September 30, 2004

Cutting down the FAT

CNET this morning reported on the success of the Public Patent Foundation's push for re-examine one of Microsoft's key FAT patents. FAT is a old file format which, while no longer in use in OS's such as XP, still finds a great amount use on media such as floppy disks, flash memory cards, etc. Because the file format is lightweight and openly documented, and, for quite sometime, completely free, it became widely adapted. Recently, Microsoft began charging manufacturers to use to the format.

Known as 517, US5579517 describes a method by which short and long filenames can co-exist in an operating system.

An operating system provides a common name space for both long filenames and short filenames. In this common namespace, a long filename and a short filename are provided for each file. Each file has a short filename directory entry and may have at least one long filename directory entry associated with it. The number of long filename directory entries that are associated with a file depends on the number of characters in the long filename of the file. The long filename directory entries are configured to minimize compatibility problems with existing installed program bases.
Microsoft has 90 days to respond.

Posted by torque at September 30, 2004 10:39 AM | TrackBack
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