Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Doug Bashford, May 11, 2011.

  1. about: Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack)
    No, not their poor language. Failure to cut
    the obsolete aint that. Poor organization aint that.
    Lack of leaders to pull the whole thing together aint that.
    Failure to evolve with a changing situation aint that.
    "Poetry!?" laughing.... But you have a point.
    You don't like my writing style. No problem.
    Don't read it. Since you give no specific examples,
    you leave me nothing else to say, nothing specific
    to correct. Should I use smaller words or sentences
    perhaps? I notice one of my sentences is 37 words,
    with four commas. Yet it's not a run-on sentence.
    It's just old-fashioned. I've seen 20th century
    masters write sentences over a page long. Now we
    chop paragraphs to six lines max, content be damned.

    As I've recently written here, since 1988 there has been a
    huge push to dumb down America. Now it's considered normal
    critique to merely logically howl like a cat with a stepped
    on tail. That is; no argument, no logic, just the logical
    equiv of "I don't like it!" I call that shrieking.
    Soundsgoodism and feelsgoodism and bombastic delivery
    are considered evidence, if not proof.

    I'll have none of it.

    Thanks. I'll try to improve. But you might do best
    to killfile me. I'll not conform & write like a sixth-grade
    bimbo-wannabee on choochy-choochy Twitter-poo.

    The insane twist the facts to fit their world view.
    The rational change their world view to fit the facts.
    Doug Bashford, May 24, 2011
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  2. Reading your posts.
    You wanted corporate structures and some executive to tell
    others what to do. Such things cost money. You tell us how
    to make the money, e.g. from you.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, May 25, 2011
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  3. Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?;

    In part, sure. Programs that I've written take
    one part making the functions (say a game,) and
    7 parts polishing for the end user and 2 parts
    Red herring argument. And a cop-out. Freeware is all over,
    misleading documentation is not.

    This being the case, logic dictates we look elsewhere.
    Philosophic Clue: East not West, Buddha rather than Christ.
    Intrinsic rather than extrinsic.
    We both know this...after dozens of hours.
    But what of the newbie?

    Good thing Wikipedia etc etc doesn't think like that, eh?

    And when did "We currently have a 8k limit on scripts"
    become obsolete? 2008. My complaint is not that
    the documentation is just a little off.

    Try this, from: "CHDK firmware usage - CHDK Wiki" - quoting:

    "However, CHDK has now been taken to a new level by a few of
    the main developers. This is reflected in what is now being
    called "Allbest's Build". Many new features have been added
    so a special AllBest's Firmware Usage page [ ]
    has been appended to this Wiki. Please refer to that page
    for the new Shutter, F-Stop, and ISO Override features; the
    High-speed Tv, Av, ISO, and Focus Bracketing; RAW Merge
    features (Sum & Avg); and dozens of other new and astounding

    "Keep in mind too that this AllBest's Firmware Usage page [ ] is
    a work in progress, as the Allbest Build is currently
    evolving and improving. (The information on that page is
    also incomplete or sketchy in spots, as we have to depend on
    online Russian to English translations. If you feel that you
    can clarify some of the sections, your volunteering as a
    Wiki editor will be greatly appreciated.) "
    ----end quote

    Is one word of that, or ANY of those hyperlinks
    still true today?

    So along comes newbie and dumps 2 hours?
    ....20 hours into that for nothing?

    So what the current haps? CHDK today?
    All the excitement of discovery is gone,
    which attracted the programers and hackers,
    yet there is no access to CHDK for newbies,
    nothing for the average savy *photographer*.

    But I'm not hear for mere wailing and
    fist shaking.

    What's the easy solution?
    Prolly not attempting to repair 3 years of
    Prolly writing a whole new CHDK site,
    about 3 pages max dedicated to newbie
    photographers snagging the latest.

    Since it's inpenetratable, indeed, functional
    only within it's own culture, how would an outsider
    do that? Part of that culture seems to value
    its exclusive nature. I say that because such
    a remarkable and unique wall hardly seems like
    the product of mere accedental neglect. if cleaning up was frowned upon.
    Indeed, and maybe.
    Reciting out-of-context truisms looks
    like excuse-making. But I think what is
    needed over there is responsibility-taking.
    Dude! I guess I'm not making myself clear.
    I can't figure out what hell is going on!

