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SubjectRe: Driver optimization.
Khan M Klatt <> writes:
>On Sun, 30 Jun 1996, Rogier Wolff wrote:
>> I was reading some NT sources (No, please don't shoot me :-), and
>> found something that Linux should've had for quite a while now.
>On a similar note, I was speaking to a friend who is fairly familiar with
>NT. He states that you can install NT 3.5/4.0 on computer A, a 586, and
>also on computer B, a DEC alpha, and also computer C, a PowerPC RS/6000.
>Then you can go to a store and buy Word or Office for NT, and install the
>same software on computer A and on computer B and on computer C.

The install CDs have binaries for all the platforms.

>Now I must admit this sounded really unlikely; after all, what kind of
>binary format could be implemented to generate code that is acceptable to
>a DEC Alpha, a Pentium, and a PowerPC?

Not binary compatable. I din't know about the other platforms, but NT on
PPC has an emulator that allows it to execute x86 code.

... and there are few gotchas. On 3.51, it will only execute 286 16-bit
code. I have heard reports that 4.0 has limitations also, albeit fewer.

>My friend attributed this to a "Hardware Abstraction Layer", which I
>simply read as being a microkernel based approach to solving processor
>and platform differences, and what came to mind was mklinux running on a

The HAL is just the abstraction that prevents the need to
'diddle the hardware', not provide binary compatability.


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