22nd of March, 2005
To begin with I will correct a mistake in my last News section. As shortly after I wrote that section I discovered that the Titanium 2 cards cannot run the original Titanium firmware after all. So much in trusting other supplier's information, but it seems that the Titanium 2 card is yet another AT90SC6464C based type.
I cannot say that I approve of all these new cards being technically the same, when they are most likely only limited by a card identification code in the 64 bytes OTP area. After all it should certainly be possible to patch the firmware to have it run on all the AT90SC6464C card types.
Since that is not my job, then I will leave it to some other person to make AT90SC6464C card friendly code. Still, that is rival wafer card manufacturers for you.
I have been busy with some large site updates recently. Some of the things I have been meaning to sort out for over a year now, but FACT's raid on my business in late 2001, combined with denying me my own accounts for the following 7 months, makes for a great deal of recovery time.
As things have been improving recently, then I thought that it would be time for a huge site update. This is likely to take a week or two of hard work, leaving little time for much else, but then it needs doing. No order dispatches should be delayed at least.
I have now added the CAS Interface 2 to the CAMs page. The SAMM4 signal meter morphed into the SAMM5 about a year ago, where I now have the new SAMM5 item scan on-line. I have also added the correct SCM2PAL scan, after it was stuck showing the MACROX photo for a long time.
Also I have added a new scan of the GEN22+ device. This I guess is the one item that highlights what this raid on my company back in 2001 did. As during 2002 I was updating all the site scans and then had to stop. As the mess this raid caused then took up all my time for the following few years, where the new scan for this one item was left half done.
I scanned this one, but the problem was that the GEN22+ was sliding down the scanner glass. So by the time I had previewed the entire scan area, then scanned the section in question, then the GEN22+ had already moved a few centimeters. And so at the time I just left it and intended to sort it out later.
Three years later and the GEN22+ was still sliding down the scanner glass. Odd that the other devices do not do this, but after two more try and catch the GEN22+ scans, then so did I just scan a large area in the direction that it was slowly slipping, One quick crop and clean later, then the new GEN22+ photo is now on-line.
I also gave the description a big update. As when I first opened this new site, back in September of 2000, then for many of the items I just give them a short description and have been updating them all since. The Diplexers page is one still using the quick descriptions, but that one got new scans long ago at least.
Apart from these first four updates, then there is a great deal more to do.
Two new items to add are the USB2 and the PA1. The first is the same as the USB cable for the CAS2. The second came about due to an ordering mistake. I was trying to order more of the PV1 at the time and ended up with this single cheap coaxial cable. So I have been meaning to put these on-line to dispose of them, at an extra low price, for simply ages.
Another two and more important items are the SEASON3 and the DSEND. That SEASON3 photo and description is long overdue, but will certainly be on-line soon. The DSEND, or DigiSender, is the item that replaced the STEALTH long ago. I am just now getting around to updating the scan and description. Not that much has changed there mind you.
The PAL2SCM description needs an update and this item moved. The DCC1 has changed from 1 meter to 1.5 meters in length, where I have yet to update the length and weight.
Quite some time ago I added new scans for the FUN5 and FUN6 cards, after the manufacturer changed all the colours, but the FUN2 and FUN4 are still showing the old card colours. Those new colours will be on-line soon enough, but lets hope that the colours do not change again, when each of these scans take hours to sort out.
The new TOS1 needs scanning, when that currently is sharing the TOS2 photo. Then again I should really just have the one scan to cover all models, when they all do look the same apart from the length.
Next up is the new colour of the SPLOCK needs an update. I guess they decided that blue was a bit strong after all, where they changed to the default black.
The last thing to do is to scan the new light grey colour of the LNB03S. Another item subject to a colour change, where soon enough the LNB03T and LNB03S will need to be scanned again as well. Why they changed the colour I will never know, when they seem technically the same model to me. Maybe they thought that it looked "cool" or something. I should really run the front of that LNB through the scanner, when that is the good looking bit.
Anyway, all those item updates would conclude the first part of my large site update. This may sound like a lot of work to catch up on, but lets not forget that I supply over 120 items now. So mostly all of them are fine apart from these ones.
I had better get back to these updates. So you can admire my professional looking scans as I add them.
