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Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Posted by Travis on 15 July 2010, 07:10 GMT

TI has released Nspire OS version 2.1. Although the release notes page lists only a couple of minor changes, there is one big surprise lurking that isn't listed. According to ‘critor’ on TI-BANK, this update appears to activate some sort of mechanism that prevents reinstalling any version of the OS below 1.7—which, at the present, means that once the upgrade is performed, there is no way to ever use Ndless, which requires OS version 1.1. It also appears that once activated, this downgrade protection is permanent; simply reinstalling OS 1.7 or OS 2.0 will not eliminate the protection, nor will any of the options in the maintenance menu.

Users may want to hold off on this update if there is any chance that returning to an older OS will be desired.

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Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
schoolhacker hacker  Account Info
(Web Page)

SERIOUSLY!?
what if you just reformat the entire damn flash memory!?

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 08:15 GMT

Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Duncan Smith Account Info
(Web Page)

That's not possible from within the Nspire OS, unless another exploit is found. That would (presumably) fix it, though.

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 09:11 GMT


Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
critor  Account Info
(Web Page)

The "format" option available in the maintenance menu doesn't remove the downgrade-protection installed by the 2.1 OS.

Either it is not a true formatting, either the protection is not in the Flash...

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 16:01 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
schoolhacker hacker  Account Info
(Web Page)

what if you blank out everything including the firmware?

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 20:08 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Steve Randle Account Info

What if you just don't install the OS? :/ That might work.

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 01:41 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
schoolhacker hacker  Account Info
(Web Page)

i dont own a TI N-spire lol...
i just can't quite grasp the concept of how it can't be removed if the change is software based... :\

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 01:58 GMT

Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
shoveldude Account Info

You know what I want?

I want a new Ti-89 OS. That calc is long due for an update. Recently the 84+ got one, and the nSpire always gets 'em.

Why not upgrade the 89?

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 19:55 GMT

Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Travis Evans  Account Info

Yeah, they only focus on their latest/most popular calculators. So much for their claim of never having to buy a new calculator back when they introduced flash. :-)

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 20:45 GMT

Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
apcalc Account Info

I contacted TI about this after the new 84+ OS was released. Their response: We only make OS updates when users ask for new features to be added to the software. I could think of many things that could be added to the OS. Sadly, I think this is their excuse that means "We don't care about 68k calculators anymore. Buy a TI-Nspire CAS."

Reply to this comment    15 July 2010, 23:55 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
shoveldude Account Info

See, the thing is, I absolutely hate the looks of the Nspires. They look like they were designed for a two-year-old that can do math. I don't want to go to calculus looking like I just got out of a stroller.

Personally, I would have bought an Nspire CAS instead of an 89 if I didn't appreciate the more professional look of the 89.

I think I'm going to send TI an email requesting features. (RPN, anyone?) I'd like some more suggestions, too.

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 04:20 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
shoveldude Account Info

Maybe I should research before I post...

It's the non-CAS Nspire whose looks bug me. Blue? Come on. The grey-black CAS version is better than I thought.
Seriously, though, they're still too bulky looking.

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 04:25 GMT

Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Steve Randle Account Info

Or the 83+, that hasn't been upgraded for forever...

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 01:38 GMT


Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Agentx002  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes i do agree, I really liked my 89 titanium! I'm sure TI can improve its official functions.

Reply to this comment    13 September 2010, 23:06 GMT

Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

I wonder if what TI did is legal? Shouldn't we be allowed to do whatever we want with what we paid money for?

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 02:21 GMT

Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
rsanchez  Account Info

Well, surely they have some sort of ToS bundled with the NSpire, or link to such a document on their website, that makes it clear what you can do with your NSpire. You can't just assume that you can do whatever you want with what you paid money for. It's why software is explicitly made free and open. It's why iPhones can be jailbroken.

Reply to this comment    17 July 2010, 02:43 GMT


Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Travis Evans  Account Info

I don't know of any law in the US that disallows them from blocking downgrades, but if someone found a way to circumvent the anti-downgrade measures and TI tried to fight back like they did with the signing keys, then I figure that they may or may not be in trouble again, depending on the circumstances and the DMCA.

Reply to this comment    17 July 2010, 19:12 GMT

Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
Nspire Nspire  Account Info

TI CAN'T DO THIS! THIS IS ROBBING US FROM OUR RIGHT OF FREEDOM! I think TI is scared because ndless is doing so well. They just can't have it that we like another OS than theirs.

(Sadly, I upgraded it to 2.1 because it kinda crashet and had to be completely formatted, and I didn't have an older OS.)

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 13:51 GMT


Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
apcalc Account Info

Sadly, I think this is legal for TI to do. If you have the clickpad Nspire, you can still downgrade to OS 1.6 or higher. If/When Ndless 2.0 is released, you will at least be able to use it on 1.7 or 2.0. Look around the internet for OS 1.7. It is still on TIs website as of this posting.

Reply to this comment    16 July 2010, 16:17 GMT

Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
rsanchez  Account Info

Why is TI so against development and innovation on their calculator? Pretty much everyone is going nuts trying to get app stores out, while TI sticks their head in the sand. They're even worse than Apple. At least Apple approves some apps on their products. TI expects you to be happy enough with a closed platform. They even sued when someone tried to open an old calculator that no one uses anymore. If I were another calculator manufacturing company, I would see this as an opportunity to move in and create an open calculator that would dominate over TI's outdated philosophy of locking up their products.

Reply to this comment    17 July 2010, 02:46 GMT


Re: Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
KermMartian  Account Info
(Web Page)

As several people (notably Brandon Wilson) pointed out during the key-signing controversy, TI gets a huge brand recognition bonus from the fact that their calculators are approved for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, SSAT, and GREs. If they were to be less careful about creating a standardized environment across their calculators, chances are that the ETS would be less interested in approving their calculators, and they'd lose a nice source of practically mandatory revenue.

Reply to this comment    17 July 2010, 10:33 GMT

Re: Downgrading Blocked by Latest Nspire OS
critor  Account Info
(Web Page)

Since 12 hours ago, you can remove the downgrade protection thanks to the Nleash tool by ExtendeD.
(link above)

Reply to this comment    28 July 2010, 09:51 GMT

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