    What I predict is CHDK draining away like sand
    due to attrition, a lack of re-population
    because damn few peole want to spend hours and
    hours (tens?) for a hack when they can buy a
    camera with all those goodies with actual
    physical buttons to match and an owner's
    manual out in plain sight -- that doen't feel
    the need to celibrate the Model T Ford.

    It's the documentation, pal.
    Most of it is obsolete. Way, way obsolete.
    .....years obsolete.
    That's what I've been saying.
    If one has the Big Picture due to hours of
    experience, yes you could.

    When will somebody accept some responsibility?
    Your baby can do no wrong? perfect?
    Is there any wonder it looks like that?
    I think some of your comments will be helpful
    for any newbies. But others only make sense to
    you because you already see the big picture,
    you know what to filter out and have the context
    to assemble the remainder in a meaningful way.

    example self-contradicting quote from:
    CHDK firmware usage - CHDK Wiki
    Jun 16, 2007
    [The date is NOT in the document, as usual. --- It's from
    Google. (How fly-by-night!)]

    "Below are listed the MAIN features of CHDK, as originally
    developed by GrAnd and other contributors. These are pretty
    much "set in stone" and are the main backbone to what CHDK
    is all about. Please keep in mind that CHDK is a fluid and
    ever-evolving piece of programming. Several new Firmware
    Usage sections were added below (in "Special Build"
    categories) to reflect some of the changes that have since
    been adapted to most everyone's newer builds of CHDK "
    ----end quote

    Already I know enough (perhaps) to filter that.
    But what would an unsuspecting utter newbie think?
    If he didn't REALLY REALLY want it, he'd run
    from it like a scalded cat.

    Here's how I'd filter it:
    "Below are listed the MAIN features of CHDK and are the main
    backbone to what CHDK is all about. Please keep in mind that
    CHDK is a fluid and ever-evolving piece of programming,
    and these help documents have had many updates merely pasted
    onto them. Most coherent documentation on these pages was
    written in 2007 and 2008 and ceased around 2008. Several
    new Firmware Usage sections were added below (in largely
    obsolete "Special Build" categories) to pay homage to some
    of the important historical authors that have long-since
    been incorporated into the current builds of CHDK. It is
    important to keep in mind that most of this is only valuable
    from a historical perspective and needs to be deleted or
    moved into a homage and history section by an expert."

    But I'm just guessing, and I can't stress how
    difficult this makes learning. Normally if one
    can't understand, one can rely on the facts and
    pound and punch one's brain until a fit is found.
    Try that here, and chaos and pain is the result.

    You suggest I edit it? Sorry, I can only guess.
    Plus look at the obvious flaws I must (did) leave.

    Again, I think what's needed is a whole new, short
    Website dedicated to getting *photographers*
    in and out with their download within an hour.
    ....A concise Canon CHDK download site.

    The insane twist the facts to fit their world view.
    The rational change their world view to fit the facts.
    Doug Bashford, Jun 4, 2011
  4. Doug Bashford

    SMS Guest

    Actually some non-coders _have_ worked on adding to the documentation in
    specific areas, including me. But I have not edited other people's
    documents, just added additional documentation.
    SMS, Jun 4, 2011
  5. Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?;
    A tip of my hat to you then.

    The "feel of a place" is hard to describe.
    It seems to me that editing other people's
    documents would feel kinda extra weird there.
    In Wikipedia, to do that there's a place to
    shout out; "Hey I'm fixin to edit this part!
    Any complaints?" Or "Here's why I changed
    that." ...and then eventually the
    shout-out fades into the dark archives.
    If somebody objects, they can do a "revert"
    back to the old, - just poke a button.

    I help but think that the pages of obsolete
    material are there for more than apathetic
    neglect, but for a feeling or tradition or
    some such that I can't put my finger on.

