Re: ISA slot detection on PCI systems?

From: Dave Jones (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 22:26:40 EST

On Wed, 2 Jan 2002, Eric S. Raymond wrote:

> One of my background assumptions is that the older a machine is, the
> more likely it is that the person doing the config will have a clue about
> what they're doing.

Bzzzzt. See Greg Hennessy's post.
(Not that I'm implying he hasn't a clue, but he makes a good point)

> These days hardware is so cheap that only geeks try to cram Linux onto
> old systems

Linux is getting deployed in lots of small businesses running
mailservers/firewalls etc on old P90's and the likes. Not because
they're run by geeks, but because they're running on a low budget.

> Thus I'm not very worried about DMI read failing on older hardware.

It fails on newer hardware too. The Vaio I quoted is less than a year old.
The CyrixIII BIOS is less than 6 months old.

> My main objective is to make configuration painless on modern PCI-only
> hardware -- which is why I want to be able to tell when there are no
> ISA slots, so I can deep-six questions about ISA drivers.

Go down the DMI path, and get it right _sometimes_, or take a zero.
Getting it right sometimes is likely to do more harm than good.

> > o The geek next door who wants to tinker and learn about the kernel.
> > Said geek is going to learn a damn sight more currently than he will
> > with a dumbed down pointy clicky "build me a kernel" button.
> Your "they must show willingness to suffer pain, otherwise they're not worthy"
> attitude is really showing here.

Crap. I'm implying that there should be a learning curve to everything
no matter how small it may be. You're trying to remove the curve

> Yes. But *I* want Aunt Tilley to be able to download the latest kernel
> sources and build/install them herself, without ever feeling that the task
> is beyond her capabilities.

*shakes head*, ok I'm all done trying to argue this one.

> I believe we need to learn the discipline of useability and take it seriously.
> Because talk plus code is much more convincing than just talk, I'm trying
> to demonstrate this by coding. But I'll talk about it too :-).

And write a book perchance ? SCNR 8-)

| Dave Jones.
| SuSE Labs

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