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I can't believe this. All these years I've been recommending Intel products because of their long term support.

I know these boards are legacy, but does it really cost them that much to host the files for occasional downloaders?

One would have thought they'd tread carefully after so many recent PR hits, but I guess not.

Yeah, I've been buying Intel for years but just today I installed some Intel software and it asked me to join their "Computing Improvement Program." Part of the program? Send the "categories of websites you visit" back to Intel, among other things. [1]. They're really trying my patience with the semi-constant stream of Speltdown-like issues.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21563871

They're worried that you visit HackerNews, AMD.com and Phoronix. Intel should focus on getting their house in order and produce better hardware rather than to spy on their users.

Non-option, half of Intel's business is spying on users. Who would they sell the backdoors for IME to otherwise?

TBF, I'm fairly certain that only certain types of breads are affected by the speltdown issue

What is this "speltdown like issues"? I googled but found nothing.

Probably Meltdown and Spectre, but I've never seen the two of them abbreviated in this particular way.

To add to the other commenters, gp is likely also referring to the MDS issues, of which there are many. Here's a decent link (highlighted the latest major one): https://mdsattacks.com/#ridl-ng

If they don't reverse this decision, I very much hope they keep hashes of the driver exe's on their site. If I need to update BIOS there's no way in hell I'm trusting a link from a random stranger on the internet.

This seems like a legal move, so assume they remove the hashes to absolve themselves of liability.

Intel would basically be encouraging people to violate their copyright. Remember that technically, only Intel has the rights to distribute their software.

(Not that I think there's anything wrong with using alternate channels for media which is legitimately unavailable by any other means.)

Reminder: The drivers are digitally signed, in most cases.

Or, they're sitting on some exploits that are BIOS related and rather than fix this, they're officially washing their hands of it.

I've built three systems with Intel desktop boards, and only one of them survived longer than three years; the other two succumbed to Bad Capacitor Syndrome. I wonder if the caps were counterfeits, since they were (at least ostensibly) from respected Japanese manufacturers.

The survivor is a D945GCLF2 (Mini-ITX Atom board) that runs my Asterisk installation. Even it's a bit wonky, though; kernels newer than 2.6 have a weird ACPI issue that crops up when the CPU temperature is above 71 C (which normally only happens when I'm compiling a new version of Asterisk). No BIOS or kernel fix is forthcoming.

If it wasn't for the expensive-to-replace PCI telephony card, I'd chuck it for an AMD-based Mini-ITX.

FYI there are still LGA1551 and AM4-based boards with PCI slots available, at least in mATX and ATX form factors. So you could potentially replace it with a modern board if you wanted.


(although apparently not in mini-ITX, but there are still a few Atom boards with ITX and PCI non-E available)


It might be worth looking at some of the pcie to pci risers out there, you can find them for about $40-50, and you can likely get much better power efficiency on modern CPUs and platforms. That'd give you more time on a UPS along with better power bills (though likely not enough to recoup costs alone)

They should just put them on Bittorrent and have a seed box...

Is 15 years not long term enough support for you?

I'm not asking for support. If I have a problem, I don't expect to be able to call Intel and ask for help. All I'm asking is for some way to update the BIOS without hunting down unofficial download links from shady websites.

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter if the hardware is 15, 30, or 70 years old. These are not large files. Keeping up some old downloads should not be too much to ask of Intel.

If Intel would like to release all copyright claims to their old BIOS's and officially (!) designate the Internet Archive or a similar organization as their new caretaker, I'd be fine with that, because I'd know where to go if I ever needed an old BIOS. What I do not want is to have start hunting down links from malware-infested file-hosting sites.

In some industries, that's not even medium-term.

what industries would these be?

Most of them in my experience. Many industrial machines have lifespans well beyond 15years. Big companies buy the state of the art and when they decide to replace the old machines they resell them to smaller companies who can't afford to buy the newest model.

I know many people on HN work in web technologies where last year's technology is already obsolete but I've worked in small hardware companies that still used industrial equipment controlled using a serial keyboard with a DIN connector and a monochrome CRT. I've seen people order parts for 20+yo industrial soldering ovens.

You can't really tell somebody with a highly expensive, perfectly functioning industrial machine that they have to buy a new one because you can't find the driver for the motherboard of the controller.

Case in point: McLaren uses a special Compaq laptop from 1992 to service old F1's. Why? Well, the car was made in 1992, and so was the ECU.


Back in my IT days we used a laptop that had a windows NT 4.0 sticker on it (running windows 2k) to run the ID printer that printed company IDs. These kinds of setups aren't that uncommon. At small scale it's easier and cheaper to keep old stuff running than to migrate.

> At small scale it's easier and cheaper to keep old stuff running than to migrate.

Especially if the machine can be isolated from the internet (like a printer controller).

I work in Manufacturing IT, I can confirm that there is considerable legacy equipment. Thing is, these machines typically cost more than a house, some as much as $2.5M+ dollars. Would you demo your house and rebuild in 20 years because of a leaky roof? These machines are mortgaged the same way, the bank secures the asset. They will work for 20+ years if you maintain them, and continue to produce.

Exactly when I went to college (Mechanical Engineering) some of the machine tools we had in the labs where WW2 vintage

I recently called tech support for a lighting console from the mid-1990's. They were perfectly willing to have me bring it in for service.

Just peek into the electrical closet in any building you're in. They don't tear out all the electrics and reinstall the latest version every 15 years.

In aerospace, a 20 year support license is common for development software.

Basically all scientific research labs use some equipment running windows xp or older because the drivers can't be installed on modern windows for one reason or another. Controllers for things like spectroscopy, electron beam microscopes, centrifuges, etc. Custom control boards are also common in industrial (oil, gas, chemical processing) applications.

I once spent an internship running a fluorescent dye laser operated by an computer running DOS (maybe MS DOS?). It was terrifying, but the beast worked perfectly well.

And my PhD lab was using mass-spectrometers that still required vacuum tubes.

Manufacturing and scientific equipment like NMRs are two that come to mind.

Companies other than Intel are continuing to pursue irrelevance for industrial or high-stakes operations themselves.

Sometimes you've got to have a Bozo when a competitor or associated business has one or more Bozos in a decision-making position.

Just to be seen as competitive or up-to-date.

Apple and especially Microsoft made more money from anti-recycling after they pushed it into a position where the original superior engineering was not as lucratrive for the shareholders.

Users should be grateful since they were not squeezed more thoroughly even sooner.

The anti-user effect is just collateral damage.

I know a financial institution where some backup jobs are controlled by a 2 decade old NT4 machine.

The article mentions "even later sandy bridge board" being EOL'd, that's like... 2012 ish?

Just 6 years from launch of the products.

Sandy Bridge is not the newest microarchitecture generation of the processors Intel made motherboards for. That's Haswell series (Q87, B85 chipset branding went with this)[1], launched in June of 2013. Boards like DQ87PG, DH87RL, DB85FL.[2] These also have the same notice of end of bios availability.[3]

1. https://wccftech.com/intel-stop-production-desktop-motherboa... 2. https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/compare.html?pro... 3. https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28295?product=7090...

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