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Discussion Starter #1

 I have an Escient E2-40 Fireball that was shut off while it was writing to the hdd, and now just blinks the red led.. And, apparently Escient is out of business. I was told I need the "golden cd" to restore the hdd or add a new one. This cd seems to be made of unobtainium. Does anybody have this cd or the software needed to fix this unit? If so, please contact me. Thanks. :)
 

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Hi, Kalyx

 

I tried calling Escient earlier today, the 800 # still works, the 877 one doesn't.  They seem to have locations in TX. and NJ.  I have two E-40's but only one hard drive.  The lady in Texas said a tech would call back within an hour, but no-one did, then I had to leave.  I'm actively seeking info and software.  If I find out anything useful, I'll pass it on!...

 

-Steven
 

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i have a Maxtor Quickview 500, Model: 3H500R0-0804P2, 500GB ATA/133 HDD.  Code: HA3D1BV0, S/N: H807MYDH.  i pulled this HDD from an Escient Fireball DVDM-552.  would this HDD help you?  i would like to let it go - i just joined AVS, but am i allowed to say that i would like to sell it?  
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think that hard drive has the right firmware on it.... I appreciate it though.. I would really love to get this thing fixed, but........ :-/
 

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From what I read in the past three months, Escient Media Servers or Content Streaming Products over a few years old, tend to die from two types of causes.  The first is power supply problems, as the caps age and fail; and hard drive problems, as hard drives die.  Often a power supply problem will cause the hard drive to become corrupted, so these problems are inter-related.  It seems there is some variation, early E-40 units for example had 60 Watt power supplies, while it appears that later E-40 units have 75 Watt Power Supplies, I know this since I have two E-40's with the later 75 Watt Power Supplies.

 

It also appears that each hard drive in an Escient E-40 or E2-40, E-80, E2-80, E-120, E2-120, E-160, E2-160, E-400, or E2-400, or any other Fireball Server, DVD Manager, or any of the forty or so Escient Media Server or Content Streaming Products that use, other Servers, Computers, or Computer Networks, or an internal hard drive, is mated to a particular imbedded into the firmware Motherboard Number, or CPU Serial Number, and/or possibly a MAC Address Number, or both, or maybe all three.  Therefore, a given Escient Motherboard and CPU when booting up from a hard drive, will apparently only recognizes its'  "own numbers" when booting the hard drive.  This lack of usability is tied to the keyed or proprietary operating system, which being of a proprietary nature, uses these secret "keys" something that was not revealed in ANY of the owners manuals of any Escient products.  Apparently the owners of Escient found this out and their lawyers forced then to suspend the production of these various forty models of Escient boxes - that violate Federal Laws, but there are still tens of thousands of these Escient Media Servers, DVD Boxes, and Fireball Content Streaming Boxes "out there"...

 

Given the existence of many different "Escient Golden CD's" which Escient won't give out to owners of various Escient products, this makes these boxes expensive doorstops when either the power supply or the hard drive fails.  If true, and it appears to be true, this prevents inserting an off-the-shelf hard drive into an Escient Media Server or Content Streaming Product from working.  So, what this means is that when the original power supply or the hard drive fails (and sooner or later all non SSD hard drives with moving parts will fail!) the Escient won't boot from a replacement hard drive, unless that hard drive was a bit-for-bit clone of the original hard drive that came installed in that Escient box, with the particular Motherboard Number, or CPU Number, and/or possibly a MAC Address Number imbedded into the operating system.  Since NO Escient Manual warns you of this, the nature of this protection scheme, is all but unknown to consumers!  Since none of the manuals on the Escient web site tells you any of that for your $2,000, or $3,000, or $20,000 investment in an Escient System, that it becomes junk after a few years, this violates Federal Law - specifically the "implied concept of usability" of the product.

 

This appears to violate Federal Law!  It may surely violate the concept of "implied usability" of products - as found in Federal law.  Specifically, The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637) a federal law, (15 U.S.C. § 2301 ( http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/15/2301.html ) et seq.), enacted in 1975, which is the federal statute that governs warranties on consumer products. Federal Law over-rides any stated or implied warranty restrictions and this Act states what may and may not be done by companies.  This form of a secret key, and proprietary obsolescence and planned obsolescence by Escient may violate Federal Law in several ways as we, as consumers may therefore be able to sue Escient to obtain the proper "Golden CD" to make our machines run, as well as for damages, on a per incident, and with per-day damages. 

 

Anyone who has a "dead" Escient due to hard drive failure who doesn't wish to spend half a thousand dollars to get your "inherent usability" back, should join me as I'm considering a Class Action Federal Lawsuit.

