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Think you own your boiler?

Fred
Fred Member Posts: 8,518
edited May 2015 in THE MAIN WALL
See what GM has to say about Independent and DIY Repairs! This could affect most industries:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/gearheads-push-to-preserve-rights-to-work-on-their-own-cars/ar-BBjqs5S?ocid=U148DHP

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Many of us worried about this back in the mid-1990s when DMCA was first being negotiated. Now it's spreading...
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    That's messed up. Everyone wants to move to a licensing model. I'm getting tired of that B.S.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,011
    I wouldn't mind so much if the licensing and all ensured that one got a top quality job -- whether it's a car or a boiler. Trouble is... it doesn't, and it really can't.

    Sigh...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Patchogue Phil_2
    Patchogue Phil_2 Member Posts: 303
    Next you'll only be allowed to shop at the company store using company script.

    Wait ...... someone did that already.
    kcoppRobG
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,815
    Free market economy...... too bad it does not exist and still gets farther away from happening.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    @Fred I made a joke a while back about that being how MA is about their boilers.

    Regarding the cars, my understanding is they're going after companies that take their firmware and modify it, then sell it as a so called "tune" to increase power and change how the car operates. At least, for now, they are going after the firmware modifications I believe.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    ChrisJ said:

    @Fred I made a joke a while back about that being how MA is about their boilers.

    Regarding the cars, my understanding is they're going after companies that take their firmware and modify it, then sell it as a so called "tune" to increase power and change how the car operates. At least, for now, they are going after the firmware modifications I believe.

    @Chrisj it appears they (GM and John Deere) are pushing the concept that a customer never actually "Buys" a car, they are simply licensing it for the life of the vehicle. That concept won't hold water for everything retroactively but if the auto industry (or any other industry, for that matter) moves to selling license agreements, rather than sales agreements and the customer is stupid enough to buy into that, the terms of that license would be binding. Of course, the entire auto industry would have to move to that model. If only one or two were to try it, they'd go under in a heartbeat because people would have other options to actually own their vehicles. Having said that, if there is not an exemption made, the auto industry could infact hold every independent and DIY'er captive. Virtually everything in a modern car is controled by some software/firmware. Even the ability to diagnose a problem. Restrict just the diagnostic software or the interface to it and you can't fix anything but the basic's, brake pads, tires, some components of the exhaust system, belts and hoses. Everything else would be trial and error.
    It's very much like the Software industry I worked in for 40+ years. We sold a license to use the functionality of a software package for a period of time (in some cases, in perpetuity) but the customer was bound, by contract not to attempt to modify, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise modify that software/source code. We made most of our money on software support and annual maintenance agreements as well as major version upgrades (minor versions were included as part of the annual maintenance agreements, even though most of those were fixes to errors we made in assemblying that software to begin with). Of course our license agreements all had the disclaimer that the software would run substantially as advertised but we made no claim that it would be defect free and that we would "make a good faith" effort to resolve any identified defects (which usually came with a version uppgrade that the customer pays for either in annual software support or a full version upgrade fee. It's that way across the industry so the customer pays a license fee, pays for support and moves on.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    kcopp said:

    Free market economy...... too bad it does not exist and still gets farther away from happening.

    Free Markets (tm) are like Frictionless Machines. They're something you study in college to help you get the basic concepts. By definition, they don't actually exist -- and if you spend much time looking for either, you're somewhat likely to go nuts.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Fred said:

    Of course our license agreements all had the disclaimer that the software would run substantially as advertised but we made no claim that it would be defect free and that we would "make a good faith" effort to resolve any identified defects (which usually came with a version uppgrade that the customer pays for either in annual software support or a full version upgrade fee. It's that way across the industry so the customer pays a license fee, pays for support and moves on.


    A classic race to the bottom. And we all have bought into it. Take whatever the software does or or does not do and live with it. Buy another package every three years even though the first one still runs fine.

    Call for technical support regarding the software...........nope...........got to pay for that.
    Honestly,
    In my opinion if you wait longer than 3 years you're in for a painful transition when you upgrade your hardware. 5 years tops.

    We've got guys at work using XP on 2004 machines and now trying to change over is a disaster. They waited way too long.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,227
    Have you tried running it in 32 bit compatibility mode, that works for some software.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2015

    ChrisJ said:


    Honestly,
    In my opinion if you wait longer than 3 years you're in for a painful transition when you upgrade your hardware. 5 years tops.

