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Right To Repair

Discussion in 'audio' started by Tony L, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. Reenberg

    Reenberg pfm Member

    I guess I was a bit unclear. Here is a product where the producer of the product just gave up keeping the app alive. It's is therefore more or less useless. Another way of hindering the "right to repair"

    And the specific problem is that it is impossible to upgrade the first generation of the devialet products.

    I woukd not treat my costumers like that, but that is another storry
     
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I assumed the firmware was updatable, but if not that sucks. A lot of digital stuff will fail in this way I’m sure. Best avoided IMHO given audio is such a mature technology and so much serviceable and sustainable kit already exists in the marketplace.
     
  3. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    The firmware is only updateable as long as the manufacturer provides updates. The problem here seems to be interactions with 3rd party streaming software, then? So, if say the Tidal app/service updates and the streamer's firmware isn't updated to remain compatible, you're out of luck.

    In the case of Tidal, at least, you may be able to stream via UPnP/DLNA/OpenHome. I use BubbleUPnP on my Android phone for UPnP/DLNA and it purports to support streaming Tidal, although I haven't tried it. Assuming the Devialet speakers support UPnP (would be crazy if they don't), you might be able to just get around the problem by avoiding the Devialet app and using something like BubbleUPnP instead.
     
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    To my mind from a streaming perspective the ‘hi-fi system’ starts with a digital input on a DAC; SPDIF, USB etc. This is mature technology and shouldn’t take anything more than a simple cheap single board computer such as a Raspberry Pi or whatever to interface such an audio system with any modern streaming solution using whatever protocol you wish. You should never have to upgrade anything more than the Pi or equivalent part here.
     
  5. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    Agreed. I resolved to keep the streaming aspect of my system relegated to a single small computer so that nothing else can possibly get rendered obsolete by it. Even still, my streamer just runs an open-source UPnP renderer and a reverse-engineered Spotify daemon, so it's unlikely to become obsolete anyway.

    FWIW, my commercial streamer, SOtM sMS-200 NEO SE, is just a small RPi-like ARM board surrounded by nicer power management and cleaner USB. It runs Fedora Linux and I'm pretty sure it has no special, proprietary drivers. So, should the company ever stop supporting it, it should be fairly straight-forward for the community to put together a new "firmware" image for it, since the "firmware" is just a Linux install.
     
  6. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Many ARM cored processors contain binary blob drivers. These are a long term support nightmare
    https://hackaday.com/2021/01/29/why-blobs-are-important-and-why-you-should-care/
     
  7. gustav_errata

    gustav_errata pfm Member

    Indeed, I've been bitten by that in the past. I have a Genesi Smartbook and Smarttop sitting in a closet doing nothing because they're stuck on an ancient version of Linux (pre-device tree). IIRC their display drivers and graphics drivers are both binary blobs.

    In the case of the SOtM sMS-200, I think the outlook is better. Its SoC is an Allwinner A20 running a Linux-Sunxi kernel. I think it has wi-fi but I use ethernet anyway. Graphics are, of course, not a concern. The USB controller looks like it's in the mainline kernel. Overall the A20 kernel appears to be ok, with regards to in-tree binary blobs and the UBoot code is available.

    A quick (but imperfect, non-definitive) check shows that all the loaded modules are GPL- or dual-licensed. Given the statement by the sunxi developers, linked above, that there are no in-tree GPL violations, it's probably ok. But I would have to go through one-at-a-time though to find out if any of those are out-of-tree and just "decorated" with a GPL.
    Code:
    [root@eunhasu ~]# modinfo $(lsmod | cut -d' ' -f 1) | awk '/filename/{fn=$2;} /license/{print $2, fn;}'
    modinfo: ERROR: Module Module not found.
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/usb/snd-usb-audio.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd-hwdep.ko.xz
    Dual /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/usb/snd-usbmidi-lib.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd-rawmidi.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/seq/snd-seq.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd-seq-device.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd-pcm.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd-timer.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/core/snd.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/sound/soundcore.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/net/wireless/cfg80211.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/net/rfkill/rfkill.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/net/sunrpc/sunrpc.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/pinctrl/pinctrl-axp209.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/input/misc/axp20x-pek.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/iio/adc/axp20x_adc.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/iio/adc/sun4i-gpadc-iio.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/nvmem/nvmem_sunxi_sid.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/watchdog/sunxi_wdt.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/crypto/sunxi-ss/sun4i-ss.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/crypto/des_generic.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/cpufreq/cpufreq-dt.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/leds/leds-gpio.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/regulator/axp20x-regulator.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/power/supply/axp20x_ac_power.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/power/supply/axp20x_battery.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/mmc/core/mmc_block.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/phy/realtek.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/ethernet/stmicro/stmmac/dwmac-sunxi.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/ethernet/stmicro/stmmac/stmmac-platform.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/ethernet/stmicro/stmmac/stmmac.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/of/of_mdio.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/phy/fixed_phy.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/net/phy/libphy.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/rtc/rtc-sunxi.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/mfd/sun4i-gpadc.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/ata/ahci_sunxi.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/i2c/busses/i2c-mv64xxx.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/ata/libahci_platform.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/pwm/pwm-sun4i.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/ata/libahci.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/phy/allwinner/phy-sun4i-usb.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/usb/host/ohci-platform.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/mmc/host/sunxi-mmc.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/usb/host/ehci-platform.ko.xz
    GPL /lib/modules/4.18.19-213.fc27.armv7hl/kernel/drivers/input/keyboard/gpio_keys.ko.xz
    