 

-Steven
 

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slbender & others
I do have the latest software 4.2.9.3 Delta files on CD.
I have successfully replaced a HDD before, so I know the files are good.
I own E2-40 and AVX-211
My problem is it keeps saying "Connecting to Server, pls wait"
Someone told me to press 5555 when it shows that but doesn't work for me.
I have re-installed the files but there is something the motherboard needs that isn't getting loaded.
At this point, if I could just find a way to get my 200+ Gigs of music off of it, I'ld be happy.
 

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slbender & others
I do have the latest software 4.2.9.3 Delta files on CD.
I have successfully replaced a HDD before, so I know the files are good.
I own E2-40 and AVX-211
My problem is it keeps saying "Connecting to Server, pls wait"
Someone told me to press 5555 when it shows that but doesn't work for me.
I have re-installed the files but there is something the motherboard needs that isn't getting loaded.
At this point, if I could just find a way to get my 200+ Gigs of music off of it, I'ld be happy.
I was trying to install a SE-D1 (same as DVDM-100) and it wanted to call home like yours.
As you already know, the trick is to enter "5555" on your remote, to disable the phone home feature,
but you need to enter this at the very first screen, the one which says "quick start .... press OK to get started". It worked for me.

BTW, I found this code (and many others) in an hidden file inside the unit memory :)

Re. Golden Disc - since I am trying to fix another problem (DVD changer not seen) I would be interested in a copy, that I would use to try and reverse engineer the operating system and debug my problem.

I would really appreciate if you could share the CD image with me. It would be for "educational use" only, so to speak. Heck, Escient is out of business anyway! Would have sent you a PM but forum doesn't allow me to.

Thanks in advance for your time,

Rick
 

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Rick
We owners need to start a private forum (google or somewhere, AVS forum is too restrictive) to work out these issues. The Escient system is great but they have waaay too many issues. I did find an Escient engineer on LinkedIn, but he was still under legal restriction at that time to disclose any trade secrets. There are thousands of units out there and we owners need to be able to salvage our investment dollars. It's not like we went to Walmart & bought a $200 computer we can just throw away and buy another. I have written D & M for help, but they refuse to respond.
We made a Homeowners claim (flood) and the insurance adjuster gave permission to send one Escient to PanurgyOEM for repair. Panurgy said it needed a new CD Rom, HDD & IDE to SATA adaptor for $600- $75 labor & $552 parts. I had already tested the HDD & CD Rom and knew they were NOT the problem. I find PanurgyOEM to be a rip-off but they are the only service center for Escient.
I was a Field Service Engineer for decades, self-trained computer tech & audiophile but these units have stumped me. There has to be a way to hack these units (via Comm ports or network crossover cables connected to another Linux unit) I've spent days trying to hack these things. I hate not being smarter than a piece of machinery. lol
These units are are just a PC run by IMB Set top CPU & Linux OS. People have hacked Directv units, these have to be easier. We're not trying to steal content, just trying to make things work properly.
I've used HTPCs & NAS systems, but I still like the Escient as a stand alone, though there could be some improvement. I enjoy the Sony M555ES sound, but without the Escient, it's awkward. I'm looking at buying an Oppo and just running all my music through it for processing, then analogue to Pre/Pro and scrapping the Escients
If we can make progress to revive the Escient, I'm all in.

As far as the Delta Tar files, I'm willing, we need to talk privately.
 

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Rick
We owners need to start a private forum (google or somewhere, AVS forum is too restrictive) to work out these issues. The Escient system is great but they have waaay too many issues. I did find an Escient engineer on LinkedIn, but he was still under legal restriction at that time to disclose any trade secrets. There are thousands of units out there and we owners need to be able to salvage our investment dollars. It's not like we went to Walmart & bought a $200 computer we can just throw away and buy another. I have written D & M for help, but they refuse to respond.
We made a Homeowners claim (flood) and the insurance adjuster gave permission to send one Escient to PanurgyOEM for repair. Panurgy said it needed a new CD Rom, HDD & IDE to SATA adaptor for $600- $75 labor & $552 parts. I had already tested the HDD & CD Rom and knew they were NOT the problem. I find PanurgyOEM to be a rip-off but they are the only service center for Escient.
I was a Field Service Engineer for decades, self-trained computer tech & audiophile but these units have stumped me. There has to be a way to hack these units (via Comm ports or network crossover cables connected to another Linux unit) I've spent days trying to hack these things. I hate not being smarter than a piece of machinery. lol
These units are are just a PC run by IMB Set top CPU & Linux OS. People have hacked Directv units, these have to be easier. We're not trying to steal content, just trying to make things work properly.
I've used HTPCs & NAS systems, but I still like the Escient as a stand alone, though there could be some improvement. I enjoy the Sony M555ES sound, but without the Escient, it's awkward. I'm looking at buying an Oppo and just running all my music through it for processing, then analogue to Pre/Pro and scrapping the Escients
If we can make progress to revive the Escient, I'm all in.

