Since I'm so desparately waiting for the PI/PIF firmware for the 3500, I decided to give eMule a try. Maybe someone "leaked" it...
I didn't find 2.R8, but a firmware 2.98 showed up, both as .bin and as zip. I'm trying to download it now, but since I'm queued, it may take a while.
However, I don't have any idea on what this might be. Afaik, the 2.9x is not a known NEC or OEM code. Somebody who knows more?
Some suggestions I've been thinking of:
* It could be a fake firmware. In this case, it could possibly damage my drive.
* It could be a (new) unknown OEM firmware. But since the 3500 production is discontinued, it's not very likely that a new company will jump in here.
* It could be the official name for the 2.R8 experimental firmware. Since NEC seems to use hex numbering, it could be logical: 2.1x+$80=2.9x