Monday, February 4, 2008

Why I care about EyeFi on Linux

A recent commenter noted that EyeFi simply supports XP and OSX because of the volume on those platforms. It would be silly for them to support the minuscule number of Linux users. Also, most Linux users at least have one XP machine on which to set up the card.

First of all, I kinda hope EyeFi does not release Linux software. We are a small minority and they surely will waste engineering resources on an operating system that they do not understand. I do hope they release information on how the card works. That will let me set it up myself, or let hundreds of others do the same.

Sure, I could go steal my wife's machine to set up the card. But, what do I do when I'm traveling? Isn't that the time I need to change settings in the card the most?

5 comments:

mocheeze said...

Thank you very much for your efforts in making Eye-Fi compatible with Linux. The (lack of) Linux support is the main thing holding me back from getting one.

Now I just need some cool firmware hacks to come around. THEN I'd definitely buy one. ;)

Chris said...

You've got to chill, man.

The guys at Eye-Fi don't owe us anything, and I don't need anything from them more than total indifference to reverse engineer their gear. I'm about 90% of the way there right now, Most of the rest of the effort is just writing some less-prototype looking software that end users can use.

Being dogmatic about software never helps. There's always going to be people with closed software and closed protocols. Most of the time, they're only hurting themselves. In the mean time, there's wine, which works fine in this instance.

It's especially mean to say the Eye-Fi guys don't know Linux. I think at least some of the founders used to hack Linux for Cisco, so they at least know what it is...

WeshaTheLeopard said...

Honestly, I will only buy the card after I can download an "eyefid" for FreeBSD which will sit in the background on my server waiting for connection and then snatch all the pics from the card to a storage folder on the said server. Whoever invented the idea of sending my pictures off the camera to a public service like Flickr might have been totally clueless. I don't want my porn^H^H^H^H private pictures to end up on some totally unrelated computer, you know.

Matt Cutts said...

Greg KH pointed me in your direction--it's great that you're tackling this!

Let me ask whether something is possible based on your experience so far. I'd like to get an Eye-Fi to download my podcasts. Ideally, I'd leave my card in my MP3 player and the Eye-Fi would download the podcasts wirelessly from a local computer.

Right now the Eye-Fi only uploads photos, but do you think it's possible to get it to download files to the card?

Chris said...

Hi Matt,

Theoretically, there are no obstacles to doing that. Practically, though, the barriers are exceedingly high to implement the features you want.

It would involve reverse engineering and reimplementing the card firmware. This isn't on my list of things to do, and I suspect it would involve a deal of blood and tears and possibly a bricked card or two (is bricked the right word for something that weights only a few grams?)

Anyway, if someone else were to start an eye-fi firmware reverse engineering project I would consider contributing, but in the mean time I wouldn't hold your breath. Have you considered buying a decent phone instead? The Nokia N95 8GB is today's new hotness.