As far as the Delta Tar files, I'm willing, we need to talk privately.
 

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Rick
We owners need to start a private forum (google or somewhere, AVS forum is too restrictive) to work out these issues. The Escient system is great but they have waaay too many issues. I did find an Escient engineer on LinkedIn, but he was still under legal restriction at that time to disclose any trade secrets. There are thousands of units out there and we owners need to be able to salvage our investment dollars. It's not like we went to Walmart & bought a $200 computer we can just throw away and buy another. I have written D & M for help, but they refuse to respond.
We made a Homeowners claim (flood) and the insurance adjuster gave permission to send one Escient to PanurgyOEM for repair. Panurgy said it needed a new CD Rom, HDD & IDE to SATA adaptor for $600- $75 labor & $552 parts. I had already tested the HDD & CD Rom and knew they were NOT the problem. I find PanurgyOEM to be a rip-off but they are the only service center for Escient.
I was a Field Service Engineer for decades, self-trained computer tech & audiophile but these units have stumped me. There has to be a way to hack these units (via Comm ports or network crossover cables connected to another Linux unit) I've spent days trying to hack these things. I hate not being smarter than a piece of machinery. lol
These units are are just a PC run by IMB Set top CPU & Linux OS. People have hacked Directv units, these have to be easier. We're not trying to steal content, just trying to make things work properly.
I've used HTPCs & NAS systems, but I still like the Escient as a stand alone, though there could be some improvement. I enjoy the Sony M555ES sound, but without the Escient, it's awkward. I'm looking at buying an Oppo and just running all my music through it for processing, then analogue to Pre/Pro and scrapping the Escients
If we can make progress to revive the Escient, I'm all in.

As far as the Delta Tar files, I'm willing, we need to talk privately.
I have already partly hacked it. I was unaware of the 5555 code and my unit, which I bought NOS only recently (for a few bucks), wanted to call home and was unusable. So I hacked into it through the (poorly built) webserver and was able to read all files, this is how I found the code to disable the call-home feature. I am not afraid of disclosing those codes publicly considering that Escient is out of business and these units are no longer sold. I am sure there are many of them still running and would be a pity for owners to scrap them for a software issue.

To have them serviced for those huge amount of $$$ is, as you said, a ripoff. One of my hobbies is fixing old videogames and pinball machines, so if the power supply fails I will just replace the capacitors with better ones for 10 bucks and it will last next 10+ years.

That said, the unit is not running Linux. It is running VxWorks, a realtime OS by Wind River still used worldwide including by the Nasa rover, LOL. But it is an old version of the OS, flawed, and the web code they put on top seems written by a kid, the passwords are sent in clear text and if you want to recover a forgotten password just call a "secret" php page and it is sent to you. Cute :)

Since I cannot send PM's please email me: < redacted> and let's talk directly.

Thank you!

Rick
 

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I was trying to install a SE-D1 (same as DVDM-100) and it wanted to call home like yours.
As you already know, the trick is to enter "5555" on your remote, to disable the phone home feature,
but you need to enter this at the very first screen, the one which says "quick start .... press OK to get started". It worked for me.

BTW, I found this code (and many others) in an hidden file inside the unit memory :)

Re. Golden Disc - since I am trying to fix another problem (DVD changer not seen) I would be interested in a copy, that I would use to try and reverse engineer the operating system and debug my problem.

I would really appreciate if you could share the CD image with me. It would be for "educational use" only, so to speak. Heck, Escient is out of business anyway! Would have sent you a PM but forum doesn't allow me to.

Thanks in advance for your time,

Rick
Very nice find Rick. I think this will help many of us who has to re-iso the unit. By the way, I have the ISO too if you want it let me know.
 

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Very nice find Rick. I think this will help many of us who has to re-iso the unit. By the way, I have the ISO too if you want it let me know.
Sure! Please, get in touch via email: to discuss details. I already accessed the image from the unit, but it is encrypted, having the ISO may help me sort out the encryption algorithm since it has to boot from an unencrypted code first and then decrypt :)

Rick
 

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Sure! Please, get in touch via email: pizzi at leopardus dot com to discuss details. I already accessed the image from the unit, but it is encrypted, having the ISO may help me sort out the encryption algorithm since it has to boot from an unencrypted code first and then decrypt :)

Rick
email sent.
Henry
 
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