17th of March, 2005
Well I can now report that OPOS and M2 cards are now in stock.
This new card delivery took two days longer than expected to arrive. One of these two days was due to my wholesaler restocking on KNOT cards, where the second day was due to this wholesaler accidentally deleting my e-mail that said to dispatch the OPOS and M2 cards and to leave the KNOT cards until later.
So these other KNOT cards will be in stock in a few more days from now. However, the OPOS and M2 cards are certainly here, which my new scans of these two cards on my Card's page certainly proves. So if you are in need of OPOS and M2 cards, at a good price, then these can now be with you like tomorrow morning.
After these three new card types, then these are not quite the replacement card that people want, following the entire Titanium card market going up in flames. No, that replacement card would be the Titanium 2 card, which is sure to be another card that I will stock within the next few days.
As this Titanium 2 card can run Titanium card firmware, then that is the feature that will sell these cards. I will have to see what the few customer's of my Titanium cards now desire, when they are not saying much so far. In any case these Titanium 2 cards should cost somewhat more than these deceased Titanium cards, where this price increase will have to be passed on, due to my lack of desire to sell these cards for less than what they cost me.
I will have a look around to see what wholesaler has the best price though.
The other thing I should mention is that I am also going to get in FUN7 cards within a few days time. I have already added this card to my Card's page, where I will add it to the Order Forms as well soon. This new card's wiring diagram I had to make myself based upon the one for the other FunCards. I am not 100% sure that this is exactly how it is wired, but it would give it 95% odds that it is.
Anyway, I am now off to test this Opos card with the public firmware to see how well it does. These orders needing these cards will depart today, where I will soon update my card descriptions based on this testing.
Two of these new cards are now in stock, where the other three will be here soon enough. I also forgot to mention last time that I have now updated all my other card prices, to once again make them just about the best around.
13th of March, 2005
I am now using one of my more rare news updates to report on the latest smart card developments. As it seems that Titanium cards have been suffering yet another major supply problem.
Should you recall last year, then Titanium cards suffered a three month supply break that affected the entire market. No supplier had Titanium cards during this time, where the white Titanium cards eventually replaced the blue Titanium cards. Since that was not the first Titanium card supply problem, then neither was it the last.
What is currently going on is that Atmel no longer make the AT90SC3232C microcontroller in wafer card format. Without this microcontroller being available, then no smart card manufacturer can make Titanium cards out of it. All known smart card wholesalers now have no stock, where my wholesaler report that the factories in Europe, Asia and North America have none either.
To make this point completely clear, then once all supplier's stock of Titanium cards have expired, then so will there be no more Titanium cards following. I can also report that most smart card suppliers, including myself, have now all sold their stock. I suffered a large demand increase in the week before I sold the last card, which caused my stock to expire early.
Most suppliers have correctly terminated sales, but I am also aware of a few suppliers still advertising Titanium cards, even though I am aware that they have no stock. Obviously that would pick up a lot of sales, where they can then substitute with another smart card type.
So my advise would be not to bother trying to obtain a Titanium card, when this type has now just about been terminated by the entire smart card market. Should there ever be any more Titanium cards simply depends on if Atmel ever go and make their AT90SC3232C microcontroller in wafer card format ever again. That is the only reason why I am leaving my Titanium details on my Cards page, even though my sales have been completely terminated.
I have just three Titanium card orders outstanding, where two of those orders were received while these cards were marked "Out of Stock". I will soon see about sorting out what to do about them.
Since Titanium cards are now no more, then I have been looking into what other card should replace it. In the end I simply decided to support all the current third generation smart card types. I have now put the M2, Knot and Opos types on-line on my Cards page, when that new card stock will be here on Tuesday.
I will then patch in further card details and some good scans over the following few days. However, since many people will be aware of these card types, then whatever orders I received between today and Tuesday will all be dispatched on Tuesday.
There are other newer card types available, where I will stock those based on availability.
So it is the case of R.I.P Titanium cards, where long live the M2/Platinum, Knot and Opos cards. And in case you do not know, then it is the Opos card that everyone will currently want. I was quite impressed when I looked into what it could do, when it is certainly better than the other card types.
Anyway, should you be needing these card types, then very soon I will have them. I have also updated the currency rates once again, where maybe soon I will see what other site updates I could do.