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    SubjectRe: Direct access to hardware
    On Tue, 25 Jul 2000, Stuart MacDonald wrote:

    > From: "James Sutherland" <jas88@cam.ac.uk>
    > > What functionality? Remember, only the commands which should NEVER be
    > > issued except as part of a low-level diagnostic or maintenance procedure.
    > > Since nothing should ever issue these commands anyway except the vendor's
    > > own software, no functionality is being lost by disabling them, except for
    > > that software, which can be adapted to work around that problem in a way
    > > which will also improve it significantly.
    >
    > The functionality of being able to flash running hardware.
    > The thread about having an OS independent disk from
    > the vendor is nice, but requires downtime. Not everyone
    > can afford downtime.

    In this context, it does not. Any hot-swappable hardware could be removed
    from the production system, flashed and tested off-line, then restored.
    Much safer, and not OS dependent - without any downtime on the production
    system.

    This approach is only a problem for non-hot-swappable hardware on a
    mission critical system, or if you don't have any non-critical systems
    with a suitable interface. In the case of IDE or SCSI, this doesn't seem
    likely.


    James.


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