of Windows XP, which doesn't use product activation. It is also claimed that some people have "cracked" or bypassed the activation system, as I understand there are also pirate versions available which are *not* based on the corporate version but which still don't require product activation.

I expect the product activation system will change over time (it has already supposedly changed at least once). Most copy protection systems have to change continuously to keep ahead of the hackers and I don't expect Windows XP to be any different in this respect.

If any of your long range plans depend upon on the ability of the product activation system to tolerate a certain amount of change, you had better be basing them on solid detailed specifications from Microsoft. "Past experience" or "testing" will be worthless since Microsoft could (and most likely will) change the way product activation works in ways which render your testing invalid.

The concept of basing a copy protection system on analysing the hardware configuration of a particular computer isn't a new idea. It was used in certain copy protection schemes in the past without much success. It could be though that the more modern computer hardware available today will provide more usable information than was present in previous attempts.

> Quite frankly, what I suspect MS is moving towards is renting software
> including Operating systems for some limited period of time, rather then
> what amounts to an unlimited time period now. Thats the only logical
> reason that they would do this.
<clip>

I don't know why you would call this a suspicion. I was under the impression that they have stated that this was their eventual goal. Before you start fulminating about this though, I should point out that the IT managers of certain of their large multinational customers are in favour of this as well. I have read that these customers believe there are certain advantages to this when you are managing large systems with many thousands of software licenses used in typical office applications. In this sense, Microsoft is listening to their customers, or at least the ones who are large enough for them to notice.

Since this is the "automation list" and not the "high finance list", I won't try to analyse whether they are correct or not. The question which concerns me is whether this makes sense for automation applications. In my own applications, I would have to say "no".



--
************************
Michael Griffin
London, Ont. Canada
************************


Posted by Mark Hill on 6 February, 2002 - 3:34 pm
Bob;

Sorry, I hear this "Registration/Activation" argument all the time, and am prompted to clear up misunderstandings where I can.

I sympathize with your "rural China" example. I have clients in the rural Arctic who may also experience problems with PA. I suggest you contact MS directly and see what they can do to alleviate the concerns of you and your clients.

As far as the piece count goes, rather than me go on and on about PA, I suggest everyone read this MS article:
"http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/te chnet/prodtechnol/winxppro/evaluate/xpactiv.asp":http://www.microsof t.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/eval uate/xpactiv.asp
OEM versions are a different problem altogether. To quote MS "At each login, Windows XP checks to see that it is running on the same or similar hardware that it was activated on. If it detects that the hardware is "substantially different", reactivation is required. This check is performed after the SLP BIOS check discussed above, if the SLP BIOS check fails. This means that if your PC is pre-activated in the factory using the SLP pre-activation method, all the components in the PC could be swapped, including the motherboard, so long as the replacement motherboard was genuine and from the OEM with the proper BIOS. As noted above, installations of Windows XP made using volume licensing media and volume license product keys (VLKs) will not have any hardware component checking."

As far as "renting software" is concerned, Microsoft is approaching that idea now. Under the new "Open Business" option of the MS "Open License 6.0" program it is possible for firms to enter into a "Software Assurance" program with as little as 5 copies of software. Software Assurance costs 29% (for apps, 25% for servers) of the initial purchase price each year, lasts two years, and guarantees that you'll receive the most recent version of all Microsoft products. Sounds like a stab at "software rental" to me. You purchase the initial unit(s), pay a yearly maintenance fee, and they'll send you all the latest stuff.


Mark Hill


Posted by Rufus on 8 February, 2002 - 4:19 pm
Wasn't it always effectively rental? Hardware as well?

The endless spiral of cheaper, more capable (but not always compatible) hardware, with software filling it up almost instantly with features, some of which we actually could use even if not needed.

Driven by high-disposable-income gamers and high-volume corporate user who re-deploy workstations every 3 years because it's in the budget.

Not pretty for us low-volume, long lifetime system developers.

But you can understand how the person who buys a couple licenses and "see you in 10 years" isn't exactly their "target market". These buyers are even less attractive when we find out that they are pushing the edges of the system, look under the covers, and expect to get competent technical help when they call, and hopefully a fix to the bugs they discover!

Get real :'-(


Posted by Ken Roach on 6 February, 2002 - 10:54 am
Mark, thanks for an excellent explanation of what Windows XP does for an Activation. As I expected, this has turned into the usual non-sequitur Control.com flamefest.

There are really two "Rockwell" issues with XP to which the original querent referred.

1. RSLogix 500 version 5.00 won't install in Windows XP. This is a simple one; the installer looks for an environment variable and won't install unless it says Windows 95, 98, 98OSR2, ME, NT4.0 or 2000. Simple and clear.

