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    • Beginning of a modern BMW Tuning revolution? Introducing the free BimmerBoost.com Siemens MSD80 / MSD81 'true opensource' N54 flash program/utility

      As many visitors to this website know, the community here pulled together and has developed a truly free and open tuning solution for BMW vehicles equipped with the MSD80 / MSD81 Siemens ECU such as those with the popular N54 motor (135/335). How did this come about? Well, a certain vendor known for milking the community dry at any opportunity to line his own pockets managed to twist what was portrayed as an open source tuning solution into a $400 closed source flashing tablet. He pissed off the wrong BMW community.


      The membership here pulled together and now BimmerBoost.com is happy to present its free N54 flash utility available for download under the downloads tab you should see toward the top of this page. The fact that this community was able to accomplish what nobody else had in record time speaks for itself. BimmerBoost.com proves the best and brightest the BMW tuning community has to offer reside here. Quality over quantity prevails.

      This is a monumental achievement for several reasons. One, BimmerBoost users showed they will not just sit around and complain about vendors taking advantage of them. They will do something about it and do something they have. Secondly, it shows how powerful this network of websites has become essentially opening up tuning for a platform where codes are guarded like nuclear secrets not only by BMW but by tuners themselves. That speaks volumes to the resourcefulness and talent of this community.

      I would personally like to thank the community here and express my respect and gratitude. These members in particular deserve a thanks from everyone for helping make this happen:

      @Terry@BMS @klipseracer @Roy Cormier @ajm8127 @flash guy @lulz_m3

      To the members who donated for cables, spare ecu's, etc., please PM me if you would like to be added to the names listed to get your due credit as I did not keep a list of the names. I will edit you into this post.

      It's interesting to note that it was the vendor who attempted to extort the community (again) that helped this happen as quickly as it did. If it was not for burning the wrong bridges in the past certain people would not be as galvanized as they were. He essentially shot himself in the foot a long time ago. Bravo sir, my hat is off to you. Your own greed and arrogance cost you money and put a forum you try to keep down in the strongest position it has ever been. I want to send you a fruit basket filled with Procede's.

      Regarding source code, due to said vendor stating he wished to take the code others have worked on it will be distributed under a license by BimmerBoost.com to developers. This is also to prevent individuals who have expressed a desire to steal the software and then sell it illegally profiting off the free and honest work of members here. The software license agreement covers distribution, simply look it over. Android ports for mobile devices are in the works as well as specific editions for tuning options such as the BMS JB4. All versions are developed under the copyright BimmerBoost.com holds (AND WILL ENFORCE) on the software.

      Thank you to everyone involved and those who supported the effort. It is interesting the youngest and smallest (by volume) of the major BMW sites is having the biggest impact in real world tuning for its users. Who really is the best? I leave that up to you to judge.

      This is just the beginning. As you have noticed our new downloads section above allows members to exchange files and maps. A member can upload a tune they created themselves to get feedback for example or have others test it. A member can upload a file specifically for a certain type of fuel. A member can upload a private download that only their tuner can access and the tuner can then post this same private file for the user to download. A member can specify what other members can download their file. There are a multitude of options.

      Going forward, BimmerBoost hopes to open up tuning on multiple BMW platforms. The N63/S63 motors hopefully will come next but let's all just be happy for now that this even took place.

      On a personal note, I hope the N54 community in particular realizes the enthusiasm that started this site is alive and well as proven by this collaboration. There is a large difference between playing around and trolling forums and then actually concentrating that energy into something productive. This is the result of positive practice and effort, not irrelevant OT posting/flaming. One should be paid attention to, the other should not.

      Congratulations to the N54 community and the BimmerBoost community, you changed the course of BMW tuning history today.
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Beginning of a modern BMW Tuning revolution? Introducing the free BimmerBoost.com MSD80 / MSD81 'true opensource' N54 flash program/utility started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 230 Comments
      1. Suii's Avatar
        Suii -
        Anyone in So Cal with a cable want to do some flashing !!
      1. COLIVERtwist's Avatar
        COLIVERtwist -
        Fantastic! Good job to everyone on board as this is truly something special to come from BB!
      1. uniter's Avatar
        uniter -
        Congrats!
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Regarding source code, due to said vendor stating he wished to take the code others have worked on it will be distributed under a license by BimmerBoost.com to developers. This is also to prevent individuals who have expressed a desire to steal the software and then sell it illegally profiting off the free and honest work of members here. The software license agreement covers distribution, simply look it over. Android ports for mobile devices are in the works as well as specific editions for tuning options such as the BMS JB4. All versions are developed under the copyright BimmerBoost.com holds (AND WILL ENFORCE) on the software.
        Does this mean you won't be releasing the source code? There are a number of licenses under which the source can be released which directly protects against the risks you've identified. The most obvious being the GNU Public License.

        Not releasing the source code would be a flip on shiv level proportions. Let the community benefit from a truly open source flashing solution.
      1. Freon's Avatar
        Freon -
        Found the download link..
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
        Congrats!
        Does this mean you won't be releasing the source code? There are a number of licenses under which the source can be released which directly protects against the risks you've identified. The most obvious being the GNU Public License.

        Not releasing the source code would be a flip on shiv level proportions. Let the community benefit from a truly open source flashing solution.
        Yeah, this is my concern. It seems this is quickly being backpedaled to "sorta open source". If developers have no power to branch, release, and host source code on their own, I wouldn't qualify that as open source. It's more like Microsoft's approach back in the day to get Windows source code. You could sorta get the source, but couldn't really do much other than see how it worked and put yourself in a legal predicament. At some point the license is so encumbered that is really isn't what I would call open source as it goes against the spirit of what that means... I consider GPL v2, GPL v3, and Apache to be good examples. The reasons given in that paragraph highlight why you shouldn't go open source at all.

