Re: ethtool documentation

From: Jamie Lokier (
Date: Wed Aug 07 2002 - 05:53:04 EST

Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> This is not about 'freedom'. This is about modifying some hardware
> to make it pretend that it's something that it is not. It's completely
> unlike IP addresses or anything like that. It is supposed to uniquely
> identify a piece of hardware. It's like the "frequency of a radio station"
> where the IP address is like the "call sign".

That right, and it's very useful. How else would I have the freedom to
connect different computers onto the cable modem at home when our router
dies? (The cable service only allows a single registered MAC address)

And how else would I have the freedom to replace the old ISA NIC at
work, and continue to run the MAC-locked licensed compiler?

If nobody restricted freedoms by keying to the MAC address, I'd never
want to change it. But they do. And if the NICs didn't allow for
reprogramming it, I'd guess that there would be a Linux flag to run the
cards in promiscuous mode to simulate a fake MAC address in software..

-- Jamie
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