When RSI is finished with the next feature update of RSLogix 500 it will have the environment variable check changed.

2. The Data Highway 485 serial driver, i.e. 1747-PIC/AIC+ driver in RSLinx. I'll try to make this as simple as I can so folks will listen.

DH-485 was invented long before multitasking Windows operating systems were available. It's very difficult to get the timing precision you need for that network when you have to go through a hardware abstraction layer, so A-B has traditionally replaced the COMM driver with their own. With Windows 2000 and XP's very jealous protection of the hardware layer, that has become more difficult, and has not yet been overcome with XP.

A secondary problem exists, with many laptop RS-232 ports often lacking enough port voltage to drive an RS232 to RS485 converter, as well as shutting down the port for power saving. I checked twenty-one new laptop computers at CompUSA yesterday; only five of them had RS-232 ports at all. I expect some agile companies to come out with DF1/DH485 converters, maybe with USB, before the end of the year.

Regards,

Ken Roach
A-B Seattle
kiroach@ra.rockwell.com
(Still running Win2K and SuSE 7.2)


Posted by Mark Hill on 6 February, 2002 - 4:38 pm
Thanks Ken

I'm used to "flame fests" when Windows XP gets mentioned in public forums.
Most non-Windows users would rather toss lighted spears rather than try to educate themselves.

I hope your explanation sorts out this "issue" for all RSLogix users !!

Mark Hill


Posted by Jeff Dean on 5 February, 2002 - 11:21 am
You've been drinking too much of the Linux kool-aid. Registration is the act of sending in your name, address, and other contact information. Activation only requires the product serial number found on the CD or the box and your zip code. You don't have to fill out the registration card, but if sending in my serial number and zip code helps prevent software piracy then I will do that. You aren't in favor of software piracy are you? Oh yea, I guess you all intellectual property should be free... my mistake.

Jeff Dean


Posted by Bob Peterson on 5 February, 2002 - 11:24 am
Actually, I think that the thieves will soon beat the system (if they have not already done so). Much as gun control (and other) laws are obeyed by people who are law abiding and are ignored by criminals, people who want to steal from MS will still do so, and those of use who don't steal their software will be inconvenienced, in some cases in a substantial way.

Just out of curiousity, did you ever pay the registration fee to use Winzip? I did. Also for Procomm, and PKZip, and a few other shareware items. I take not being a thief pretty seriously. I even paid MS for the Win98 upgrade CD got off their website. I have no problem with paying for software that I want to use. Free is nice, but programmers got to eat too.

My main gripe is what the heck do I tell people when we ship something to rural China? When I tell them the procedure for reloading a dead PC, they will have a cow. There just is no Internet or telephone to MS tech support in many cases. And in many cases specs require that we provide the capability to reload the system in case of failure of some sort. I can no longer meet this requirement.

In fact, I have seen several specs lately that specifically requested NT or W2000 (in lieu of XP). I wander if people are nervous over XP and do not want it until they can work out how much of a nuisance it will become.

Bob Peterson


Posted by Jeff Dean on 6 February, 2002 - 1:07 pm
>>Actually, I think that the thieves will soon beat the [activation]
>>system (if they have not already done so). Much as gun control
>>(and other) laws are obeyed by people who are law abiding and are
>>ignored by criminals...

Why bother trying if the thieves are just going to break it anyway. I'll just leave the keys in my truck... the thieves are going to steal it anyway. And I think I'll just leave my house unlocked... The burglars are just going to break in and steal all my stuff anyway.

>>Just out of curiousity, did you ever pay the registration fee to
>>use Winzip? I did.

I purchase all the software I use or develop with/for, including WinZip, Windows, Office, and the MSDN Universal library. I have valid licenses for each computer at work and at home for all software installed on it.

If you noticed, WinZip uses a less complicated (and less secure) method of product activation. When you register with them, they give you an activation code based on your name. Most shareware that I have seen implements similar protection schemes. The difference, being they don't look at the hardware in your computer to prevent using the activation code on multiple computers.

>>I have no problem with paying for software that I want to use.
>>Free is nice, but programmers got to eat too.

If you want to send food directly maybe we can work something out but I prefer you just pay cash for stuff I write. (programmers need houses and
cars too) :)

>>My main gripe is what the heck do I tell people when we ship
>>something to rural China?

Microsoft has regional and, in some locations, local customer service centers to process activation requests. Telephone access numbers to these customer service centers are toll-free where available. Some countries can only be serviced with local toll numbers due to their telephony infrastructure or other issues. For very few countries, users will need to contact Microsoft by calling collect. Most customer service centers are open 24 hours per day.

