[OpenBIOS] PCI setup code

Maciej W. Rozycki macro at ds2.pg.gda.pl
Fri Mar 31 19:24:29 CEST 2000

On Thu, 30 Mar 2000, Ronald G. Minnich wrote:

> well, that's ok. I've been doing OS for years. If you look inside the
> kernels long enough, you'll find that the bios did not help you as much as
> you think. It tends to get things wrong. Also, there are things you'd like
> to be able to do that you can't because companies like Intel hide them in
> proprietary BIOS code.

 Well, in the PC world, BIOS is really the sucker.  Additionally it's
mostly DOS-centric which makes it hardly usable for any OS that does not
run in the real mode of the CPU.

 But sane architectures do not have weird legacy issues or they are rather
emulated than executed (see MIPS and x86 emulators embedded in the Alpha
firmware for the purpose of executing firmware from old/incompatible
options).  For these architectures, firmware is rather cooperative.  See
the Alpha Linux startup code, for example.  I mean the SRM firmware (i.e. 
the Unix/VMS one) case, of course, and not the NT-centric ARC/AlphaBIOS. 

 The conclusion is a BIOS need not be bad as long as we do not make it
such.  Just follow good examples and not bad ones or even invent yet
better solutions.

+  Maciej W. Rozycki, Technical University of Gdansk, Poland   +
+        e-mail: macro at ds2.pg.gda.pl, PGP key available        +

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