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Thread: Anyone with OBD Key software?

  1. #1
    FLAC robiewp's Avatar
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    Anyone with OBD Key software?

    Hey guys,
    I bought an OBD Key in 2006 and have been happily using it with my Palm Treo since. I no longer have the Treo and would like the PC and windows mobile software... Which I had on a disk but have since lost.

    Does anyone have a copy of this stuff?

    I emailed their tech support and they wouldn't help me without finding a record of my order. Guess I should have kept better records. This surprised me, since their windows mobile software is based entirely on another guy's "OBD Gauge" which is open source, distributed under GNU public license. Seems like they're walking a thin line to "sell" another person's software with their product, and not offer it freely.

    I've been able to shoehorn the unmodified open source code into working, but the connection is finicky without the modifications specific for OBD key.

    I will add that, independent of the shadyness of their operation, the fact that their software is based on a GNU general public license application gives you the right to freely redistribute their modification of it. I.E., what I'm requesting is legal.
    car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

  2. #2
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    As an open-source hippy, I feel like I should respond. In this email, where I reference the GPL, I'm directly referencing version three, although everything I say is [I believe] correct for version two also.

    This surprised me, since their windows mobile software is based entirely on another guy's "OBD Gauge" which is open source, distributed under GNU public license. Seems like they're walking a thin line to "sell" another person's software with their product, and not offer it freely.
    They aren't selling the software, they're selling the device. They're not obligated much at all, and handing it out for free with the device [including, IIRC, the source code in the package - I need to go and check my CD] is actually pretty generous of them, in the grand scheme of things.

    I've been able to shoehorn the unmodified open source code into working, but the connection is finicky without the modifications specific for OBD key.
    I wasn't aware that OBDKey had made and modifications to the software. In fact, I'm almost certain they haven't.

    If they have, their salient obligations to this conversation are [I'm paraphrasing, in a couple places arguably incorrectly. The GPL is a very readable license, feel free to look at it for details]:
    1) If they distribute compiled modified versions, they must provide a mechanism where you can get the source-level changes [Section 6]
    2) They can charge a nominal distribution fee for you to get those changes. [Section 6b]

    It's worth noting that if you can't prove that they've distributed the software to you, they're under no obligation to send you their source-level changes. [eg, you could have purchased the device naked, second-hand on ebay, and then tried to get support and free software CDs. I don't *think* first sale doctrine of hardware sales could do you much favor in this context, but I'm not sure]

    On the other hand, I know I have my CD at home. I will take a look at it later if I remember - if I have it, then I am bestowed with all the privileges the GPL grants [Section 10], which would include making changes available to you as I see fit [under the GPL].

    I will add that, independent of the shadyness of their operation, the fact that their software is based on a GNU general public license application gives you the right to freely redistribute their modification of it. I.E., what I'm requesting is legal.
    Actually, if their source code isn't being distributed under the GPL, then that's a violation on their part. A valid [albeit unpopular] resolution is for them to simply stop distributing modified versions, and I would be left without the right to redistribute their modified version [Section 8]. You could argue that they implicitly agreed to the GPL, but I would personally be unwilling to send you modified versions in such a grey area.


    In short, I think you may not be bestowed the rights you feel you are, but I will check my OBDKey box when I get home, and make available the software on it to you, if that's allowed under the copyright notices in the box.

    Which is really what you were seeking in the first place rather than a grumpy GPL response. I'm also still not sure they're modifying it at all, anyways.

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  3. #3
    FLAC robiewp's Avatar
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    Gary,
    I was reluctant to post what I did so briefly, as on a forum with so many developers I thought my statements might not be deep enough. I'm happy to hear your thoughts on it. I certainly agree that they have no obligation to distribute it; I was mostly miffed as a customer to get the runaround. With respect to their modification of it (I assure you it has been modified, whether they make this explicit or not), my feelings are based on 2b):
    You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
    whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
    part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
    parties under the terms of this License.
    (from the specific license agreement distributed with OBD gauge)

    I don't know if they include the source code or invoke the GPL, and I'm not sure what my feelings will be if they do not.
    car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

  4. #4
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    Sorry if I sounded grumpy, it's been a long day already.

    The salient part of what you copied is thus:
    [...] under the terms of this License.
    It's true that the whole core of the GPL is that people who modify GPL'd software are expected to release source code to their modifications, but that's only if they choose to distribute their modifications. I don't mean to sound perjorative, but under the letter of the GPL you don't have proof they've distributed it :-)

    How do you know they've modified it? When I got my OBDKey, I already had downloaded and installed the regular open-source version of OBD Gauge on my palm Tungsten E3, and it's always worked fine for me.

    Of course, I felt the features in OBD Gauge were lacking, though, hence my little open-source [GPLv2+] project :-D

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  5. #5
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    I hereby eat my words:

    Customised by KBM Systems Ltd. for the OBDKey interface unit.
    stuff
    Code:
    fcaee9e6dc88e21aa89a2cc97a974319  obdkey-winmobile-pocketpc.tar.gz
    8679516 bytes
    Not, of course, that me providing a checksum should really instill any faith at all, seeing as how I just made up a tarball full of windows binaries for you to download and run. Just sayin', always keep your head about you, even if *I* know I'm trustworthy

    I don't see the source anywhere in there, but I haven't looked very hard either. Perhaps you should email them and ask for their modifications?

    Blah, I hate being wrong.

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  6. #6
    FLAC robiewp's Avatar
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    Gary,
    Thanks for sending that my way. Finally I can stop carrying my old Treo around (though frankly I preferred palm OS). Strangely enough I have a windows mobile phone (not an iPhone), but mac computers. I've looked over the application you're developing and it's piqued my interest - always nice to see software that will work on something other than windows.

    I haven't looked at the windows mobile version yet, but on the palm version of OBDGauge, the OBDKey people (or whomever did it for them) modified the software to handle the bluetooth connection within the application. If you used the OBDGauge from the author's site, you would first create the bluetooth-serial connection, and then connect OBDGauge through the serial port. On the palm either way worked about the same. However, on my windows mobile device, the com behavior is really finicky. I'm hoping the OBDKey version cures the problem.

    Thanks again,
    Rob
    car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

  7. #7
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    Personally, I despise the iPhone. Apple ruling with their braindamaged inconsistent iron fist sucks, and I want no part in it.

    Glad it's of use, and good luck :-)

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  8. #8
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    still available?

    Is the software available anywhere? I am in a similar situation! I have the OBDKey but no software. Oh and Gary, I'll give your open source project a whirl too (looks cool!)

    Thanks,
    tryp

  9. #9
    SuperMod - OBDII GPS Logger forum
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    As I mentioned before, OBDGauge works just fine for me on my palm with my OBDKey, I'm not clear on the purpose of the modifications.

    I linked the software in one of my posts above, and it looks like I didn't get around to deleting the link.

    And, of course, I think obdgpslogger is pretty cool and that everyone should try it :-)

    Gary (-;
    OBDGPSLogger, for logging OBDII and/or GPS data
    OBDSim, an OBDII/ELM327 software simulator
    mp3car forums: obdgpslogger, obdsim

  10. #10
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    sweet

    Thanks Gary!

    I was actually looking for software that'll run on Win 7 (the Vista version should suffice). My WinMo phone is out of commission. =(

    I was also having some trouble building your source code. Something about how cc.exe is broken (I'm building on cygwin). I'll give it a whirl on my linux pc.

    -tryp

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