>>There just is no Internet or telephone to MS tech support in
>>many cases.

Product activation is not be required for licenses acquired through Microsoft's volume licensing programs such as Open License or Select
License. I suggest you look into these programs.
( "http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/":http://www.microsoft.c om/licensing/ ) A purchase for as few as 5 licenses can qualify for volume pricing through the open license program.

Jeff Dean
jeffdean@execpc.com


Posted by Bob Peterson on 7 February, 2002 - 10:55 am
> >>Actually, I think that the thieves will soon beat the [activation]
> >>system (if they have not already done so). Much as gun control
> >>(and other) laws are obeyed by people who are law abiding and are
> >>ignored by criminals...
>
> Why bother trying if the thieves are just going to break it anyway. I'll
> just leave the keys in my truck... the thieves are going to steal it
> anyway. And I think I'll just leave my house unlocked... The burglars
> are just going to break in and steal all my stuff anyway.

The analogy you make is seriously flawed. Locking your house or car does provide you with a much higher degree of security from vermin. MS has gained almost nothing in that respect, since versions w/o the PA "feature" are already readily available to those who wish to steal (and actually came from MS that way). Those who wish to steal MS software can do continue to do so
with impunity, while those who do not are inconvenienced. At least locking my door inconveniences both myself and discourages the thieves.

BTW-I do not dispute that MS has the right to sell its software in any way it so chooses. My objection revolves around the inconvenience it brings me, and the real possibility that in at least a technical way I may not be able to abide by the contract with the end user.

>> >My main gripe is what the heck do I tell people when we ship
> >>something to rural China?
> Microsoft has regional and, in some locations, local customer service
> centers to process activation requests. Telephone access numbers to
> these customer service centers are toll-free where available. Some
> countries can only be serviced with local toll numbers due to their
> telephony infrastructure or other issues. For very few countries, users
> will need to contact Microsoft by calling collect. Most customer service> centers are open 24 hours per day.

Did you know its called plagerism when you copy something verbatim w/o crediting the source?

Obviously you have not been to rural China lately. Calling anywhere from some of these places is not a trivial exercise.

> >>There just is no Internet or telephone to MS tech support in
> >>many cases.
> Product activation is not be required for licenses acquired through
> Microsoft's volume licensing programs such as Open License or Select
> License. I suggest you look into these programs.
> (http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/) A purchase for as few as 5
> licenses can qualify for volume pricing through the open license
> program.

So I should buy 5 licenses for my one computer going to China to avoid the PA trap? And instead of buying my computer from Dell with the O/S preinstalled, you are suggesting that I pay Dell extra to take it off? Or uninstall it and reinstall it from an off the shelf package from Compusa?

And BTW, as far as I can tell from the FAQ at the MS web site, you cannot transfer one of these volume licenses bought in such a way to a third party (like to the end user in my case), unless you have a reseller license.

Bob Peterson


Posted by Mark Hutton on 8 February, 2002 - 2:53 pm
This whole discussion misses the point of down time.

I can currently offer my customers a 'ghosted' or 'drive imaged' back up of their system as it was commissioned. This system can generally be restored within twenty minutes to an hour to a fully working system once the hardware problems have been sorted out.

This avenue is not likely to be open to users of XP. Some systems take as much as a day to restore from scratch.

At anything upto 100,000 per hour for down time on a system I can predict quite a few 'fitness for purpose' disputes.

Mind you doesn't the EVIL DMCA make Ghost and Drive Image illegal in the US.


Posted by RufusVS on 10 February, 2002 - 1:29 pm
Mark, Mark, Mark,

The solution is obvous, buy two licenses for xp! Mount the first drive, install it, WPA it, commission it. Can't take more than a day. Remove that drive for backup, mount the other drive, install XP, WPA it, commission it. Probably not more than another day.

If the system goes down it can be up in a few minutes because you have a pre-approved copy on the other drive.

What's the problem?

Rufus

(I hope this post is received in the same spirit it was written ;)


Posted by Lillie, Dave on 11 February, 2002 - 2:09 pm
Mark,

You need to upgrade to Ghost 7.0 - It was updated to work with the changes XP made to the NTFS. You will need to do the same with other non-microsoft
utilities like PartitionMagic, etc.

Dave Lillie
Program Manager
Rockwell Software Inc.


Posted by Mark Hutton on 12 February, 2002 - 10:53 am
Actually as Ghost and Partion Image can copy, through the creation of an image, software that has been specifically designed to prevent copying
namely Siemens and Rockwell software activations it is illegal to use in the US (due to DMCA), which I am told does not have a fair use close (as all previous copyright acts do). Also since the US is intent on riding rough shod over any and all other nations sovereignty and legislation (as demonstrated by the case against a Russian software house), you can expect it (DMCA) in your neighbour hood any day soon.


