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VCS BIOS Password

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1 hour ago, Charles Darwin said:

The Macronix chip is very robust...believe me...I really tortured it with a paperclip...as long as you just connect CLK with the data output, it just blocks the communication...and you can safely enter the bios...although in a virgin state only...it does not show you the changed settings.

I'm actually quite happy it was hacked physically like that.  Tingles parts of me a bit more than 'well we found the password in plain text in a file on the EFI partition.'  Like the cool effort of someone connecting pins and timing it to break through is so much more fun!

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This has to be a record for fastest (un)console hack right?  Few days tops?

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2 hours ago, Stephen said:

This has to be a record for fastest (un)console hack right?  Few days tops?

I think the first VCSs were getting to people the second week of Christmas, so a little over a month?

To be fair to Atari, they WANTED people to hack this thing.  With being able to install other operating systems, it was as inevitable as Thanos that it would be hacked.

Edited by leech

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21 minutes ago, leech said:

To be fair to Atari, they WANTED people to hack this thing.

The impression I've had regarding this is that they expected it to be hacked in the, "tee hee, I added a blue power LED," sense of the term, not the, "lol, clownshoes security, pwnt" one that they actually got.

 

24 minutes ago, leech said:

With being able to install other operating systems, it was as inevitable as Thanos that it would be hacked.

Possibly, but I really don't believe that they realised exactly what was going to happen.  Other OSes were meant to be sandboxed from the main OS, but, in the end, turned out to not even be a necessary vector of attack for everything else that's been prised wide open on the device so far.

 

At this point I'm just waiting to see how much imitation of a legitimate system can be done with the OS running on non-native hardware (including virtualisation).  That talks to the store and other payment processors, and is where a lot of truly malicious shit can happen.  If it does, it'll be an utter disaster for both the platform and company.

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15 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

The impression I've had regarding this is that they expected it to be hacked in the, "tee hee, I added a blue power LED," sense of the term, not the, "lol, clownshoes security, pwnt" one that they actually got.

 

Possibly, but I really don't believe that they realised exactly what was going to happen.  Other OSes were meant to be sandboxed from the main OS, but, in the end, turned out to not even be a necessary vector of attack for everything else that's been prised wide open on the device so far.

 

At this point I'm just waiting to see how much imitation of a legitimate system can be done with the OS running on non-native hardware (including virtualisation).  That talks to the store and other payment processors, and is where a lot of truly malicious shit can happen.  If it does, it'll be an utter disaster for both the platform and company.

Well so far;

1) it is as simple as connecting a keyboard / mouse and a usb drive and you can boot into a liveCD environment, and install Linux/windows.  They advertised this.

2) you can install an m.2 SSD and install an OS onto that.

3) if using Linux with ext4 file system you can tell Atari OS to move games off of the eMMC device to the ext4 filesystem.

4) you can now run that game in the Linux OS without AtariOS loaded (DRM free like GOG.)

5) you can also take that game and put it on a USB stick and run it on your Linux desktop system.  Truly DRM free.

 

GOG makes a successful business out of this, why not Atari?

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1 minute ago, leech said:

GOG makes a successful business out of this, why not Atari?

Because their business model revolves mostly around being an IP holder who sues people for printing Atari T-shirts.

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It is pretty obvious if you allow Linux to be bootable on the system from the start, you will have a platform that can run whatever.  Usually it is the initial "I got Linux to boot!" That is hard if you look up any of the other hacks on systems.

I kind of think the engineers knew this would happen, they clearly are a bunch of geeks like us.  The PCB having all those hidden little writings and jokes on them show that there was some love put into it, and it really is a hackable / open platform.  They were asked by me and others if they would release the secure boot password and their response was "we will discuss it."  So the potential for them to remove / release it was always there.

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3 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Because their business model revolves mostly around being an IP holder who sues people for printing Atari T-shirts.

Ha, that hasn't changed since the late days of Tramiel Atari.

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5 minutes ago, leech said:

Ha, that hasn't changed since the late days of Tramiel Atari.

True, but Tramiel Atari at least understood what was involved with product design, engineering, and marketing.  Not always successfully, but more often than not, at least.  They weren't viewing lawsuits as a revenue stream.

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9 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Because their business model revolves mostly around being an IP holder who sues people for printing Atari T-shirts.

Don't forget.  They also sue fan ran websites as well as nobodies like Jeff Minter (whom they then use a FAKE screenshot of his game running on their system).  Fuck with a developer of this stature, who has supported every piece of Atari hardware from the 2600 through the Jag CD then moved onto Nuon and other things, and you have lost me.

