Tag Archives: clone

Silverlink clone resurrects pre-USB calculators

The Silverlink of yore connected TI calculators without USB ports to PCs, facilitating the easy transfer of files, screenshots and operating systems.

As KermMartian of Cemetech notes, Silverlink was first introduced about 15 years ago, so it doesn’t comes as much of a surprise that a number of units are starting to show their age by failing over time.

“We anticipate that the rest will gradually lose their firmwares (with no way of repairing them) in the next decade or two,” writes KermMartian.

“To fill this gap, ideas for a community-coded Silverlink clone have been kicking around for several years. Tim ‘geekboy1011’ Keller has taken the initiative in creating Silverlink clone software for the Arduino Leonardo (Atmel ATmega32U4) microcontroller development board.”

Keller kicked off his clone project by leveraging KermMartian’s Arduino to TI calculator linking routines, which he ported from Arduino “C” to bare-AVR C. He then deduced the relevant file transfer protocols using USB sniffing, the TI Link Protocol & File Format Guide and checking against the TILP repository.

“Tim is using the LUFA library for AVRs to handle USB; the flexibility of the library lets his Silverlink clone appear to be an original Silverlink to the host computer, and thus requires no new drivers,” KermMartian explains.

“Since it appears to be a regular Silverlink to computer-side software, Tim’s clone works with both TI-Connect and TiLP, the two popular software options for linking TI calculators and computers.”

Interested in learning more about Tim’s initiative? Additional information is available on the Cemetech forums here.

A Turnkey Security Solution for Accessories Authentication = $$$ in Your Pocket

By: Steve Jarmusz

An accessory could be really anything that works with a host or base system.  It could be a power charger, pair of speakers, cable, or as I mentioned, anything.   There are number of reasons why you would want to authenticate your accessories, to guard them against cloning and counterfeiting.  You may want to protect your brand or company’s reputation.  Apple does this with the “MFI” policy that they have initiated.  You might want to protect  customer safety.  Having a cloned surgical instrument or medical device that does not possess the same quality as the authentic product could be risky.   There have been a number of cases publicized  where the cloned product does not perform as well as the original.  A battery in cell phones and portable devices is one that comes to mind.  You can get really cheap knockoffs on E-Bay, but they may not last or have the storage capability as the OEM versions.  There are a number of authentication schemes that could be used to perform the accessory authentication sequence.  The most popular method that we have found is the Random Challenge Response method.

Atmel CryptoAuthentication Shield

Atmel CryptoAuthentication

By adding an Atmel ATSHA204 CryptoAuthentication device to the host, the system is able to generate a Random Challenge for the client on the fly. In addition, by generating the challenge internally with the host’s ATSHA204 device, the response is unknown to the system, allowing the use of an unsecured processor without the threat that an attacker will be able to learn the system secrets. This dramatically limits the ability of an unauthorized device from producing the correct response.  You could also do this without a hardware device on the host, but the downside is less security.  Security is also very critical in many other applications. To learn more, check out this white paper on the technology and various use cases.