Posted by Dave Lillie on 13 February, 2002 - 12:03 pm
Mark,

I believe there is a context in which you are correct, and a context in which you are incorrect for RSI copy protection.

I am no lawyer, yet I understand RSI's copy protection license to allow you to duplicate an installed software package and activation so long as the duplicated image and activation is strictly limited to backing up the original installation target.

You are not allowed to make an image with activation for backing up a series of installations, or type of installation. If you want to do that, you need to duplicate the image without activation, then install activation following the duplication.

I am not answering this as a company spokesman - If you are interested in doing this, contact your rep and confirm.

Note: I am in the process of verifying the legality & conditions for ghosting an XP Target.


Dave Lillie
Program Manager
Rockwell Software Inc.


Posted by Dave Lillie on 17 February, 2002 - 1:07 pm
Mark,

I believe there is a context in which you are correct, and a context in which you are incorrect for RSI copy protection.

I am no lawyer, yet I understand RSI's copy protection license to allow you to duplicate an installed software package and activation so long as the duplicated image and activation is strictly limited to backing up the original installation target.

You are not allowed to make an image with activation for backing up a series of installations, or type of installation. If you want to do that, you need to duplicate the image without activation, then install activation following the duplication.

I am not answering this as a company spokesman - If you are interested in doing this, contact your rep and confirm.

Note: I am in the process of verifying the legality & conditions for ghosting an XP Target.


Dave Lillie
Program Manager
Rockwell Software Inc.


Posted by Jay Kirsch on 17 February, 2002 - 1:09 pm
What does DMCA stand for ? And what is the case against the Russian software house ? Just curious.

Jay Kirsch


Posted by Alex Pavloff on 17 February, 2002 - 1:12 pm
DMCA -- Digital Millenium Copyright Act. A piece of legislation paid for by movie studios and record companies. Short version: Fair-use? Consumer rights? Hahahaha!

Here's a recent article about it:

"http://news.com.com/2010-1078-825335.html":http://news.c om.com/2010-1078-825335.html

Many links available online for info about it.::

Alex Pavloff
Software Engineer
Eason Technology


Posted by Mark Hutton on 17 February, 2002 - 1:28 pm
It is also the prelude to a much more malignant injustice which aims to stamp out the practice of reverse engineering. (They were obviously
embarrassed that although they managed to have him arrested, they had to let our Norwegian friend go because he hadn't actually broken any laws). Of course just as the DMCA stunts learning, creativity and freedom of expression, this new law will all but kill it off.


Posted by Joe Jansen on 17 February, 2002 - 1:14 pm
Digital Millenium Copyright Act

Makes it a federal crime to in any way attempt to circumvent a copy protection device. If there is any attempt at encryption, it is a US federal crime to try to copy the data. It is also illegal to tell someone how to do it. It is also illegal to have a link on a website that goes to a page that gives a theoretical example of how to do it. It is also illegal to have a link to a website that contains a link to a website that gives a theoretical explanation of how to do it.

The Russian software house is a reference to the federal prosecution of a Russian individual (the name escapes me at the moment) who wrote a sample of how to open adobe e-book files without buying the activation code. He sold (I think) 8 copies 2 ( I think) of which were purchased by Adobe. He was in the States for a trade show, arrested, and held without bail. I forget what the outcome was (if it has reached an outcome).

The lack of a 'fair use' clause is the disturbing part. DMCA makes it illegal to make archival backups of your software. Also, If I purchase a CD, but my car has a cassette player, it is illegal to copy the CD onto a cassette for my personal use in my car.

DMCA makes TIVO questionable, because TIVO records television programs as part of it's operation. That recording is considered a copy.

Want to buy a pay-per-view program and tape it so you can watch it when you get home from work? Not anymore!

What is even worse, Sony and other recorder producing companies who also seem to be in the media production business, are planning to make the recorders 'compliant' by having them refuse to record shows that are tagged as 'single view only'.

DMCA and UCITA are both designed to strip away *your* rights (if you are a US citizen). Keep up with this stuff! "The price of liberty is constant vigilence." has never been more true. In our world of instant gratification, and not caring about anything that cannot be resolved in a 30 minute sit-com, we are a group of lemmings being led away.