    We've got guys at work using XP on 2004 machines and now trying to change over is a disaster. They waited way too long.

    I'm not understanding that.

    Buy the new hardware, buy all new software, move the data.

    Just like M/S and Dell want it.

    I couldn't use any of the software on the Win7 64 bit machine. I need to have my head examined for buying the 64 bit.
    Some people use custom made software that you can't just "buy" new. If you change over every 3-5 years, you'll have some minor hiccups but it's no big deal. If you wait 10-15 years, it's a nightmare.

    Pretty simple really.


    64 bit windows will run 32 bit programs fine. It does not run 16 bit programs which means you were trying to run really old junk.

    64 bit windows does 32 and 64. 32 bit windows does 16 and 32.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Clearly, custom software has its own issues.

    M/S offers the virtual machine to enable the user to run anything that XP previously ran. The fact is that it cannot do that.

    I have some old DOS programs that should run fine with the M/S virtual machine. They don't. But, they do run under VirtualBox.

    For Dos programs I use DosBox. Works perfect for every program I've ever tried to run, though I don't know if it can do serial / parallel ports.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2015

    Yes, I've heard of it and need to try it out. Will it work directly in Win7 64 bit?

    It can even make a program think your window 7 64 machine is a 20MHz 386 with a 100MB hard drive and 4 MB ram. ;)

    I run Windows 3.11 under Dosbox on my win7 64 machine.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Excellent. Thanks.

    Where did you ever get a copy of 3.1? Now that is ancient. I think that machine ran the 286 and it might be laying around here somewhere..............

    Don't remember. Good chance it was my own.
    I needed it to run SimTower.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Back in the days where they gave you a disc with all the software that you could use anywhere on any machine.............before the race to the bottom.

    You sure are beating that phrase like a dead horse.
    You know Fisher used to make awesome audio equipment in the 1950s-1960s, some of the best. Then they were sold to Emerson in the 1970s and it turned to garbage. Emerson fed off of the name.

    Alpine made near top of the line automotive audio equipment in the 1980s, then they started feeding off the name and turned to crap.

    It's nothing new.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Talk about getting off topic! :s
    ChrisJBob Bona_4
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    RobG said:

    Talk about getting off topic! :s

    Only a little. :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518

    BobC said:

    Have you tried running it in 32 bit compatibility mode, that works for some software.

    Bob

    Of course.

    But, typical M/S, it's not durable software and won't actually run most 32 bit programs. Definitely won't run any games.

    I did find that Oracle has a free product called "VirtualBox" that is quite amazing. You run the software, install a new copy of Windows XP like it was a brand new machine, and operate Windows XP exactly like you previously used it on the old machine.

    Extremely good work by those folks and without any charge. I cannot quite understand it.

    I can run most anything on it.............but still no complicated games (flight simulator). Prompted me to follow the race to the bottom and buy new gaming software for the 64 bit machine.
    Oracle did that because virtually all of their Enterprise (ERP)Software used by the big financial and manufacturing businesses don't upgrade their desktops as frequently as most home users (Too many infrastructure and home grown components to change every 3 to 5 years) so the big businesses pay for the backward compatability and the Home user gets that benefit from Oracle (in return for many of those Home users, who are decision makers at work, selling Oracle's compatablility strength.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,011
    Thinking more about all this... partly brought on by the comments on software above.

    There is a plausible reason for the automobile companies to not want folks playing with their vehicles, or more exactly with the components controlling their vehicles -- and the same reason will apply as boilers and their controls become more sophisticated. It's called "liability". Not just to the customer -- although you can bet the first customer who has tinkered their car's computer, causing the stability control to misbehave and crash the vehicle, will sue for billions -- but also to the State. Consider: if the only way that your nice new SuperHot boiler will meet the nice new State regulation requiring 102% efficiency is through a complex software algorithm, and Joe SixPack alters the software and it doesn't work any more, do you think that the State will go after Joe SixPack?

    Don't be daft.

    If ol' Joe has a license, maybe -- but it is much more likely that the State, accompanied by the media and howling crowds of consumerists and green folks will go after the manufacturer.