    The insane twist the facts to fit their world view.
    The rational change their world view to fit the facts.
    Doug Bashford, Jun 4, 2011
  6. Re: Seeking a concise Canon CHDK (Firmware hack) site?;
    You seem to have corporate structures on the brain.
    Seemingly, capitalistic corporate structures.
    Many people use that context. But it is incomplete.
    I said there needs an executive or leadership
    function and implied a need for more of a hierarchical
    structure. "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians."
    None of that implies capitalistic corporate structures
    where such things do tend to cost money...and which I
    would NEVER suggest as a solution here.

    My main example was Wikipedia.
    I was thinking guidance and leadership not orders.
    Again: Wikipedia. ...Who leads, not commands.
    I also mentioned Microsoft's MVPs: unpaid volunteers;
    ....leaders in help forums.

    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
    1. The position or office of a leader: ascended to the
    leadership of the party.
    2. Capacity or ability to lead: showed strong leadership
    during her first term in office.
    3. A group of leaders: met with the leadership of the
    nation's top unions.
    4. Guidance; direction: The business prospered under the
    leadership of the new president.
    "The executive system is a theorized cognitive system in
    psychology that controls and manages other cognitive
    processes. It is responsible for processes that are
    sometimes referred to as the executive function, executive
    functions, supervisory attentional system, or cognitive
    control. ...The concept is used by psychologists and
    neuroscientists to describe a loosely defined collection of
    brain processes that are responsible for planning, cognitive
    flexibility, abstract thinking, rule acquisition, initiating
    appropriate actions and inhibiting inappropriate actions,
    and selecting relevant sensory information.[1]"....

    Also loosely speaking, the adultish part of the personality,
    verus the childish part of the personality.
    x·ec·u·tive function n.
    The cognitive process that regulates an individual's ability
    to organize thoughts and activities, prioritize tasks,
    manage time efficiently, and make decisions. Impairment of
    executive function is seen in a range of disorders,
    including some pervasive developmental disorders and

    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
    1. A person or group having administrative or managerial
    authority in an organization.
    4. Computer Science A set of coded instructions designed
    to process and control other coded instructions.
    1. Of, relating to, capable of, or suited for carrying
    out or executing: an advisory body lacking executive powers.
    2. Having, characterized by, or relating to
    administrative or managerial authority: the executive
    director of a drama troupe; executive experience and skills.

    The insane twist the facts to fit their world view.
    The rational change their world view to fit the facts.
    Doug Bashford, Jun 5, 2011
  7. Doug Bashford

    SMS Guest

    That's how I felt. When I found some documentation lacking I added more,
    but I didn't think I should change what was already there.
    It takes time to maintain documentation, and few people will do it for free.
    SMS, Jun 5, 2011
  8. Doug B. just volunteered.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jun 5, 2011
  9. Which says more about you.
    You volunteer doing that for free? No? Then it's not a red
    So you really volunteer? Fine!
    Yes, there usually is no documentation AT ALL, especially for
    unfinished software.
    From a false position, any argument can be made.
    You can tell other people what to do and how to do things if you
    pay them. Seems you don't pay them ...
    A newbie who hasn't been exposed to advertising, speeches and
    general life for less than dozens of hours is still much too
    young to hold a camera.
    Fund drives (you?), volunteers (you?), ...

    No, you just open your wide mouth. Everybody is a
    better soccer trainer when half drunk in the pub than the guy
    actually doing the job ...

    How about putting your free time where your wide mouth is?
    And when did you fix it instead of bitching?

    [bitch bitch]
    Find that out and fix the pages, dummy.
    Newbies don't play with CHDK.
    Of course there is access. It's just not prechewed.
    Really? Where is your contibution?
    Fine. You write one. Go ahead. You bitched for more than 3
    pages now, you would have been ready if you'd have fixed
    things instead.
    .... like Wikipedia, where everyone can edit ...
    By starting at the beginning.
    They rate actions much higer than your words.
    Excuses, excuses, go fix it already or stop bitching.
    So you're too ... newbie to use forums. Fancy that.
    You must still think tiny men carry the letters through "duh
    Well, you pay someone or do it yourself, excuse maker.
    Start reading, trying, asking *intelligent* questions.
    Then you'll understand pretty soon.
    Name such a camera.
    Then update it, pal.
    Using forums is as advanced as depressing and not jabbing the
    shutter button. How do you even manage to find and use Usenet,
    if you're so unexperienced? Not even *hours* of experience in the
    internet and already here ...