--Joe Jansen


Posted by Jay Kirsch on 17 February, 2002 - 1:26 pm
On the case of Dmitry Sklyarov

"http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/press/html/2001_12_13_sklyarov. html":http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/press/html/2001_12_13_sklyarov.h tml


On the law in general I found a lot of opinions/analysis but little information, e.g., the text of the law. No one seems to be too sure about how to interpret it or when to enforce it. One article did quote a fair use clause in the law's text, but I don't know the context of that excerpt.

There's also another law in works to make it illegal NOT to encrypt copywritten electronic material. I hope that control.com posts don't fall under copywrite laws. We'd have to encrypt each of our posts and would not be allowed to unencrypt them.

eRagdr,s

Jay Kirsch


Posted by Mark Hutton on 17 February, 2002 - 1:27 pm
Ahh! But not just if you are a US citizen. The scuttle but is that the individual in question has turned states evidence and the company that employs him is being prosecuted (even though they are Russian, the software was produced in Russia and even though they have broken no Russian laws).

What is more the European Parliment is working on similar anti-freedom, anti-consumer rights laws as we speak.

Some Sony music CDs are already processed in a way that is supposed to stop them being copied. Unfortunately, it also means that they cannot be played on some CD players (I would suggest that these CD's are unfit for purpose as the advertised purpose of a CD is to be played on a CD player).


Posted by Ralph Mackiewicz on 19 February, 2002 - 2:16 pm
The individual involved did not "turn states evidence". There is nothing to turn. There is no dispute that he personally wrote the software that cracked the e-book encoding scheme. He was allowed to return home because his company signed an agreement with the US justice department to accept the legal liability.

What makes this prosecution so absurd is that the publishers now have a legal ban against anyone performing a technical critique of any half-brained copy protection scheme they cook up. After all, how can you critique a security mechanism without trying to crack it? Does this make anyone feel safer?

The guy whose wife tried to copy the fashion magazine page can be thrown in jail for putting masking tape over the encoded graphics that prevent color copiers from copying. And this is in the "Land of the Free"? The USA will be a little less free until DMCA is repealed.

Regards,

Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.


Posted by Jay Kirsch on 20 February, 2002 - 12:15 pm
Hi Ralph,

On the DCMA, here's the meat and potatoes -

"http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf":http: //www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf

Note exception 3 on pages 5. Is the real problem here with this law of the way publishers want to interpret it ?


Jay Kirsch


Posted by Mark Blunier on 17 February, 2002 - 1:15 pm
> What does DMCA stand for ?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

> And what is the case against the
> Russian software house ?

Dmitry Sklyarov, 27 and ElComSoft Co. Ltd. of Moscow were charged with five counts of copyright violations for writing a program that lets users of Adobe Systems' eBook Reader get around copyright protections imposed by electronic-book publishers.

> Just curious.

You obviously Don't read Slashdot. For more information go to slashdot.org and enter a search on Sklyarov and a search on DMCA.

Mark Blunier
Any opinions expressed in this message are not necessarily those of the
company.


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 17 February, 2002 - 1:16 pm
DMCA = Digital Millenium Copyright Act And the russian software house's Mr Skylerov (sp?) described in a talk the encryption used in ebooks. Simply talking about this is apparently illegal.

Regards

cww


Posted by Bob Peterson on 17 February, 2002 - 1:31 pm
> DMCA = Digital Millenium Copyright Act And the russian software
> house's Mr Skylerov (sp?) described in a talk the encryption used
> in ebooks. Simply talking about this is apparently illegal.

A very similar situation existed with DVD copy protection. A "hacker" (for want of a better word) beat the protection and posted his code.
Apparrently the lunatics that came up with this law included even giving details of the encryption scheme out as a punishable offense.

As I understand it, its potentially illegal to use certain diskcopy programs that copy the whole diskette (diskrw comes to mind) since this
could also be used to copy key disks. What I have heard is even having such software installed on your machine is illegal, even if you do not use it for copying software. Just the fact that it has this capability makes it illegal.

OTOH, the same people who think this is a really bad idea, think that the DOJ vendetta against MS is a good thing. Its really the same issue.
Does an American have a right to do as he pleases as long as he does not directly harm someone else?

Bob Peterson


Posted by Jiri Baum on 17 February, 2002 - 1:33 pm
This must make it interesting to use operating systems which have whole disk access arranged through files, because then file-copying programs can be used to copy disks...

dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/dev/fd1


Someone claimed somewhere that the law doesn't require mens rea, so being infected by Sircam is illegal - is that true? I know it isn't in Australia, but the US law is somewhat different.

Jiri
--
Jiri Baum <jiri@baum.com.au> http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jirib
MAT LinuxPLC project --- http://mat.sf.net --- Machine Automation Tools


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 17 February, 2002 - 1:49 pm
Hi Bob,

Unix has had dd for many years to make direct copies of things. It would interesting if that's now illegal. This is idiocy, this prohibition of tools. I have a rock, now I could hurt someone with it. If I did, that should probably be illegal. But to make rocks illegal is just plain stupid. This is the same concept as gun control.

