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Re: [vox-tech] The incredible moving ethernet adapter
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Re: [vox-tech] The incredible moving ethernet adapter

On Monday 23 April 2007 14:45, Bob Scofield wrote:
> On Monday 23 April 2007 11:32, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> > Apparently (I finally got hold of the paperwork they sent back with
> > the laptop after it was repaired), IBM decided to flash the BIOS
> > with a new revision.  That apparently mucked up the MAC addr.
> >
> > *Whew!*  That was a close one! :^)
> 1)  The thought the MAC address was set by the card itself.  I guess
> I was wrong.

Maybe the MAC is built into the motherboard. But flashing the firmware 
still shouldn't change the MAC.

> 2)  I thought BIOS flashing was dangerous enough that one should do
> it only when necessary.
> 3)  Why would IBM flash the BIOS on a hinge repair job?  Just to be
> nice?

Maybe they're just being nice. Certainly they're in a position to 
replace any component they break by behaving dangerously.

Maybe the new firmware helps to better enforce some kind of DRM. I seem 
to recall this happening with some kind of CD-ROM firmware update that 
gave CD-ROM drives worse error recovery, enabling various copy 
protection schemes to take advantage of the worse error recovery. But I 
don't recall hearing hardware vendors purposely installing the new 

Maybe they swapped hard drives and send back a new laptop with identical 
specs and the old HDD? This seems most likely, given that the MAC 
changed. Is the laptop missing any distinctive marks or decorations?


Ken Bloom. PhD candidate. Linguistic Cognition Laboratory.
Department of Computer Science. Illinois Institute of Technology.

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