[Cryptography] Secure erasure

Bill Frantz frantz at pwpconsult.com
Wed Sep 21 17:30:54 EDT 2016

On 9/21/16 at 3:19 AM, leichter at lrw.com (Jerry Leichter) wrote:

>Going full old-fogie here:  The manuals produced by the larger, 
>better companies in those days were extraordinary.  The 
>Principles of Operation really did describe, in clear, 
>well-written English, all the details of a 360.  IBM language 
>programming manuals were excellent, as were DEC's.  There was a 
>DEC RT-11 manual that I used to recommend to people as one the 
>best operating system theory introductions out there.  People 
>would joke about taking up a whole orange (later gray) wall 
>with VMS documentation - but everything was there, fairly easy 
>to find, easy to read and understand.
>All this is gone,  When the hardware costs millions, users are 
>willing to pay hundreds for a set of manuals, and you can 
>afford to pay technical writers to create and maintain that set 
>to the highest standards.  When the hardware costs hundreds, no 
>one can afford to put in the effort.  This was a phenomenon 
>that first became noticeable (to me at least) in early MS/DOS 
>days.  I wanted to learn MS/DOS the way I'd learned many other 
>OS's.  But ... Microsoft didn't publish programming guides.  
>Hell, you needed to know the BIOS calls, too - and no 
>manufacturer published those
>either.  Instead, outside writers developed books of varying quality, always somewhat out of date.

For a look at more modern systems: I got interested in the 
Raspberry PI and bought a board to make a low power computer. 
The PI is based on a Broadcom system =-on-chip designed for set 
top boxes. Since I share Jerry's liking of manuals, I went the 
the Broadcom web site to see what documentation was available 
for the PI. Their answer was, "Click here to talk to a 
salesman." I didn't bother.

When I wanted a bit more performance, I switched to a BeagleBone 
Black board. That board uses a TI chip. I went to the TI web 
site and was able to download a PDF manual for the chip -- all 
4966 pages of it! It seems to be complete, with descriptions of 
the CPU and all the integrated I/O gear (USB, HDMI, etc.) I 
haven't delved into it deeply enough to determine if I could 
program or build hardware based on the manual, but I can't 
complain about too thin a manual. :-)

Cheers - Bill

Bill Frantz        |Security, like correctness, is| Periwinkle
(408)356-8506      |not an add-on feature. - Attr-| 16345 
Englewood Ave
www.pwpconsult.com |ibuted to Andrew Tanenbaum    | Los Gatos, 
CA 95032

More information about the cryptography mailing list