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

> From: "James Sutherland" <>
> > 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

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


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