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Windows 2000 is The Borg!

Discussion in 'Misc Electronics' started by Rich Grise, Sep 15, 2003.

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  1. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    [crossposted also to sci.electronics]

    Some of you might remember that I was asking not too long ago about
    making a "null modem" with 4-cond.+drain cable. So I did 1&6 -> 4
    and looped back 7 & 8. Tried everything, and still haven't got a
    serial link going. But I do have two operational computers. Now here's
    the scary part. It took me two weeks of dicking around with the vendor
    until I finally demanded my money back. I'm a hacker, and a consultant,
    and have been poking around with computers and stuff since the days
    when you could actually SEE the components you were working with. So
    I like to know what's going on in my computer, configure it, and so on.
    So, I'm poking around with settings and rebooting and stuff, and it
    locks up while booting. I go back to the store for my money back - the
    second time this happened I was ready to grab that store boy by his
    scrawny neck and pinch his head off. I said, "If I have to come back
    again, I'm bringing the sherriff! This is fraud, extortion, theft, ..."
    and just went on and on.

    The storedrone says, "Just let me show you something." I grumbled
    and seethed, but there wasn't much I could do - this weenie starts
    the computer, and goes into CMOS setup, and I say, "Yeah, I know
    how to do that. Oddly, it doesn't have a "factory defaults" setting,
    just "Optimum performance" and "Best Performance" or some such.
    So this guy is showing me the BIOS, and goes down into the deepest
    menus and actually changes the processor clock! He says, Oh, yeah -
    factory default is 100/100, but you have to set it to 133/133 or it
    won't boot. I blew up. I said, "If you'd told me that two fucking
    weeks ago, I'd have had a fucking computer already!!!!!'
    He says, "Oh, we're not supposed to tell you that...." muttering
    sometning about 'knowledge base'...

    So these motherfuckers are selling a computer and operating system
    combinatiopn where the computer has to be broken to work! And it's
    SUPPOSED TO BE KEPT SECRET!!!! Well, I got that little tidbit for
    my shit bag; hope I don't need to use it.

    During all this, I tried my old OEM W95 in the new comp (to see if
    I could get it to boot), and the new comp. won't even boot that!
    It says, "Windows Protection Error. Please restart your computer."
    **** you, I just did!

    So I gave up on that, and finally got a W2k that's apparently
    stable enough to use.

    BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!!!! Finally, with two computers, I decided,
    "Ah, hell, it's turning out to be less work to swap the drive."
    Actually, just slap it into the new computer, it's got a spare
    slot. One screw, one jumper, and I've got another drive on the
    new computer. I dragged and dropped the whole 4GB onto a subdir.
    on the new computer, and had the old drive back in the old comp.
    in a matter of minutes.

    So, that's done, and I put the original drive back into the
    original confuser, and when I start it, "Windows Protection
    Error - Please Restart Your Computer."

    Just BEING IN THE PRESENSE of W2K fucked up my hard drive.
    (well, I might have inadvertently sent a file to the recycle
    bin on the old drive while it was in the new computer, and
    got an error message, so W2k probably tried to "fix" something.)

    Luckily, I was able to get the original computer running
    again, but what an adventure!

    I'll probably be messing with the serial link in the future - I
    do want to connect them together - the old one has the scanner,
    and Linux with Apache and everything, and the modem. It'd probably
    make an excellent firewall, and I do want to keep the ability to
    run real DOS, so I can play MAME games.

    Thanks for letting me share. :)

    [to email, elide 'ard.']
  2. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Maybe a peculiarity with AMD chips? I ran Win95 for *many* years on a
    400MHz Pentium II. And I'm now running Win2K on the same machine...
    actually *not* unbearably slow... although I think I'll soon relegate
    the machine to the grandkids.

    ...Jim Thompson
  3. :)
    When it first appeared, it was only met with the AMD chips (it was a timing
    problem in the IDE handler, and they were the only chips fast enough at the
    time to cause it - their integer arithmetic was massively faster than the
    Intel chips at the same clock rate). At 600MHz, it appeared on the Xeons (if
    you wanted to run W95 on a Xeon!), and it took the PIII, at 800Mhz, before
    it became a problem on the Intel chips. By the time these had appeared, the
    fix was 'standard' (included in the latter W9x releases).