> OTOH, the same people who think this is a really bad idea, think that the
> DOJ vendetta against MS is a good thing. Its really the same issue.
> Does an American have a right to do as he pleases as long as he does not
> directly harm someone else?

Aye, and there's the rub. There's a very, very, long line of folks directly harmed. The ones who managed to survive are lining up to sue now. If the courts find all thes cases groundless, then I'd be inclined to agree with you.

The two aren't comparable at all. One is simply common sense, the other is a denial of _how_ Microsoft came out on top and a debasement of ethics. By that standard, the management of Enron should be applauded, they made _their_ millions and they didn't directly shaft all those workers.

Regards

cww


Posted by Bob Peterson on 19 February, 2002 - 1:59 pm
Actually, as I understand it, the offending issue with some diskcopy programs is that they copy track by track, rather then file by file. Apparrently the secured information is stored on a track somewhere, but is not in a file, so
"normal" diskcopy methods that copy files only are not an issue. But the faster method of copying track by track is.


Bob Peterson


Posted by Jiri Baum on 20 February, 2002 - 2:35 pm
Actually, it's not dd but Unix itself that's the problem, because there's a magic ``file'' which corresponds to the whole disk, track by track. So any program that works with files can work with whole disks instead.

You can open a disk in a word processor, or in anything. (Obviously, this is only useful if the word processor has a hex-edit mode, or if you only want one document on the disk.)


Jiri
--
Jiri Baum <jiri@baum.com.au> http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jirib
MAT LinuxPLC project --- http://mat.sf.net --- Machine Automation Tools


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 22 February, 2002 - 5:26 pm
I really, really doubt that the law discriminates between bit copiers, sector copiers and file copiers. And I'll bet they'll take the word of the plaintiff on what circumvention means. And as always with this sort of law, it'll only affect people who weren't trying to break the law and be ignored by those who know exactly what they're doing.

Regards

cww


Posted by Ralphsnyder, Grayg on 22 February, 2002 - 5:27 pm
Ha, I bet that now since you mentioned it, some copyright lawyer will take that idea to task - bit vs byte vs sector, etc copiers !!! That should prove interesting. Logic vs money - the money always wins.

good luck,

grayg


Posted by Ralph Mackiewicz on 17 February, 2002 - 1:19 pm
> What does DMCA stand for ? And what is the case against the
> Russian software house ? Just curious.

DMCA = Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

The Russian programmer developed software that broke the copy protection used in e-Books. He did this in an academic way to prove that ebooks were not secure and is not accused of stealing anything. His crime was that he developed a piece of software. He was arrested when he came to the US to present a paper on his findings at a technical conference. They have since let him go because his company agreed to accept legal liability on his behalf.

The DMCA is bad law. It is a typical knee-jerk no-nothing reaction by the political class responding to pressure from big political donors (in this case the big media companies scared of Napster). It makes all kinds of things illegal that we used to take for granted, like fair use of copyrighted material, that enabled programs like Ghost and DiskClone to be sold legally. Just because they haven't gone after these guys yet, don't count on that never changing.

For more analysis of this visit:

"http://reason.com/0107/cr.mg.copywrong.shtml":http://rea son.com/0107/cr.mg.copywrong.shtml

Regards,

Ralph Mackiewicz
SISCO, Inc.


Posted by Jiri Baum on 17 February, 2002 - 1:24 pm
Jay Kirsch:
> What does DMCA stand for ?

Digital Millenium Copyright Act

> And what is the case against the Russian software house ? Just curious.

It would seem to have nothing to do with the software house, as its principals have entered and left the US unmolested (before and since). However, one of its products is a reader for encrypted Adobe files, for the blind and for backup.

One of their employees, Dmitri Sklyarov, attended a security conference in the US where he revealed how to crack several encryption schemes such as rot13 and xoring all bytes with a (fixed) constant. Adobe had him arrested, nominally for writing software in Russia for his employer.


There's rumours that the DMCA doesn't require mens rea, so that one could be prosecuted for catching the Sircam worm - can anyone confirm or deny?

Jiri
--
Jiri Baum <jiri@baum.com.au> http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jirib
MAT LinuxPLC project --- http://mat.sf.net --- Machine Automation Tools


Posted by Mark Hutton on 12 February, 2002 - 1:44 pm
I am not talking necessarily about a simply hard drive failure.

