Edit: So, I have an idea, and I think this may be the community to ask about it. I'm considering going to a company (specifically, one that produces some network software or a USB device) and asking them to get a copy/unit of their product, which I will then reverse-engineer in full public view, with the intention of making it fully transparent, and hopefully getting other people into this stuff. It could be something that's already open (either intentionally or by someone reversing it and publishing a driver or other code), or something that's currently closed. But the whole goal is to end up with a set of data that people can work through, along the lines of my Belkin post (but better organized, and published as things go on).
Anyone have any suggestions for who I should approach about this? Or hell, any startups want me to reverse their stuff for the greater good?
My secondary vote (and it's a selfish one) is this pedometer that only has Windows software: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/my-favorite-pedometer-omron-hj... . Another possibility would the the Fitbit.
I'd be happy to get you any of these devices if you wanted to document what you find with adafruit-like clarity. Even better would be an exchange to hook willing USB reverse engineers up with people willing to provide devices for those engineers. :)
It's an awesome device that's locked up into buying cartridges that are basically little disks of svg files. These cartridges cost about $60 a piece, but scrap-booking moms pay for them because they don't know any better.
I suspect that with even the simplest software ever you'd still find a lot of people wanting to buy the cartridges (within the Cricut target demographic).
For USB, what about barcode scanners and keyboards? It would be very interesting to see how they communicate with the computer and I figure it would be relatively simple, compared to say an external USB drive.
Another candy that you might not know about Apple:
- Any gadget that wants to communicate with an iPhones/iPods/etc via USB, needs to purchase a proprietary decoding chip. Yep !
(As started by GregKH - http://kerneltrap.org/node/7636 )
Maybe some day it could actually turn into some sort of online course or series where there is purpose-built hardware that are designed as "hacking tests", sort of like a real-life version of this reverse-engineering game: http://www.zachtronicsindustries.com/ruckingenur-ii/
It's a fun little game if you've got a little bit of a reverse-engineering/hackery mind set. The production values (a story line and everything!) are pretty good for what it is too.
I'm not saying there isn't useful information there, or that her book sucks. I'm just saying her website is a poorly organized mess that makes it less useful unless you know exactly what you're looking for. For a USB newbie it'd just be a maze of links, all alike.
And if you happen to like reading about other people's (sometimes uncompleted) reversing projects like I do I've got a few more of those too: :)
And a more general reverse engineering link collection:
The PS3 hack only needed full-speed descriptors: