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    SubjectRe: ISA slot detection on PCI systems?
    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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