I have had CPUs fail, Motherboards and more importantly NICs (this later is important because we are advised by some that the activation may make use of the MAC address of the NIC, if it does you will not be able to change it either when it fails or to upgrade it.

Incidently your solution is no better than the Drive Image option, which will probably work if the change is 'just' a HDD change. (I can't believe that the hard disk is part of the activation key as this would preclude the
upgrade of the harddisk, surely one of the three or four most common upgrade choices).

Personally, I will not recommend Windows XP to any of my customers untill I can no longer get Win 2K. By then who knows what will have happened.

We have had to put up with the activation nightmare for years on SCADA and PLC development packages. It is a bit much when the operating system has activation, especially when it is implemented this way.


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 7 February, 2002 - 11:04 am
Why treat all your customers as thieves while you are extorting upgrade dollars from them?

Regards

cww


Posted by Dale Witman on 4 February, 2002 - 12:54 pm
Mark,

Compatibility mode was an excellent suggestion, but does not work because the RSLogix checks the software for a minimum service pack level and aborts immediately. I loved the idea, but unfortunately did not work.
Do you have any other ideas? It seems that you have more XP experience than I do and any suggestions would be appreciated.

Dale


Posted by Chris Elston on 1 February, 2002 - 11:13 am
Sorry Eric. I meant to say RS Logix 500.

Ken Roach pointed out a tech document that wasn't there a few days ago on AB tech support that make for interesting reading. Good thing I have both Win2K and WinXP....otherwise, I would not be a happy camper.

Chris
http://www.mrplc.com


Posted by Steve Godfrey on 1 February, 2002 - 11:45 am
If you go to www.software.rockwell.com you can find a XP compatibility chart.

Steve Godfrey


Posted by Ranjan Acharya on 5 February, 2002 - 1:48 pm
Unfortunately we were all lulled to sleep by the long life cycle of Windows NT. Windows 2000 was here yesterday and is rapidly disappearing. It takes a long time to get all the applications certified for any vendor be it Siemens, Rockwell or Schneider et cetera. From experience, it seems that all software gets trapped by kernel revisions eventually.

Our policy right now (we do all flavours of PLC) is to not use XP at all. We don't buy the programming stations / laptops if they only support XP. Having played with XP and Office XP, I don't really understand the rush to upgrade to it. A lot of flash over basically the same NT kernel.

That does not help you if you are stuck for another reason in the XP world.

Perhaps someone could write a Linux version of the A-B programming toolset to add some choice?

We will start to switch to XP next year or maybe the third quarter of this year and only by using licences with new machines. We are not registering existing licences with the new fee programme that Microsoft just started. A desperate ploy to get revenue. The "upgrades" will only come faster to newer and newer operating systems and the old ones will vanish with the "oh, if you register with us and pay us X dollars or X Euros per seat each year then you don't have to worry". I called an automation vendor on this once and he said "oh, that's just the way of the world now, tell your customers the same thing, I am sure they will understand". Yes I can just imagine it, "I know the machine works perfectly, but you bought it in 2002 and it is 2003 now, you have to upgrade the control engine to the 2003 model in order for us to support it, we cannot get the 2002 stuff to work anymore".

R


Posted by Bill Sturm on 6 February, 2002 - 12:01 pm
>Unfortunately we were all lulled to sleep by the long life cycle of Windows
>NT. Windows 2000 was here yesterday and is rapidly disappearing.

I recently removed Windows 2000 from my PC and reinstalled NT 4.0. I am perfectly happy with it's features and performance. I even understand it somewhat. I hope to keep running it for a good long time. Is anyone else tired of the endless upgrade cycle?

I spent over 500 dollars to "upgrade" to 2000. (OS, CPU, MOBO, Hard disk, RAM...) When 2000 died, I simply removed it.

Bill Sturm


Posted by Curt Wuollet on 6 February, 2002 - 1:40 pm
Hi Ranjan

Ranjan Acharya wrote:
>
> Unfortunately we were all lulled to sleep by the long life cycle of Windows
> NT. Windows 2000 was here yesterday and is rapidly disappearing. It takes
> a long time to get all the applications certified for any vendor be it
> Siemens, Rockwell or Schneider et cetera. From experience, it seems that
> all software gets trapped by kernel revisions eventually.
>
> Our policy right now (we do all flavours of PLC) is to not use XP at all.
> We don't buy the programming stations / laptops if they only support XP.
> Having played with XP and Office XP, I don't really understand the rush to
> upgrade to it. A lot of flash over basically the same NT kernel.
>
> That does not help you if you are stuck for another reason in the XP world.
>
> Perhaps someone could write a Linux version of the A-B programming toolset
> to add some choice?

