<BLOCKQUOTE><font size=1 face=arial>quote:<hr height=1 noshade>Configuration - Serial Number
Every device connected to the internet must have a completely unique serial
number, commonly known as the MAC address. When you purchase a PNS you will
be allocated a unique serial number (which, together with a prefix number
allocated to the PNS product, form the unique MAC address). This unique MAC
address has been purchased on your behalf from the IEEE. The purchase price of the
PNS includes the purchase of a single MAC address for that PNS.
YOU MAY LEGALLY ONLY USE THE SERIAL NUMBER PROVIDED.
The serial number is printed on a label on the underside of your PNS and will be
similar in format to ‘28670’ (obviously each unit has a unique number). It is
extremely important that you only use this unique serial number. Under normal
situations it is not necessary to ever change the serial number. <hr height=1 noshade></BLOCKQUOTE></font><font face='Verdana, Arial, Helvetica' size=2>
As to the configuration of serial number ( lower 24-bits of the MAC address ), while every device on a LAN must have a unique MAC address, that's not correct for The Internet as a whole.
I'm not sure as to what that 'legal warning' applies. Using duplicate MAC addresses can cause major problems so it's not usually sensible, but it can solve some problems ( allowing MAC address locked cable modems to be accessed by different PC's ), and I'm not aware of anything which makes the use of duplicate addresses illegal.
Theres certianly nothing illegal about it. As a matter of fact, There are some circumstances where ti's perfectly acceptable to use identical MAC's depending on the protocol used and the manner in which the equipment responds.
It is possible, however, that the manner in which a MAC identical to another is used can be illegal. Such things as copying a MAC for malicious purposes can fall into this category.
I cannot find where I read that the replacement chip (NET003) would be supplied to registered users only, but when I do I'll let you know. I thought that the only possible reason for this could be the fee paid by Rev Ed on your behalf for the MAC address to IEEE when making a purchase of (PNS) NET001 board.
Sorry to bust Technicals bubble but you do not pay the IEEE for MAC addresses. You become registered with them as a Vendor and you are given a unique 6 digit vendor ID, you then tack this at the front of all the MACs you give out and look after the additional bytes yourself.
Huh? Yes you absolutely do pay them. An OUI is $1650 US and an IAB is $550 US. This gives you 24 or 12 bits respectively to use your own numbers to complete the MAC address. Want an Ethertype? $2500 bucks. I doubt that one plays a part here though, but ti's possible.
Making the NET003 available only to registered PNS users with use only for upgrade or replacement makes sense, and Rev-Ed can apply whatever conditions of sales and license for use as they feel fit.
I doubt many people would be building their own boards, but it may stop (1) anyone cloning the board and selling it cheaper without proving the Firmware or using Rev-Ed Firmware, and (2) users of PICDEM.Net buying the Firmware and adding cicuitry to save on buying a real PNS.
There is a loophole in that it doesn't cover what a registered user buying replacement Firmware can do with the Firmware it replaces.
Craig is incorrect, MACs are not free, they are purchased from the IEEE as Andy states.
Revolution has purchased a block of addresses and sells a unique MAC to each purchaser as part of the purchase price of the PNS. It *is* illegal to use a MAC that has been purchased by (and therefore is the property of) someone else. Naturally if you already own a different MAC address and wish to clone that, then that choice is yours - in that case both MACs belong to you and so you can use them as you wish.
The firmware chip is naturally already included on the PNS when purchased.
The chip is also made available separately as a spare part to PNS purchasers who may have
1) damaged their microcontroller (e.g. by incorrect wiring on the input/output port)
2) overwritten the microcontroller by ICD assembler code programming and now wish to revert to original PNS operation
3) wish to upgrade to a later version firmware
No new MAC is included with the firmware chip - the MAC belongs to the PNS unit, not the firmware chip.
There is some confusion, conflicting and inconsitent usage of terminology with MAC Address, OUI/IAB and Serial Number, what people are purchasing, what they own, and what they can and cannot legally do which isn't making matters clear.
With regards to the PNS, the serial number and MAC are basically the same thing. The serial number is the 'unique' part of the longer 'MAC address'. The MAC address is longer than the serial number as the
MAC = fixed prefix number (00-50-C2-3E) + unique serial number
Someone who has purchased a PNS will also receive a sticker on the botton of their PNS telling them what unique serial/MAC they have been allocated. If the sticker says serial number 28675 (which is $7003 in hex) they have therefore purchased MAC address 00-50-C2-3E-70-03. This MAC is unique to them, their possesion, and therefore theirs to use as they wish.
It would not be legal for them to then reprogram their PNS with serial number 28676 (= MAC 00-50-C2-3E-70-04) as this serial/MAC will have been sold to someone else to use.