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Subjectbinary garbage in dmesg/boot messages (2.2.18pre23)

I was testing out 2.2.18pre23 for USB purposes and found that its
outputing binary garbage at boot:

BIOS Vendor: Intel Corporation
BIOS Version: 1.00.10.DD04
BIOS Release: 03/19/97
System Vendor: Sony Corporation.
Product Name: PCV-70(U2).
Version Sony GI.
Serial Number 1003494.
Board Vendor: Intel Corporation.
Board Name: Agate.
Board Version: AA662195-305.
BIOS Vendor: f.£^]<94>fAè^D.£ESC<94>^N^_
BIOS Version: SV^^gÅu^B.<8B>^^^^<9D><88>^\gÅu^F.<8B>^^
<9D><89>^\3A^_^[A^^^FfQfPfRfSfUfVfW<8A>àgÄ}^B&<8A>^Eèh^Dr]gÄ}^Fg<8B>U
÷AüÿuT<83>ú^CtO#OtK^N^_.<8B>7.<8B>O^D÷A^A
BIOS Release: ùë÷SQR^F^^WV^^^F^_^G<87>÷.<8B>^NÜ<8B>x^CùèCÿrW&<8B>]
^Cû+E°ÿ^^^F^_Wüóª<8B>U<8B>x_&<8B>^O&<8A>^G&<88>^ECG;ús-âò^G_W.<8B>^NÜ<8B>UAé^BfPf<8B>^Af<89>^E<83>Ç^DâofX<8B>^Vè^U

it appears to not cause any further problems, other then trashing the
terminal of anyone who runs dmesg...

/proc/version:
Linux version 2.2.18pre23 (root@plato) (gcc version 2.95.2 20000220
(Debian GNU/Linux)) #1 Thu Nov 23 04:01:23 AKST 2000

this does not occur under 2.2.17.

please CC replies.

--
Ethan Benson
http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/
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