    Hey, what I did do back when I was not very experienced, was
    to extend a 11 page manual to Unix, the Internet and
    everything to a much more detailed 65 page manual. I didn't
    wail that that should have been updated before, I just did
    it. BTW, that was before the WWW.
    Once you pay, for example.
    You obviously need hours of experience more.

    In a few days you should then be very experienced and update
    the wiki.
    Most people here get the big picture. No need to baby-talk.
    How about reading the top of the page:

    | The new User Manual is here:
    | ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    | → CHDK User Manual New ! - Has links to the old resources
    | For offline viewing, and a printable manual, go to:-
    | → CHDK UserGuide 2009 - In .pdf format. (Last update October 2010)
    | ^^^^ ^^^^

    I've underlined the important parts.

    If you cannot read them, you really need lots of experience more.
    "--GrAnd 19:48, 16 June 2007 (UTC)"

    So, simply reading the document shows you didn't read it, you
    just bitched.

    I suggest you read the new user manual instead as directed
    Start one.
    You don't even find the facts and fit them to your world view.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jun 5, 2011
  10. [snip]

    You want a cat herder. Then you need also willing cats.
    That only works with money or respect. There are few enough
    people who are able to code well enough to win respect and
    even much fewer who'd not code but coordinate and lead.

    So you need money.

    Or a volunteer who just fixes things, and doesn't tell others
    what to do.
    Wikipedia doesn't produce software. Or documentation.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jun 5, 2011
  11. Doug Bashford

    Walter Banks Guest


    Get involved if you want the results you seek. I have been
    writing commercial software for a very long time. It takes
    work and dedication. Free and open source software is
    for the most part is expensive for what it provides.

    Take you for example, a camera that provides the features
    you seek through CHDK would be less expensive to simply
    buy if your time is worth anything. It would be backed by
    manufacturers support and would be documented and
    function as advertised.

    Your rants on CHDK translate into something for nothing
    with support. Disregarding for a moment the moral issues
    of reverse engineering a commercial product, a lot more
    could be accomplished by working with the camera
    manufacturers to add special functionality. The astronomy
    community saw these advantages when they partnered
    with Canon for example.

    Walter Banks, Jun 6, 2011
  12. Doug Bashford

    Bruce Guest

    If it is free, how can it be "expensive"?

    You have comprehensively missed the point. CHDK only works at all
    because Canon already provided all the features CHDK offers, but chose
    to disable some or all of them. All CHDK does is unlock features that
    are already there.

    So there is no "moral issue" at all, which is why Canon has raised no
    major objections to CHDK. Indeed, CHDK may actually help Canon sell
    more cameras because it enables advanced features that other brands
    offer - particularly RAW capture.

    I wonder how many people are deterred from buying Sigma lenses by
    these alleged "moral issues"? Sigma has reverse engineered the
    electronic interfaces of most of the major camera manufacturers.

    Somehow, I doubt that a consideration of "moral issues" would play any
    part in most people's buying decisions. They would be more likely to
    be upset by camera manufacturers' attempts to render Sigma lenses
    unusable on subsequent new camera releases.
    Bruce, Jun 6, 2011
  13. A very good point.
    That's basically true for every non-trivial software.
    I concede that some commercial software (which can be FOSS) has
    well thought out GUIs and good manuals, quick and knowledgeable
    support and all that.

    I concede that with a lot of FOSS you'll get manuals that aren't
    always 100% up to date and too often manuals and GUIs and CLIs are
    written with other developers in mind. (I'll give you the example
    of 'par', a very powerful, but also very arcane text formatter ---
    it's manual is centered around what each switch does internally,
    when it should be centered around use cases or the effect. So it's
    much trial and error. No, I don't know how to distangle that net.
    And yes, the author knows how the documentation (and the program
    design) is lacking by now.)