        Using open source software to make money is part of the deal. Terry@BMS certainly can now use it to leverage the JB4 by letting people do the flash-under for low cost. If the copyright holder is using the supposed open source license to pick and choose winners that is totally a shiv move... Something as simple as GPL allows the copyright holder to sue if someone uses the source to build their own closed source binary/commercial product and force the modified source to be released.

        Anyway, I'll look at the BB flasher download tonight, see if it includes the source and/or license and draw my conclusion then. This certainly raises eyebrows...
      1. Terry@BMS's Avatar
        Terry@BMS -
        I'm sure sticky will release the source when he feels like it. Until then enjoy the free software. Or pay $400 or more for less functionality elsewhere. Click here to enlarge
      1. deemo319's Avatar
        deemo319 -
        Damn, you guys must have been real pissed at this guy.
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        great work! feel sorry about all those people that just bought the tablet
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        @Sticky, can we use the download section to share Cobb ATR maps as well?
      1. GetSomeE92's Avatar
        GetSomeE92 -
        Great job to all involved.

        I bet this is going to pump up the number of new members.
      1. nawlinstornado's Avatar
        nawlinstornado -
        It would be nice to see the same happen for Mercedes...
      1. carcars's Avatar
        carcars -
        Amazing work, thank you to all involved!
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Freon Click here to enlarge
        Found the download link..

        Yeah, this is my concern. It seems this is quickly being backpedaled to "sorta open source". If developers have no power to branch, release, and host source code on their own, I wouldn't qualify that as open source. It's more like Microsoft's approach back in the day to get Windows source code. You could sorta get the source, but couldn't really do much other than see how it worked and put yourself in a legal predicament. At some point the license is so encumbered that is really isn't what I would call open source as it goes against the spirit of what that means... I consider GPL v2, GPL v3, and Apache to be good examples. The reasons given in that paragraph highlight why you shouldn't go open source at all.

        Using open source software to make money is part of the deal. Terry@BMS certainly can now use it to leverage the JB4 by letting people do the flash-under for low cost. If the copyright holder is using the supposed open source license to pick and choose winners that is totally a shiv move... Something as simple as GPL allows the copyright holder to sue if someone uses the source to build their own closed source binary/commercial product and force the modified source to be released.

        Anyway, I'll look at the BB flasher download tonight, see if it includes the source and/or license and draw my conclusion then. This certainly raises eyebrows...

        Project is not even 1 day into beta. There will be changes needing made, who knows there could still be some serious bugs out there that haven't been accounted for. Once the dust has settled, I foresee the source coming out in a creative commons license or something like that.
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        @Sticky, can we use the download section to share Cobb ATR maps as well?
        I can't speak for Sticky, but I would think he encourages all map sharing, as long as they are your own tunes, and not the tunes of a Pro-Tuner or a closed source tuning company. Otherwise, I think that sounds like a great idea!
      1. Shogun1122's Avatar
        Shogun1122 -
        I see that you are considering adding the N63/S63, but what about the N55. Will this eventually be released for that?
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Shogun1122 Click here to enlarge
        I see that you are considering adding the N63/S63, but what about the N55. Will this eventually be released for that?
        Anything MSD80/81 will be supported by this software either now or in the future. That even includes that European N45 which I believe runs on that DME. Anything having to do with another DME will require totally different software. I'm sure certain knowledge can be shared, however is not within the scope of this software.
      1. Zero2sixtyz's Avatar
        Zero2sixtyz -
        Nicely done guys! Big move forward for the community!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        If anyone is in the NE Florida area/SE Georgia area and wants to make a trip to Jacksonville i can Flash maps for you. Just shoot me a pm.

        Click here to enlarge
        I'm happy to see that smiley get used.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Freon Click here to enlarge
        Maybe I'm missing it, but where are the download links to the source, binaries, and/or license agreement?
        Where it says 'downloads' right next to where it says 'forum' and 'what's new'
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
        Congrats!


        Does this mean you won't be releasing the source code? There are a number of licenses under which the source can be released which directly protects against the risks you've identified. The most obvious being the GNU Public License.

        Not releasing the source code would be a flip on shiv level proportions. Let the community benefit from a truly open source flashing solution.
        It has already been stated the source code will be released and certain people already have the code.

        What was stated is for now we'll hold off due to others out there wanting to steal this and or profit from it. That was a group decision.

        If someone wants to develop as others are developing just talk to me and you can join the development forum where code is exchanged.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Freon Click here to enlarge
        Found the download link..

        Yeah, this is my concern. It seems this is quickly being backpedaled to "sorta open source". If developers have no power to branch, release, and host source code on their own, I wouldn't qualify that as open source. It's more like Microsoft's approach back in the day to get Windows source code. You could sorta get the source, but couldn't really do much other than see how it worked and put yourself in a legal predicament. At some point the license is so encumbered that is really isn't what I would call open source as it goes against the spirit of what that means... I consider GPL v2, GPL v3, and Apache to be good examples. The reasons given in that paragraph highlight why you shouldn't go open source at all.

        Using open source software to make money is part of the deal. Terry@BMS certainly can now use it to leverage the JB4 by letting people do the flash-under for low cost. If the copyright holder is using the supposed open source license to pick and choose winners that is totally a shiv move... Something as simple as GPL allows the copyright holder to sue if someone uses the source to build their own closed source binary/commercial product and force the modified source to be released.

        Anyway, I'll look at the BB flasher download tonight, see if it includes the source and/or license and draw my conclusion then. This certainly raises eyebrows...
        Blah blah blah