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Upgrading Technology for Free?

I thought this was interesting, I don’t have a Canon – (I went for the Nikon and love it!).

I guess a lot of companies now just make one camera (or any item of technology) and then put a “dumbed down” firmware onto each version to allow it to open up certain features. We do something kind of similar at work, the code is all the same and your “keyfile” opens up certain functionality – it means theres only one codebase to maintain (although interactions can make testing and code complexity a big issue!).

Creative Commons License photo credit: rodrigo senna

Do you have any items where you’ve reprogrammed (in some way) the system to give you extra features? DVD Players, Car Engine management systems?! Whatever?

Creative Commons License photo credit: rodrigo senna

This entry was posted on Monday, April 7th, 2008 at 10:41 am and is filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments (4)


  1. Rostyslav says:

    This has been true for sometime now. It is cheaper for companies to take the risk of someone unlocking the extra features and only producing one product instead of several. Besides, how many people do you know that actually use this practice? A few tech guys?

  2. Keiron says:

    Couldn’t agree more Rostyslav, we said the same about mobile phones a few years ago though when they were locked to a particular network, now market/street vendors will unlock a phone for £10!

    I wonder whether we’ll ever see a day when this changes for other technology as well?

  3. psi tech says:

    I think it is a shame that companies resort to that, bascially using the old bait and switch technique

  4. Keiron says:

    You can see it from the companies point of view though – they make one product and just flash them with different versions of the same software… We’d all do the same given the chance I think!

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