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Just now, x=usr(1536) said:

True, but Tramiel Atari at least understood what was involved with product design, engineering, and marketing.  Not always successfully, but more often than not, at least.

I think a lot of that is a change of the times.  No one engineers their own stuff anymore.  Look at the PS5 and Xbox series X.  They are practically the same system, just the box and operating system they come with is different.  People shit on their engineers too though, so that is fair.

Thing is, Sony and Microsoft have MONEY.  Like silly amounts of money. 

They could probably have a flop for a year or two while the library builds up and still come out on top. 

At this point the only thing that would make the story of currsnt Atari more Atari would be if they dug up Jay Miner and had him develop custom chips for them.  Then he would want a newer processor, and the execs would say no.  So he would leave and create another ground breaking system that people don't understand....

Much like when the SMS and NES were released, Atari was sent to the background.

 

Either way, it is a fun little machine and now I have a weird controller to use with emulatirs too.

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6 minutes ago, Stephen said:

Don't forget.  They also sue fan ran websites as well as nobodies like Jeff Minter (whom they then use a FAKE screenshot of his game running on their system).  Fuck with a developer of this stature, who has supported every piece of Atari hardware from the 2600 through the Jag CD then moved onto Nuon and other things, and you have lost me.

I thought I read they came to an agreement at some point?

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16 minutes ago, leech said:

I thought I read they came to an agreement at some point?

Yeah - the agreement was after they sued him, they allowed him to release his own game, which he owned the rights to, and always had.  Furthermore, they denied TxK from being released on the PS4, and they disallowed the existing and finished game from getting a VR release.

 

So, fuck them.  I had zero respect for the IP holding ass-clowns before this, but now I want to see them burn in a spectacular crash and lose everything they have in the process because of it.  I won't stop pushing the facts to show what a shady, piss-poor example of a company this is.  Furthermore, I will NEVER support them with my wallet.  I'll do everything in my power to make sure other people don't as well.

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42 minutes ago, Stephen said:

...to show what a shady, piss-poor example of a company this is...

Shady is being nice. In case anyone jumps in with absolute confusion as to why there seems to be some underlying "dislike" for what the current Atari consists of..

43 minutes ago, Stephen said:

...the agreement was after they sued him, they allowed him to release his own game, which he owned the rights to, and always had.  Furthermore, they denied TxK from being released on the PS4, and they disallowed the existing and finished game from getting a VR release.

That's barely the tip of the iceberg but is probably the best example to give.

 

Anyways, it's cool to see password has been figured out. Strange that they would use the same password for their social media accounts....

 

;-)

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6 minutes ago, Clint Thompson said:

Shady is being nice. In case anyone jumps in with absolute confusion as to why there seems to be some underlying "dislike" for what the current Atari consists of..

That's barely the tip of the iceberg but is probably the best example to give.

 

Anyways, it's cool to see password has been figured out. Strange that they would use the same password for their social media accounts....

 

;-)

Haha, wait, what? 

As far as IP goes, yeah it is terrible.  Also if you really think about it that is all Atari has been for a long time, crusty old IP.  They don't have any valid patents anymore, most of the games that made their systems popular were never made by them in the first place (like pitfall). 

So I mean what else do they have if they let any random person make games based on their IP.

While I hate it and think it is dumb, I can also see why they would do such asshole things.  If all you had your company floating on for a while was some old game properties, you would defend it too.

 

But suing their fan sites is pretty dumb.

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6 hours ago, leech said:

I think the first VCSs were getting to people the second week of Christmas, so a little over a month?

To be fair to Atari, they WANTED people to hack this thing.  With being able to install other operating systems, it was as inevitable as Thanos that it would be hacked.

Storing passwords and secrets in plain text is not necessary for the VCS to be an open platform and to facilitate modding. It's just bad security.

 

Also, if they just wanted people to go to town with custom setups they should have just sold it as a bare bones PC with no BIOS password. It's only because they had delusions of grandeur that they could make a meaningful stab at a modern games console that we're even having this discussion.

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13 hours ago, leech said:

GOG makes a successful business out of this, why not Atari?

GoG still does several things Atari currently does not:

1) They offer games to anyone with Windows, Mac or Linux, the store is not tied to a particular piece of hardware

2) They sell a number of classic PC games packaged to run on modern systems (maybe via dosbox or having the CD-ROM dependancy removed).  Many of these games are games that GoG/CDRP doesn't own.   Atari only offers their own IPs in retro-packages.

