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SubjectRe: 2.2.18pre2aa2 and patches for 2.2.18pre3

I'd like to advocate the inclusion of the majority of these patches of
Andrea's. I've been patching most of them in for a while now simply
because I've found my SMP system much more stable and useable.

Distinctly lacking from the 2.2.17 release was Marcelo Tosatti's age-old
1-character fix to sync_page_buffers() without which my system is unusable.
(namely, doing WRITEA in the call to ll_rw_block()). Andrea provides a
similar and cleaner implementation of the entire sync_page_buffers()
function which also works fine.

Debate the more ambitious patches he proposes all you like, all I care
about is the SMP fixes / improvements and the fact that I don't have to
put up with both cpu's going flat out even when the system is, from a
user's perspective, idle. I don't use initrd, have an AXP (worse luck),
use >2Gb files or LVM. Although having a 2.3 compatible LVM would not
go astray for a 2.2.x-lmp :)

*clink clink*

* Matthew Hawkins <> :(){ :|:&};:
** Information Specialist, tSA Group Pty. Ltd. Ph: +61 2 6257 7111
*** 1 Hall Street, Lyneham ACT 2602 Australia. Fx: +61 2 6257 7311
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