AMI JUST MADE port 80 cards a thing of the past by introducing their new AMIDebug Rx device. Now you can debug your BIOS over USB.
A little red bug remover
The device is pretty simple, a little red box with an LCD screen on it and two USB ports on top. There are five buttons on the front, up, down, shift, select and menu. The top has debug and checkpoint switches. Sounds simple enough, right?
As you can see, it is connected to a MID PC above via the USB port, and can debug anything through that port. Alternatively, if you don’t like scrolling through menus until your thumbs hurt, you can connect the second port up to another PC and debug from that.
For those of you who are into those things, Debug Rx can make your life a lot easier. The best part is that it isn’t a hugely complex device, just a simple pocketable readout that you can literally toss around your lab.
The other nifty thing AMI was showing off, or not in this case because the demo seems to have gone missing between AMI HQ and Computex, is called SafeTrends. The idea is simple, it is a BIOS based imaging backup.
SafeTrends is said to allow the user to set times for backup, grab a disk image, and send that backup to an attached device or a remote PC via TCP/IP. Basically it lets you snapshot your machine while it is running, and do so at BIOS level.
If it is as seamless as AMI promises, this could be a real boon for admins. Simply set up a remote box with a bunch of huge 2TB drives, and your server gets backed up late at night. Drive images tend to be easy enough to restore, reimage or mount virtually to pick files out of, so I don’t see a down side to this if performance doesn’t take a huge hit. Just schedule and run.
AMI is showing that if you own the BIOS, you can pull some neat tricks. Luckily for us, they do.S|A