3) They also sell big-name modern titles DRM-free

 

So far what we've seen from Atari is Atari Vault and a number of indies.   It's not enough to sustain them let alone make them a competitor to GoG.   That said, it's early days, and who knows how the Atari store will evolve

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13 hours ago, leech said:

It is pretty obvious if you allow Linux to be bootable on the system from the start, you will have a platform that can run whatever.  Usually it is the initial "I got Linux to boot!" That is hard if you look up any of the other hacks on systems.

I kind of think the engineers knew this would happen, they clearly are a bunch of geeks like us.  The PCB having all those hidden little writings and jokes on them show that there was some love put into it, and it really is a hackable / open platform.  They were asked by me and others if they would release the secure boot password and their response was "we will discuss it."  So the potential for them to remove / release it was always there.

Yeah, to me it always seemed like it was going to be an open, highly customizable system,  and that was a much bigger attraction than any content that Atari was likely to publish for it.

 

When I look at comments on youtube vids,  I see people getting excited at the fact that it can emulate a PS2 pretty well.  I always felt this was going to appeal more to the DIY/retrobox crowd more than anyone else.   These will make great alternatives to Raspberry PIs in those applications.

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13 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

True, but Tramiel Atari at least understood what was involved with product design, engineering, and marketing.  Not always successfully, but more often than not, at least.

Did they really though?   Many Tramiel Atari products came too late,  and had specs short of what the competition was offering at the same time.   The TT didn't sell very well.  The STe wasn't quite the Amiga killer people were expecting.  After the initial ST launch, they didn't seem to invest enough into R&D to keep up with the competition.

 

Also everyone complains about Atari now being nothing but an IP company.   Remember it was the Tramiels that put them on that path by selling to JTS, a company that had no interest in furthering the Atari brand.  JTS in turn spun off the Atari IPs to Hasbro, and they've been an IP company ever since.

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39 minutes ago, zzip said:

Yeah, to me it always seemed like it was going to be an open, highly customizable system,  and that was a much bigger attraction than any content that Atari was likely to publish for it.

 

When I look at comments on youtube vids,  I see people getting excited at the fact that it can emulate a PS2 pretty well.  I always felt this was going to appeal more to the DIY/retrobox crowd more than anyone else.   These will make great alternatives to Raspberry PIs in those applications.

Yeah, it runs PS2 level emulators pretty well.  Even runs GTA V through Proton at 720p very well (which I think actually is PS4 level). 

If Atari can talk devs into doing ports, it could benefit Linux as well, which makes me happy.  They do have one of the better profit to cut ratios.  12% if exclusive, 20% otherwise.  Vs the 'standard' 30%.

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I won't consider the Atari "hacked" until someone substantially alters AtariOS or the Atari store. I haven't heard anyone doing that yet. As mentioned, using alternate OSs and upgrading memory/storage was by design.

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24 minutes ago, Zoyx said:

I won't consider the Atari "hacked" until someone substantially alters AtariOS or the Atari store. I haven't heard anyone doing that yet. As mentioned, using alternate OSs and upgrading memory/storage was by design.

Yeah, the closest to this is being able to copy a game off of it and running it on a Linux box, but this just shows that the games are DRM free.  Which is a great thing.

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On 1/22/2021 at 8:54 AM, leech said:

If Atari can talk devs into doing ports

 

How would you personally approach developers, convincing them that it is worth their time and effort?

 

1.) You can't guarantee hardware sale numbers.

2.) You can't promise that each piece of hardware will purchase said game.

3.) You can't throw money at them, since you don't have it.

4.) Nobody, except nerds know about it, zero advertising, not even during some crap tv-show on a ghetto channel.

 

That leaves smoke & mirrors and rainbow unicorn farts, if you don't want to call it something more common.   So what would you try?

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37 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

How would you personally approach developers, convincing them that it is worth their time and effort?

 

1.) You can't guarantee hardware sale numbers.

2.) You can't promise that each piece of hardware will purchase said game.

3.) You can't throw money at them, since you don't have it.

4.) Nobody, except nerds know about it, zero advertising, not even during some crap tv-show on a ghetto channel.

 

That leaves smoke & mirrors and rainbow unicorn farts, if you don't want to call it something more common.   So what would you try?

"Your game already has a Linux release, here is some money, let us put it on our store."

Porting efforts are what?  Maybe pick a cover art / scresnshot you most likely already have?

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1 minute ago, leech said:

"Your game already has a Linux release, here is some money, let us put it on our store."

 

That is certainly a valid option, I thought we were talking about porting.

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