    Think about it...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    VirtualBox was open sourced before Sun acquired its original developer. Oracle acquired Sun two years later.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,011

    ...

    Of course that's a valid argument. But, a far better argument can be made regarding keeping the $$$$$$$. If only the dealer can service the vehicle, the potential swing in cash from the local mechanic to the dealerships is huge.

    In reality, most vehicles can still be serviced reasonably well without getting into software control issues. While there are exceptions, working on the brakes, front suspension components, shocks, wheel alignment, fluid changes, fuel pumps, a/c compressors, alternators, etc. can largely still be accomplished on most vehicles.

    This is the majority of the repair items that are typically required.

    I believe that it's much ado about nothing.
    Um. Well... however, increasingly the steering, brakes, and suspension components such as spring rates and shock calibrations (and differential(s)) are all under computer control, never mind the engine. I can't think of any cars -- except really high end -- which are "fly by wire" completely for those aspects. Almost all cars have mechanical backups of some kind which take over -- after a fashion, and often take a lot of strength -- in the event of a computer malfunction.

    The other aspect of this is that around my area, at least, finding a local mechanic who is not a dealer who can actually do anything reliably beyond changing the windshield washer fluid is next to impossible -- and when you do find one they cost more than the dealer.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,011
    You are fortunate in having a good local mechanic -- be nice to him. He's a dying breed (something like steam heads!). On the computer control though -- I have a '14 Chevy Cruze; hardly a high end car. Steering, brakes, suspension, differential, engine, transmission -- all controlled by the computer. Slightly spooky -- but when the magic is working (which, so far, it always has!) the thing is awesome in snow or slippery conditions, and the handling is superb.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2015

    You are fortunate in having a good local mechanic -- be nice to him. He's a dying breed (something like steam heads!). On the computer control though -- I have a '14 Chevy Cruze; hardly a high end car. Steering, brakes, suspension, differential, engine, transmission -- all controlled by the computer. Slightly spooky -- but when the magic is working (which, so far, it always has!) the thing is awesome in snow or slippery conditions, and the handling is superb.

    I have a 2012 1.4t 6spd manual cruze and a 2012 1.4t 6spd manual sonic. No complaints with either yet and I'm at 60K on the Sonic.

    The nice thing about a manual, the clutch overules the computer.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Massachusetts has law on the books requiring auto makers to make diagnostic information available to independent mechanics.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Massachusetts has law on the books requiring auto makers to make diagnostic information available to independent mechanics.

    That doesn't help people that cannot afford, or do not want to use mechanics.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    edited May 2015

    Massachusetts has law on the books requiring auto makers to make diagnostic information available to independent mechanics.

    Massachusetts may have that law now but if this legislation gets passed, state laws may be history as to what the manufacturer "has to share" as it relates to software or the data generated by that manufacturer owned software. Of course, I think where this is going is another revenue stream for the auto makers. They will likely sell the independents a "License to use" some of the diagnostic software at a high price. Bigger Independents may be able to pay up, others, not so much.
    As for the kinds of jobs a small independent can do like brakes, belts, tires, plugs and struts, I don't know that that stuff will sustain him/her. It might, if that's all he/she ever did but I gotta tell you, from my perspective, I want to take my car to a single source for service. If I have to go the the Dealer for all the computer related components/service/diagnostics, I go there for all the stuff I don't want to do myself too. It's the same as any other industry, you build a relationship (if you are fortunate enough to find a good dealer/mechanic). My two vehicles are always serviced by the same mechanic at the Dealers, once I found the guy who knows his stuff.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,195
    Chris it applies to diy mechanics too.
    Fred if they want to sell in Massachusetts they have to comply with the law.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518

    Chris it applies to diy mechanics too.

    Fred if they want to sell in Massachusetts they have to comply with the law.

