This would be directed at anyone,
You'll have to pardon me if my etiquette is all wrong, but I don’t post to BBS that often (read: at all). Anyway, I have an interesting iopener/iopener story if anyone is interested. I don’t know why I never posted to this site before, (actually, that’s not true. The reason that I never posted here before is that the particular company that I worked for “monitored” this site VERY VERY carefully. If you were suspected of even looking at the site or they could figure out that you made a post here, you would have been out on your ass. You can guess who I worked for… wrong.)
Skipping ahead, the iopener that I have is the original prototype. There are no annoying iopener logos anywhere on it and the serial numbers and other information that you all use to identify the version by were written on file folder labels that were stuck to the back. (They peeled off. ;)There was also a serial number, something lame like XXX001 written on another file folder label that was peeled off somewhere along the way. This poor thing didn’t even have one of those nifty iopener keyboards. It was using an Acer Airkey WIL-172 Wireless Keyboard. (You want to talk about ripping off design specs, look at the layout of that keyboard and iopener final version keyboard. Coincidence?) The architecture is pretty much a V1, although, there is this one port that I have on the middle/upper left side of the motherboard that I have no clue what it is for. (My digital camera is busted, other wise I’d send a pic. ) It almost looks like it would be for a PCMCIA card, though it is too small. I’ve looked all over the BBS trying to find out what it is or can be used for and haven’t seen anything on it. I put a hard drive on it with no problems and my daughter uses it for now, but I was thinking that she needed more power, so…
To get to the point, I’m just a computer tech and not much of an engineer. (I solder for crap.) I was wondering if anyone out there would perform the CPU hack for a fee if I provided all the parts? I just don’t want to bust the thing, it’s pretty unique.
As far as how I came to possession of this little gem. Well, you’ve all gather a lot of info on the whole Netpliance fiasco, but I know the whole story. I started with Verizon Communications back in 1999 when it was still GTE. This section of the company provided helpdesk phone support for companies that did not want to have a dedicated helpdesk of their own. I was hired for a government contract to provide tech support for the FBI. (The FBI made so many demands on Verizon as far as security went, that we actually had to drop the contract.) Anyway, that contract had not started yet, so I was asked to work as tech support for this little ISP/Internet Appliance company that was starting up here in Austin. There were only two other people working on the contract. Netpliance only had something like 30 or so beta testers using the iopener at the time, so we got calls only two or three times a day. The two guys that were there were linux gurus and were really good. Since the contract was small, they had the time to show myself and the other four people that started with me, as much as possible about the system. We had no idea what the thing was or how it worked and Netpliance only sent us two demos to use to understand what the customers were talking about when they called in. One was the prototype that I now have and one first generation V1 with all the Netpliance logos. As part of the contract, we had to identify ourselves as Netpliance, to promote customer confidence. The truth of the matter was that Netpliance was a get rich quick scheme vision of Kent Savage’s with little foresight or planning. I think that at the time, at the actual Netpliance offices, there were maybe 9 or 10 employees. Two of them ran the servers that the iopener dialed into for software updates. If you ever called Netpliace for tech support, I can guarantee you that you NEVER spoke to anyone from Netpliance. And if you asked to speak to a supervisor, you were probably talking to me. (I’d like to take the time to apologize to all the people that I was rude to and screwed over. I was just the middleman. Kent and his boys were getting rich off you and laughing behind your back. I was drinking gallons of Mylanta before coming to work because I knew what a ####ty setup this was. Long story short, Netpliance bailed out and left us holding the bag and having to explain to all the customers they got screwed. To add insult to injury, when Netpliance finally cut us off too, they left something like 80 or 90 iopeners at our offices. They had the gall to ask us for them even though they owed us something like $500,000.00+ We kept them until they paid their bill. I left, but not before I “borrowed” that prototype iopener, because I knew it would be easy to hack.
Anyone with any CPU upgrade skills, feel free to write.