    On the other hand, maintained FOSS software is fixed much faster,
    especially when it comes to security bugs, and allows you to
    bug-hunt[0], patch, recompile[1] yourself, should you feel like it.
    Also, you routinely have support via email and/or IRC from the
    developers themselves --- the guys and gals who know exactly what
    is happening where --- not via some lackluster outsourced first
    level support. And third parties can write patches for at least
    some problems.

    I also think that lots of free software would not have survived
    as commercial software (too small market, too much work in
    advertizing, marketing, selling), and often would not have been
    written because there would have not been a sensible business case
    for the limited projects often first envisioned by the single
    or few developers initially working on the project. Think of
    what the project was foir what we now know as the linux kernel
    and how much money it would have cost to develop it commercially
    (if you knew at the beginning what the target was).
    It would be less expensive for Canon, too, since most the
    heavy lifting is already done --- and Canon, having access to
    the source code, could implement things faster, clearer and

    However, AFAIK, there *is* no camera that comes even close to
    the features CHDK offers.
    This is not always given with commercial offerings.[2] :)
    Especially with BETA software, like the CHDK for the OP's
    I don't see any, sorry.
    With reverse engineering and clean room design reimplementation
    of the BIOS we got the IBM clones everyone is using today,
    for example. Legally.
    You assume willing camera manufacturers.
    If they were willing, they'd at least give the specs CHDK must
    reverse engineer for each camera to them --- after all, Canon
    gets exta features for free and doesn't even have to support them
    --- and gains at least some buyers because of CHDK.

    The observed behaviour of camera manufacturers is that they are
    not in the least positive towards CHDK (though not hostile enough
    to make CHDK completely impossible), nor do they seem inclined to
    add features like motion detection, scripting et al to their new
    How many 20Da's were made? Where were they distributed?
    When was this?


    [0] I'm currently investigating a segfault with mythtv (frontend)
    that happens on debian-testing, but not on debian-stable.
    I couldn't even begin to do that without open source.

    [1] e.g. try a different library version than the executable was
    linked against, optimize for your CPU, etc. Not something
    the average user often needs, but certainly of interest to
    the power user.

    [2] Our analog-signal TV harddisk recorder has the tendency to stop
    receiving when you switch channels and with a recording time
    (advertized) of up to 400 hours, has only *8* slots for timer
    recordings. Yes, you can do weekly repeats and Mo-Fr repeats
    --- but you cannot give a name to the recordings before they
    are recorded and naming recordings is a major PITA due to the
    interface (switch through the whole alphabet letter by letter,
    digit by digit, special char by special char (you can switch
    between upper and lower case though) --- and don't press the
    buttons on the remote control too fast. Never heard of an
    on-screen keyboard, have they?) No chance for me to fix that
    issue, even if I had all the time in the world.
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jun 7, 2011
  14. Doug Bashford

    Walter Banks Guest

    Doug Bashford has detailed his cost/time benefit to using CHDK,
    He has spent real time and paid utility costs for internet and is
    yet to receive any benefit. That is very expensive.

    I don't think so.
    Actually that is not completely true.
    Reverse engineering and republishing has plenty of moral and ethical

    Saying that Canon has not yelled loud enough is hardly justification.

    Walter Banks, Jun 8, 2011
  15. Doug Bashford

    Bruce Guest

    Clearly you have something of a jaundiced view of CHDK because of your
    involvement in writing other, presumably unrelated software. But
    Canon not only hasn't yelled loudly. Effectively, Canon seems not to
    have yelled at all.

    Calling CHDK "reverse engineering" is rather emotive. It isn't like
    Sigma reverse engineering the Canon EOS lens/camera interface in order
    to make millions of bucks out of selling cheap lenses for Canon
    (D)SLRs. I can see why that would upset Canon, and perhaps it should
    upset other people too.

    Things would be different if someone was making money out of CHDK. But
    no-one is. Everyone gains, including Canon - because they get
    improvements in the feature sets of various Canon PowerShot cameras
    without having to pay for, or support them. Win/win.

    As for Doug having spent a lot of time on CHDK, surely that is his
    personal choice? People don't normally ascribe a cost to their time
    spent pursuing a hobby.