    What people in Mass can do without cars? Besides,
    that doesn't mean they can't charge a hugh fee (compensation) for that data. Nobody ever gets a free lunch. Also, federal legislation thrumps state laws when it comes to use of any patented and/or copyrighted materials. There have been many, many discussions over the past 20 years as to who owns the data generated by a piece of licensed software. You may own the raw data you put into a piece of software but the argument continues to be who owns the information generated by that software program since most customers only license a "right to use" the software, not the information that software creates, which is a direct result of the software manufacturer's expertise/ intellectual property. Read your software licenses carefully, some customers are foolish enough or nieve enough to sign a license agreement that says the software manufacturer owns and can use that information as they deem reasonable and appropriate.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,011
    Sounds a little like my '70 Chevy truck. Can't kill it. But the Cruze (a diesel) gets better than 50 mpg on the highway, and even manages 30 mpg around town -- with my wife driving... (did I say that?)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Sounds a little like my '70 Chevy truck. Can't kill it. But the Cruze (a diesel) gets better than 50 mpg on the highway, and even manages 30 mpg around town -- with my wife driving... (did I say that?)

    My dad had a 1970 Chevy C20 he drove until it had over 400K on it then sold it back in 1997.

    Our gas Cruze does around 38MPG with my wife driving and my gas Sonic has done 49 MPG on an entire tank, though I typically see 40-42MPG.

    Curious how that compares in cost to your diesel.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    2001 Ford F-250 Diesel. Last model Ford built without a catalytic. A few personality quirks, more electronics that I might optimally prefer, but reasonably well understood powertrain. 20 MPG on the highway if I keep it at 55. 16-17 real world.
    Tim Potter
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    edited May 2015
    SWEI said:

    2001 Ford F-250 Diesel. Last model Ford built without a catalytic. A few personality quirks, more electronics that I might optimally prefer, but reasonably well understood powertrain. 20 MPG on the highway if I keep it at 55. 16-17 real world.


    There's no reason guys like us cannot work on a 2015 model either. I know many guys that do. If anything, I'd say a 2015 is easier to work on than a late1970s-1980s emissions disaster. I'll be doing my sparkplugs on the Sonic next weekend and it's a piece of cake. Much easier than it was on my 1987 Grand Prix without a doubt.

    My 1992 Chevy C2500 with SBC 350 and 5spd manual was giving 17 MPG highway @ 70mph. Though near the end, it was doing worse, I think the high mileage had worn the cam pretty badly as it was pre-roller for that engine.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512

    You are fortunate in having a good local mechanic -- be nice to him. He's a dying breed (something like steam heads!). On the computer control though -- I have a '14 Chevy Cruze; hardly a high end car. Steering, brakes, suspension, differential, engine, transmission -- all controlled by the computer. Slightly spooky -- but when the magic is working (which, so far, it always has!) the thing is awesome in snow or slippery conditions, and the handling is superb.

    He's most definitely a dying breed. Honest. A supreme rarity in that business. But, I decide what to do and how to do it. He doesn't in most cases.

    You know, you don't have to partake in that race to the bottom. My youngest vehicle is a '98 BMW that never gets driven. The daily drivers are an '89 Mercedes 300SE and a '84 Mercedes 300 SD. The SD has 265,000 miles on it and gets a solid 30 mpg combined. I got it there. Tell GM to stick it.

    The SE has computer control for the fuel injection and the spark timing. The SD has computer control for.............for.............for..............NOTHING!!

    I cannot describe the pleasure of being independent of the dealers for everything. There is NOTHING I cannot fix on either of those vehicles. I choose what I want to fix and what I do not.


    BTW, I get a good laugh about "good handling" and "high horsepower". The SD has 123 hp and it gets me to the next red light just as fast as the mentally defective individual with 300 hp. The average person is a moron.
    Same here, own a ’98 M3 and ’95 E320 wagon…. and have owned many W123, W124 and W126 over the years. My father is an independent mechanic specializing in Mercedes (predominantly), BMW, Audi, VW and Porsche. I've seen the change over the years... With Mercedes vehicles, like many other manufacturers, they incorporate more and more electronics. MB discourages independent mechanics from working on the "newest" models by constantly updating their diagnostic software (STAR). Add to that, they sell it for, IIRC, $100k (software license). You know how much volume in repairs you'd need to recover the $100k... never.

    On top of that they do some silly things, like requiring the diagnostic tool to "reset" parameters following an oil and brake pad change on certain models (to name a couple). MB isn’t the only one, so if you need to buy diagnostic software for MB, BMW, Audi, etc… it becomes unpractical (too much $$). Granted you can buy “generic” scan tools, but certain coding and higher-level diagnostics have to be done with “factory” scan tools.

    For the most part, I like "older" cars anyway... Anyhoo, OT.