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You bring up an issue that is related to the "right to repair" movement, and that is obsolete software. I've recently had a couple of personal examples. First was a firewire device that I have which is a 12 port prosumer audio interface made by a company called Echo. It was advertised as a 192kHz interface but shortly after I bought it the most recent OS supported drivers were dropped down to 96kHz (they kept advertising 192kHz), and then they dropped the entire product line and went into a different business. I emailed them and asked them if they would consider publishing the source code of the drivers and they responded with a github pointer. Unfortunately it was not to the windows drivers but to a half-completed linux reverse-engineering attempt. There's also unpublished firmware in the device. If right to repair gets any legal backing, which it has in some states albeit not without controversy and consumer pain, there should be consideration for source code of software that has been retired, at least at the consumer level.

The second one was just my Elecraft KAT-500 control program. I reported an issue with the Linux version to Elecraft, and received a reply that it probably wouldn't get any attention because their resources were focused on the new K4. Then why not publish the source code? What benefit does it have to keep a program that is only written for their own hardware secret?

Nice to get that off my chest. Thanks.


Chris VE3NRT

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