the daily dub

July 31st, 2008

Bricked? think again.

Posted by rdub in Musings, Rants
tagged: | |

It’s amazing how often I’ve been hearing the term “bricked” used these days by people with little or no hardware/firmware engineering experience.  People in the media are claiming that iPhones are being bricked by not activating; if they can’t use it to make phone calls or check email, it’s now bricked.  If it doesn’t come usable out of the box, it’s bricked. Some people claim any device that has become or is otherwise useless is “bricked.”

By that definition, those programmable remotes all ship bricked – they don’t perform any useful function until you program them for your TV. Clearly, however, they are not bricked.  They still work, all you have to do is program them.  

Similarly, by this definition, any device that requires battery power, but has no batteries is bricked.  But those devices aren’t bricked – add batteries again, and you’re back in business.

Bricked is a special term, not to be used lightly, or without understanding its meaning.

A little education goes a long way.

Definition: BrickedAdjective.  Bricked means the device will no longer power on, due to some irreparably misconfigured hardware or firmware or a fried (e.g., permanently destroyed) internal component. Bricked is only slightly different than destroyed (e.g., physically smashed with a sledge hammer), in that is is theoretically possible to ressurect the device, but you god damned better have a JTAG device or soldering iron or other hardware debugging device to load new firmware/components back on it (and even then, it’s really only a 50/50 chance you’ll ever see it boot up again).  

Usage: “I’m sorry, Bob, the firmware flash for your embedded device failed halfway through, and now it wont even boot up.  The damn things bricked, and without a JTAG board to restore the bits, it’ll never function again.”

Basically, if you’ve never had an electrical engineering class, or developed embedded firmware, you probably shouldn’t be using the word “bricked” in casual conversation.

If your iPhone doesn’t let you use it without activating, that is not bricked.   

That’s locked.

That’s you (or AT&T) being an idiot.

Unless you’re flashing firmware on a device, and it never boots up again, don’t say your device is bricked.

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July 25th, 2008

Burnout Paradise

Posted by rdub in Rants
tagged: |

What idiot decided it would be a good idea to drop the local multiplayer mode from (arguably) one of the more popular dirty racing games.

All the original Burnout’s had it, and it was always the hit whenever I went over to a friend’s house who had an Xbox.

But no, they decided Xbox Live only multiplayer was a better idea.  If I had known that , I would never have bought it… 🙁

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Posted by rdub in This just in...

Waking up with a headache is no fun at all – I thought sleeping was
supposed to make headaches go away…

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