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Re: Inexpensive Crypto Boxes...

On Mon, 27 Nov 1995, Jim Choate wrote:
> The new Sony Play Station is operating under a stripped down Unix.
> Considering the speed that these boxes are designed to run at it seems a
> natural for somebody to come up with a crypto workbench on ROM to install in
> one of these babies. Could program one of the game controller ports as a
> serial port and hook it to a Linux box (for example).

We've had this discussion sort of before, but not involving consoles yet, 
so I'll throw in my 2p. 

It isn't likely to be worth doing this with a sony play-station; it's DSP
capabilities are nothing special, and you're paying way too much for
irrelevant stuff like CD-ROMs, 3D accellerators, etc. For the same money
you could get a load of 56Ks or some of the TI chips. If you must
canabalise a game system, you'ld be better off using either a Sega Saturn
(more general purpose CPU power), or mayhaps ripping apart an Atari
Jaguar, which has some nice custom DSP hardware, with a big fat bus to 
play with. It'd still be more of a stupid pet trick than a real solution, 
but definitely a neat hack.


BTW, I wouldn't be suprised if we do get to see some sort of Internet 
software for the next generation consoles. I remember getting a pretty 
good spit-take out of some of the NCSA guys at the WWW-WW in 93 when I 
mentioned AT&T were bringing out a modem for the sega genesis, and we 
were thinking about getting a dev kit and taking a shot at 'Sonic the 
Webhog' (turned out to be impractical - bit rate was too low, dev kits 
too expensive). With the new systems, the dynamics have changed (nvram in 
the machines, faster comms, more memory and CPU).

I still think that the idea of selling dickless workstations for the home 
is prehaps not the best response to rapidly falling disk prices; however, 
If you raise the price by $100, and use that money to add a 500Mb/1Gb 
hard drive, the whole thing becomes a lot more interesting - thats enough 
storage to keep your localy created data around (unlikely to exceed 
100Mb), whilst using the rest as a cache for stuff that really lives on 
the network. If I had any shirts worth betting I wouldn't put them on 
this concept, but it might be interesting.