    Photography isn't my hobby, so I am reluctant to spend too much of my
    time on CHDK and am definitely not a CHDK geek. But I'm happy to use
    several of its features without feeling any need to spend a lot of
    time finding out what else it can do. It makes me like my Canon
    PowerShot even more than I already did, and makes it more likely that
    I will replace it with another.

    So what's not to like about CHDK?
    Bruce, Jun 8, 2011
  16. Doug Bashford

    Walter Banks Guest

    My view of CHDK is clear. CHDK actually did have some interesting
    original IP with the addition of some programmable sequence features.
    I applaud them for that. I compare that project with the co-operation
    that Canon has had with the astronomy community. CHDK has
    reverse engineered Canon's software and left the changes looking
    like an amateur hack

    There is a difference? Someone breaks into your house and steals
    your Beatles Butcher LP and someone else breaks in and steals
    a laptop. I think they have committed the same crime.
    Canon gets to support all the people who screw up the loader in
    the camera trying to install CHDK and complains of noise in modified
    feature high ISO images. I don't think it is a win for them.
    I guess that is why he is complaining about all the time he has wasted
    on CHDK.

    Walter Banks, Jun 8, 2011
  17. Doug Bashford

    Bruce Guest

    Damning with faint praise, eh? Softening up your audience for ...

    Perhaps that is because an amateur hack is precisely what CHDK is?
    I see no claims by the CHDK community for anything else!

    But no-one at CHDK has stolen anything. CHDK offers quite a lot but
    takes absolutely nothing away. You are comparing two thefts of
    physical items - a false analogy.

    I compared, on the one hand, the CHDK community unlocking (on a
    non-profit basis) features that are already present in Canon's
    software but which are either disabled or hidden with, on the other
    hand, Sigma reverse engineering the Canon EOS mount in order to make
    millions of dollars in profit by selling cut-price lenses that operate
    on Canon EOS cameras.

    If you cannot see the significant difference between (1) a
    collaborative non-profit venture that delivers great benefits but no
    disbenefits to anyone and (2) a commercial organisation that blatantly
    flouts intellectual property laws to make a fast buck (or millions of
    them) then you are beyond help. There are none so blind as those that
    will not see.

    That's something of a mystery. Perhaps you could explain how many
    people are thus affected, and how they are affected?

    That was Doug's choice. We all make choices about how to spend our
    leisure time. Some leisure activities prove to be more worthwhile
    than others.
    Bruce, Jun 8, 2011
  18. Doug Bashford

    Walter Banks Guest

    Except Canon.
    The assumption in your argument is the only harm is
    financial then judge on that basis and then ignore the
    fiscal harm to Canon when it inconveniently gets in the way.

    Many parts of the CHDK that is downloaded is a
    copyright violation of Canon's IP rights. You are
    missing the ethics issues.

    Walter Banks, Jun 9, 2011
  19. Doug Bashford

    Bruce Guest

    On the contrary, Canon gets the benefits of (1) increased feature sets
    and therefore (2) the likelihood of increased sales without spending a
    penny on development. Win/win.

    See above. There is no fiscal harm whatsoever to Canon. In practice,
    quite the opposite.

    Clearly Canon is also missing those issues, otherwise Canon would have
    sued the ass of the CHDK developers a long time ago. Canon's
    continuing indifference to CHDK should be seen a tacit approval of
    what the CHDK developers are doing. It strongly suggests that CHDK is
    to Canon's benefit.

    Please reply to my previous question which was as follows (your
    statement to which I responded is re-quoted to give context):

    That's something of a mystery. Perhaps you could explain how many
    people are thus affected, and how they are affected?

    (It would be a pity if this remained a mystery due to your apparent
    reluctance to reply. After all, you made a serious allegation.)
    Bruce, Jun 9, 2011
  20. Doug Bashford

    Walter Banks Guest

    How does that make it ethically correct?
    That is quite a jump. Copyright violation to tacit approval to
    corporate policy. I grew up in the 60's I want some of what you
    have been smoking.
    I stand by my comment. It is a nasty problem for Canon in order to
    protect their reputation they are put in a position of supporting or
    against customers who are using a hacked product.

    Walter Banks, Jun 9, 2011
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