I'll start right away if you'll get me the information and pay my legal costs :^).

>
> We will start to switch to XP next year or maybe the third quarter of this
> year and only by using licences with new machines. We are not registering
> existing licences with the new fee programme that Microsoft just started. A
> desperate ploy to get revenue. The "upgrades" will only come faster to
> newer and newer operating systems and the old ones will vanish with the "oh,
> if you register with us and pay us X dollars or X Euros per seat each year
> then you don't have to worry". I called an automation vendor on this once
> and he said "oh, that's just the way of the world now, tell your customers
> the same thing, I am sure they will understand". Yes I can just imagine it,
> "I know the machine works perfectly, but you bought it in 2002 and it is
> 2003 now, you have to upgrade the control engine to the 2003 model in order
> for us to support it, we cannot get the 2002 stuff to work anymore".
>
> R


I won't comment on the other stuff, that's between MS and you.

Regards

cww


Posted by Jay Kirsch on 5 February, 2002 - 4:15 pm
I am skipping XP, as I did ME. Some Microsoft products have value to me and some do not. XP is the first attempt to completely nuke the 16-bit legacy upon which Windows started. This is huge task and I don't want, as an engineer, to be a lab rat for this. The mass-consumer market will do this for me. Consumer who value multi-media might have a legimate reason to buy XP for some feature it contains. Each person can assess this value and decide whether or not to put up the inconvience of working with a product that has not been completely field tested.

The original poster should have checked with Rockwell before assuming that RSLogix would run on XP. ( The problem is probably RSLinx). This true of all the control products we deal with,
including hardware. These are not mass-market consumer products. Engineer is somewhat conservative business, not consumer base high technoloy. There is not cast of thousands to make sure this peculiar stuff works.

"Extra profits" ? Is that like extra effort or extra points? Sorry New England, our committee has decided that you scored three more points than you actually deserve. Keep replaying the game until we're democratically satisfied with the results. Next season we'll just select the winner to avoid any confusion.

Whatever real extra cost consumers are paying for MS products goes to the legion of lawyers who tried to stop a private enterprise from freely conducting its business with its free consumers.

Jay Kirsch


Posted by Mark Hill on 6 February, 2002 - 3:42 pm
The appended note from Jay prompted me to think, does RSLogic load other programs ? If so, each of these programs must also be told which OS to run under, (using XP's Compatibility Tool).

For those interested in reviewing the Compatibility Mode, I'd suggest reading the following MS articles:

A good discussion on Application Compatibility:
"http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techinfo/planning/appc ompat/default.asp";http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techinfo/p lanning/appcompat/default.asp

An application called QFixAPP that will discover why your program doesn't run:
"http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techinfo/administratio n/qfixapp/default.asp":http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techin fo/administration/qfixapp/default.asp

How to run Legacy Applications under Windows XP:
"http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsXP/pro/techinfo/administratio n/legacyapps/default.asp":http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsXP/pro/tec hinfo/administration/legacyapps/default.asp

Mark Hill


Posted by Veeger on 5 February, 2002 - 4:52 pm
If you had RSLogix 5.0 installed before and you upgrade then it run's in XP. At least till you format. Also version 4.5.0 will install and work in XP. The problem is with the installer for 5.00 and XP, just won't work.
Also if you have Office and or Visual Basic it is imperative to install them first in 98 or ME before you install Logix 5.00. Otherwise you get waxed. PC boots to desktop but won't run.


Posted by Ranjan Acharya on 7 February, 2002 - 5:05 pm
With regards to Microsoft's Software Assurance programme touted by Mark Hill.

To an honest end user such as myself this programme appears to be nothing but a cynical attempt to get more money from me. Statements such as "you will be assured of the latest version of the software" are meaningless given Microsoft's horrible record on buggy insecure new releases. Also since my automation tools take a year or more to catch up to the Windows release (express train?) this does not really help me.

Paying through my nose each year 29% of the cost for each machine is quite simply ridiculous. When I buy the licence for the software it should be a one-time payment with no hassles. I should also be assured of some reasonable longevity for the product. This licence should include access to fee-based support plus free fixes for flaws (hopefully with this new "security first" thing in Redmond there will be no security holes - cannot break it, cannot break in or something like that I suppose from a little company a couple of kilometres (or so) down the coast.

If these things cannot be done, then it is time for the purveyors of automation tools to think about an alternative OS. If the IS types at the
big companies like forking over a huge sum of money each year for all the corporate systems then that is fine. For automation systems perhaps it is time to try something new. The "Great Leap Forward" we all took to the
"Cultural Revolution" of NT a few years ago appears to be a "Long March" to a gulag in Siberia.

R

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