North Korea owes its nukes to the amazing, flexible CNC mill

That sounds like just the kind of DRM Cory would be upset about in another kind of post. Would a second hand buyer have to pay for such a visit, and would they even respond to a request from a hobbyist who happened to obtain one of these precious machines?

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Yes, it is very similar to DRM, and it is just as bad as it seems. I suppose that unlocking them would require expensive maintenance contract(but I’m not sure about it) or request from a hobbyist would just be ignored. Here’s the post from someone from company owning 8 machining centers, with support saying that it’ll take a month to unlock them:
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/dmg-mori-gildemeister-maho-cnc/mori-ellison-gyroscope-unlocking-273841/
8 machining centers not operating for a month is a lot of lost income and can seriously harm even medium company.

For a hobbyist the best way is to acquire used machine on the cheap and if dealer refuses to unlock it, just replace machine controller with something else - it won’t be as good, but still probably good enough. Even making own CNC controller isn’t that hard. This is especially attractive for older machines that can be bought really cheaply, and the outdated controller is the reason.

right out of battlefield earth (the book, that is)

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