Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Sep 2012 21:45 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft and RIM have announced that RIM has licensed Redmond's exFAT patents. The press release contains a ridiculous amount of hyperbole nonsense, and if you translate it into regular people speak, it basically comes down to RIM paying Microsoft protection money for stupid nonsensical software patents. Ridiculous articles like like this make it seem as if we're talking about patents on major technological breakthroughs, but don't be fooled: this is because for some inexplicable reason, we're using crappy FAT for SD cards.
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RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by TechGeek on Wed 19th Sep 2012 02:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

FAT as far as I know is patent free. Fat32 has a patent on it regarding the method of supporting the larger filenames. However, it can be programmed around (as is done in the linux kernel) and the ITC recently found prior art (Linus Torvalds) which should overturn the patent on it. The problem isn't the FAT file system. The problem is that Microsoft refuses to support any free file system which could be used. As such, they are leveraging their monopoly in the desktop market to affect another. That is grounds for anti trust actions. The easy and obvious way to avoid this would be for them to implement ext2/3/4. But then they wouldn't be able to sue over it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by phoudoin on Wed 19th Sep 2012 08:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

The problem isn't the FAT file system. The problem is that Microsoft refuses to support any free file system which could be used. As such, they are leveraging their monopoly in the desktop market to affect another.


So true.
But their monopoly in the desktop market matters less than it used to.
Today, all major mobile OSes but Windows Phone are perfectly able to support free file systems out of box, making formatting your SD card in FAT less mandatory, except if you often move your SD card out of your phone to your desktop or you pro camera.

And this put Windows Phone in an unique position: being the late competitor, users wanting to switch to Windows Phone may ask more and more to be able to keep their SD card content from their current Android or iOS mobile device without having to reformat first them into exFAT, possibly forcing MS to actually support at least one free file system like ext2/3/4.

May I was Google, I'll push to format by default any new SD card inserted in an Android device to a free file system. Could be a good marketing operation too: see, we don't use patented/proprietary technology that could trap your private data.

That is grounds for anti trust actions. The easy and obvious way to avoid this would be for them to implement ext2/3/4. But then they wouldn't be able to sue over it.


Or the open source community to implement it for Windows plateforms. Someone will first have to cover the Windows FS kit cost, though.

An alternative could be to keep FAT32, but store only two files on it: a set of 4Gb "block" files hosting a guest free file system in it, and one single file, relying on auto-run feature: a free Windows tool to manage the guest file system within block files. Like the ZeroCD trick used by USB devices these days to embebded their drivers, but for file system.

Zero-FAT, or FAT-free, isn't that cool names for a technology!?

;-)

Edited 2012-09-19 08:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by smashIt on Wed 19th Sep 2012 10:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

FAT at least up to FAT32 is patentfree
long filenames are patented, but you don't need to support them
in fact i haven't seen a single camera that uses something different than 8.3 naming

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by dsmogor on Wed 19th Sep 2012 12:57 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That's way too late. You'd have to re-flash billions of gadgets that have FAT support in their guts.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by vaette on Wed 19th Sep 2012 14:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

Or the open source community to implement it for Windows plateforms. Someone will first have to cover the Windows FS kit cost, though.

This happened over a decade ago actually, you can get a fully functional ext2 driver for Windows here: http://www.fs-driver.org/

It is really an excellent piece of work, all features one would expect work: UTF-8 filenames, plugging into Windows disk caching system, you handle the partitions in the normal Windows disk tools, you can have the pagefile on ext2, it supports the more advanced indexing of ext3, and it is in general lightning fast. I always point this driver out when people complain about interfacing with NTFS from Linux, since using ext2 in Windows is really a lot easier. The only issue is the lack of journaling, but to be honest it is not an all that big deal for a desktop PC.

Reply Parent Score: 4