The most annoying thing about proprietary BIOSes in my opinion is that they are completely unpredictable in their use of SMIs (the so-called ring -2 that people get paranoid about). My old Sony laptop had random apparent hangs for as long as 10-20ms (fatal to the audio project I was trying to use it for). Downgrading its BIOS fixed the problem, which was caused by system management interrupts taking too long to give control back to the OS.
SMIs can be used for good, of course, like updating ACPI data, monitoring CPU temperature, and adjusting fan speed, but in a real operating system, I'd much rather do that using a low-priority preemptible thread than a realtime priority non-preemptible SMI.
I know this is really off-topic, but monitoring CPU temperature should always be possible, independent of the OS - don't want a crashing OS to stop temperature monitoring and other things like that.
Back on-topic, it's doubtful I'll ever get into using these docs directly, but it's great to see AMD pushing out this sort of thing for those who will be using it!
coreboot is a nice project, but too much in darkness. I really wish I could switch to coreboot.
I introduced a customer question in gigabyte customer feedback service, to request them publishing some details to coreboot team for my motherboard (an EP45-DS4 model).
They replied kindly that this would studied, which is the polite way of saying fuck.
That's a pity as gigabyte as already pushed out one (not two, just one) motherboard (an Athlon X2 motherboard), and that now coreboot can handle perfectly this mobo.
I don't know why they didn't did it again. Probably Gigabyte has done that just to pressure BIOS vendors for some price drop or something else. Since, the closed-source BIOS manufacturer have corrected the problems or have dropped their prices and therefore, Gigabyte doesn't feel the need of throwing another mobo to coreboot devs. But this only supposition from myself.
Does intel publish some documentation as AMD has given today ? I guess so.
Though it may support it, that doesn't mean that you need to USE it. The frightening thing about mobo-based TC is that it might violate your security before the OS can even boot -- it *does* have a network card right? Coreboot won't do this, and at least with a display card, you can simply IGNORE the TC/DRM crap (current versions anyways) and it'll keep working as normal, just won't work with the other TC/DRM crap that you might try to feed into it. It won't be able to mess with your network or do any other kinds of weird things since it simply doesn't have access -- its a one way thing, from the mobo into the vid card and out to the TV.
The bad news is that there are some extremely frightening things in the pipes that are sure to enforce TC crap by shutting down or self-destructing if it finds itself in a non-compliant environment, and the even scarier part is that most of the MS-lemmings will accept it out of ignorance, which leaves everyone interested in their own personal rights and freedoms out in the cold.
You bring up a valid point about open sourced hardware and everyone having their own personal fab's. The funny thing is that there are certainly enough people out there interested in freedom that at some point, we MUST band together to build it. I just hope that by the time we need it, that the legislation doesn't enforce the use of TC crap. Hint: AMD DO THIS! You don't need to do it on everything, but make some things with this option where there is no TC crap built in (or even built in and disabled) and provide FULL design specifications and open source it. Keep selling things to the MS-lemmings, but when the s**t hits the fans and there is no turning back for anyone else, you'll already have the ability to provide the freedom that is sure to be in high demand.
It really makes you think... maybe the terrorists have it right. Don't get me wrong, their methods are definitely wrong, but they seem to have picked the right enemy to fight. The US government, with their DMCA "treat EVERYONE as a terrorist/criminal" crap NEEDS to be seriously rethought. Back in the old days the rules were that you would be "assumed innocent until proven guilty", now its "assumed potential criminal".
Originally Posted by rohcQaH
If someone wanted to do something like that really bad, they'd just implement it in hardware. (Palladium relies on custom TPM chips anyway).
Your gfx card most likely already supports HDCP, a technology designed to restrict your actions. Is an open source BIOS going to help you against that? No.
You'd need "Open Source Hardware" for that. But while everyone can get a compiler, not everyone can get his own fab, so that's a pretty pointless discussion.