Understanding what files are what in a flash archive

James B Hiller jhiller at visi.net
Fri Aug 15 09:29:46 EDT 2003

Hi!  Thanks for answering.

On Fri, 15 Aug 2003, Pavel Roskin wrote:

> On Fri, 15 Aug 2003, James B. Hiller wrote:
> > firmware, I have copied several firmware zip versions.  How does one
> > determine the differences and applicability among the several types of
> > files that seem to be included?
> $ prism2_srec --help
> [snip]
> If -r, -g, or -f is not specified, image summary is shown and
> compatibility with WLAN card is verified without downloading
> anything.

Yes, I did that with two of the zip archives, 1.1.0 and 1.7.4.  I
understand that this deals with the mechanics.  What I'm getting
at is more along the lines of "gee, there seem to be some naming
conventions going on here, maybe that differentiate between
a STA firmware and a PRI and maybe other kinds; but I've not a clue
what they would be."  For example, if my intent was to upgrade the
STA but not the PRI; or whatever.

And the 1.7.4 zip had so many different files, I had no idea conceptually
what they would each be for (maybe there are two each for three
different kinds of cards?  Point is, can't tell from names).

> > For example, 1.1.0 has a file with a pk prefix, and a number that
> > doesn't quite match the "version" number; as well as an sf number,
> > and a number that does resemble the version number.
> This is described in http://home.eunet.cz/jt/wifi/Download.pdf by
> Intersil.  It is also explained in simple terms in the mini-HOWTO at
> http://linux.junsun.net/intersil-prism/

Ah!  Great!  Sorry if I missed these pointers in the list archive; believe
this would be exactly what I was looking for, but just couldn't come
up with it.

> > Then I look in the 1.7.4 archive, and I see that there are 7 files of
> > all kinds of prefices, include the sf as one of them. What are these
> > various files for?
> You forgot to say which archive.  If you have a problem, it may happen
> that you are looking in a wrong place.

The 1.7.4.tar.gz archive from (in this case) your web site.

> If you mean files under http://www.red-bean.com/~proski/firmware/, I put a
> short explanation to http://www.red-bean.com/~proski/firmware/readme

Ah!  Outstanding!  Thx.  (Just to make sure my browser isn't flaky - those
details weren't in the readme last night, were they?  If they were, I
need a new netscape).

> > Is there a secret decoder ring out there for the file naming?  I've gone
> > through a little over 50% of the hostap archive, and so far I remain
> > clueless on this.
> I'm sorry, the problem is that people who know enough to write
> documentation spend their time on other things, including replies to the
> mailing list, which may not give the complete picture.  But the mini-HOWTO
> is a step in the right direction, and it was mentioned 3 times in the
> mailing list.

I understand completely.  Wasn't doing any complaining; just didn't
want to bollix up my stuff due to my own ignorance, and after a long
time looking, I still hadn't found enough info to feel reasonably
clear on the concept.

On that note:  I greatly appreciate the amount of clarity you
and the other experts have had the time to shed, and your support
to the community on this topic.  Without it, I simply wouldn't
be able to any of what I've done at home.


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