     
  8. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    What peeves me a bit is electric rechargeable toothbrushes. After a few years, they fail to hold charge, so you have to buy a new one, with another charger you don't need.

    Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to design one with a screw base to be able to replace batteries? Slight complication from the charging coil in the bottom, but some spring contacts and a single start thread should sort it? An O ring in the base to waterproof. Job done?
     
    Brian Ellis likes this.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed. They are an obvious example of built-in obsolescence especially given the actual brush unit is so easily replaceable. The motor assembly should really last decades.
     
  10. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Don’t understand - I have my Philips Sonicare for over 5 years now - I was staying away from home last week and battery was still good at end of it (left charger at home). I had a Braun for a few years before that too, also no problem (only changed for preference). Given the price of brushes, that’s where the money is, no? Are you talking about cheap ones?
     
    Nytechy and guydarryl like this.
  11. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Our Brauns do not seem to last very long….about 4 yrs and the charge does not hold for more than a day or two.
     
  12. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Cant remember testing Braun, think it was 3 or 4 years old before switching to Philips - but Philips better in mine (normally placed in its charger 24x7) has been fine for 5+ years now…they just charge like a wounded bull for replacement brushes :)
     
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator



    Another interesting take on the general problems we face in a sea of low cost disposable electronics and whether repair is economical or not. The mixer above is around £400-500 worth, it is filthy and needs a lot of time spent on it, but it isn’t actually broken beyond dirty contacts. There is nothing in the video I couldn’t do just as well (and have done many times to mixers, vintage synths etc), and I think this is a key point that we need to share information, techniques etc and in many cases enable people to repair their stuff themselves rather than pay hourly rates of professionals. I likewise enjoy doing this sort of stuff so I’ll put hours of time into my own kit without a second thought. We need to get to the point where this is the normal thing rather than chucking it out and buying another, or paying the same amount as an hourly rate for a service engineer. We can beat a lot of this just with education IMHO.
     
    robs, Sloop John B, Nytechy and 2 others like this.
  14. Dave***t

    Dave***t Revolutionary relativist

    Durmbo likes this.
  15. Jamie

    Jamie pfm Member

    I buy Braun/Oral B. I always buy the cheapest type which you can generally get for £20, as someone always has an offer on. "My dentist said" just get the base model of Oral B, anything more does not really do the job any better. Sounded honest to me, as he was not selling. I get 4 years or so, but my wife always seems to get less. Every time I buy one, I sell the charger on eBay, and get a few quid back
     
  16. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    This would be an incredible change as Microsoft's products rank amongst the very worst in the tech world for their ability to be repaired. Things like their Surface devices are glued together and to open one up destroys it. Even once you're inside, stuff like RAM is soldered making it very difficult to replace or upgrade (of course MS want to sell you a new one with more RAM in it).

    Companies like Framework have shown that you can make modular, repairable and upgradeable slim and beautiful laptops which nukes MS's and Apple's (bullshit) reasons for why they make things impossible even to open, let alone repair. Fed up with your laptop not having the ports you want? Swap 'em around with the Framework Laptop, they just slot in.

    My next laptop will be a Framework once they launch in the UK.
     
    Nytechy and ff1d1l like this.
  17. 8bitmax

    8bitmax Surviving, not thriving.

    As a dad i'm installing the need to repair things within my kids, i'm finding that second hand or preloved is starting to overlap within this philsophy. Older tech is more likely to be repairable, lasts longer... As mentioned above its about education.
    The biggest obstacle in all this seems to be most humans being obsessed with new, shiny & cheap... they are the hardest to educate.
     
    tuga and ff1d1l like this.
  18. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Got an Adobe Creative Cloud notification when I turned on my Late 2013 iMac this morning.
    Clicked on it only to find the dreaded ⚠ Not Compatible warning.

    May have to say goodbye to iTunes and finally upgrade the OS to 10.15 Catalina...
     
  19. Grenadier_45

    Grenadier_45 pfm Member

  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is a thread on it here! Many of us are viewing it with a degree of skepticism until we see the fine detail, but it is very clear RtR is starting to gain real traction and even the global giants are starting to twitch. Good!
     

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