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SubjectRe: Mindcraft III
On Wed, May 05, 1999 at 04:34:08AM +0000, Andrew Morton wrote:
> Mindcraft are not releasing the results of their
> recent retest. They'll be running it a third time:
> http://www.mindcraft.com/openbenchmark.html

This is an interesting change of position. Perhaps they are really
trying to be honest, since this report has been widely publicized and
their reputation is at risk. However, reading their proposal, I notice
a potential problem: they are limiting the patches that can be applied
to the Linux system to those available from a limited list of sites
within a limited timeframe.

In short, if you want constant foo to have a known, non-default value,
the typical way to do it would be to modify the code to change the
constant, then recompile. It's a trivial change for anyone familiar
with the system, but under the new rules, it doesn't seem like it would
be allowed. Instead, you would have to find a publically-available
patch and apply that.

In effect, the result would not be "tuning", but instead something
vaguely reminiscent of MS's service packs; "vaguely official updates
only".

The restriction is presumably intended to simulate a knowledgeable
expert who doesn't want to make any "dangerous" changes, but then,
changing certain constant values is not necessarily dangerous for a
kernel expert; NT probably allows similar constants to be changed via
the registry, thus giving NT an advantage (albeit possibly a minor one).

If anyone is going to take them up on this one, the issue is probably
worth clarifying.

--
Matthew Hunter (mhunter@andrew.cmu.edu)
Do not meddle in the affairs of sysadmins, for they are root, and
merciless.

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