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    SubjectRe: Defective Red Hat Distribution poorly represents Linux
    Jeff Epler wrote:
    > On Tue, Nov 21, 2000 at 04:08:26PM -0500, David Riley wrote:
    > > Windoze is not the only OS to handle bad hardware better than Linux. On
    > > my Mac, I had a bad DIMM that worked fine on the MacOS side, but kept
    > > causing random bus-type errors in Linux. Same as when I accidentally
    > > (long story) overclocked the bus on the CPU. I think that more
    > > tolerance for faulty hardware (more than just poorly programmed BIOS or
    > > chipsets with known bugs) is something that might be worth looking into.
    > And how do you propose to do that?
    > For instance, in some other operating systems having the top bit flip
    > in a pointer will cause silent use of incorrect data. On Linux, this
    > will cause a signal 11. Which do you prefer, bad results or an error
    > message?
    > Can you suggest a specific way in which Linux can react correctly to
    > e.g. flipped bits in RAM or cache which cannot be detected at the hardware
    > level? Or maybe tell me how Linux can react correctly when an overclocked
    > CPU starts producing incorrect results for right shifts once every few
    > thousand instructions?

    Hmm... Good point. That would be hard to do. On that note, there
    should be some prominent note on things like user manuals (though Linux
    users shouldn't need *manuals* :-) that notes that common crashes like
    signal 11 or "cc: internal failure" messages are generally caused by
    hardware problems. That sort of thing would keep spurious complaints
    and error messages from inappropriate boards like this and on newbie
    boards where they belong (I'm not saying it was a bad complaint, but
    generally questions like "Why does RH 6.2, known to be stable on
    thousands of machines, not install of this machine where NT worked
    before?" belong on newbie boards and not as a flame of RedHat on the
    kernel board). Unfortunately, most people who get these error messages
    don't read the manuals. Besides, where would you put it in a manual? I
    know that error codes are a great mystery among us on the MacOS (even
    those of us that have been using it for 16 years only know that Error 11
    is usually hardware and [1|2|3] are software) since they aren't really
    clearly and understandably documented in prominent user-land documentation.

    By the way, I have no idea how to implement a suggestion like I had.
    That's why I posted here. If I had a clue how to do that any better
    than a useless, inefficient kludge, I would have done it myself and
    submitted a patch. As much as I like the "do it yourself" model of
    development here, I think a lot of people might appreciate it if more
    experienced coders wouldn't jump down the throats of people who suggest
    a feature they can't do themselves yet. I speak for myself, but I don't
    think I'll find a dearth of support for that opinion.

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