    Best Wishes
  4. If you had only half as much knowledge of computers than you have
    f-words, you wouldn't have any problems mastering them.

  5. 7 years ago I had win95, for two weeks, then I switched to linux, never
    touched it again.

    Even electronics software (free: and everything you need
    works fine these days, even though I only had M$ for two weeks, I still get
    aggresive when I see such a beautifull piece of electronics being misused
    by the wrong OS.

  6. Mjolinor

    Mjolinor Guest

    The big problem with Linux is that it is very difficult to get into from the
    beginning. Once sorted and working it really is smooth, reliable and a
    pleasure to use but the little things, that the knowleageable people who
    write the software have forgotten, make it hard. For example, where does
    software get installed to, nothing tells you and if you don't know what the
    executable is called you can't search for it and different software installs
    in different places. It's bad practise to use Root for anyting other than
    system maintainance but when I use smbmount to mount a Windows PC only root
    has access to the files and when I copy them into a users home directory as
    root then the user doesn't have the right permissions. There are loads of
    little things like that which prevent Linux from taking off and it really is
    a great pity. They are all small things that can be answered by searching on
    the net or asking on usenet, Linux users are really helpful when it comes to
    sorting people out but it takes a lot of time and often if the task is only
    a small one then the time involved by using Linux is prohibitive,
    particularly if it's work stuff.

    I now have to add that for years I have tried using open office / star
    office but always had to go back to Windows and Word because everyone uses
    it, but the latest version of Open Office, both on Windows and Linux is a
    dream and most important the import and export filters for Word are
    excellent which means I can now use it, as I want, but still satisfy
    everyone I need to send files to. My only whinge is the initial opening
    time, it's a bit slow (dinosaur for a PC here) but everyone should give it a
  7. Actually, it wasn't integer arithmetic that was so much faster. Unless
    you're saying that NOP is integer arithmetic. ;-) WinBlows had a NOP
    timing loop. The K6 had a zero cycle NOP instruction, where the P5
    took one cycle for the NOP. I believe Athlon went back to a one-cycle
    NOP, perhaps for this reason.
    Yes, since the timing loop underran at these speeds. Note that the K6
    integer unit was *not* as fast as a Xeon/600 or PIII/800.
  8. Ben Pope

    Ben Pope Guest

    And a classic example of the proliferation of "bad programming practice".
    We've all done it though. It's not as bad as some, I suppose, but
    asynchronous timing should never be done using a method that is reliant on
    clock speed - especially when you know the clock speed is not fixed.

    I guess this is the reason behind "bogoMIPS" on Linux and probably other

  9. John Todd

    John Todd Guest

    For whatever reason, the only way I got a serial link up
    was to turn Flow Control OFF.
    You'll be happier with NIC's and a crossover cable.
  10. rpm -qa
    rpm -ql package
    rpm -qf file

    tels you everything ever wanted to know about installations but were afraid
    to ask.
    Even dependencies etc. But most of the time you don't need to know where
    something is installed, with rpm -e you can remove it without knowing

    locate find
    and [TAB][TAB] in bash tells you which exec's are where

    It's bad practise to use Root for anyting other than
    Put the smbmount in fstab with the "user" option and anyone can mount it,
    you also have uid, guid, read/write/exec options in fstab.

    well, this should all be on a linux newsgroup, not an electronics design
    newsgroup, sorry for that, my experience is that indeed I had to invest a
    lot of time in learning, but the non-crashing machines saves me a lot of
    time in my work.
  11. Mjolinor

    Mjolinor Guest

    I wasn't looking for answers I was trying to point out that it is difficult
    but only because of the little things. All the answers are available is you
    search and if you post a specific question you will get specific answers
    fairly quickly but it is the need for some understanding in order to make it
    work that is currently stopping it from being used by everyone. It is
    however definately making progress and provided there is no odd hardware a
    blank install can be done and will work. There is also the problem of people
    not knowing, a few years ago the thought of someone owning a computer and
    not knowing anything about it was alien but now there are a lot of people
    who know absolutely nothing about how, they can only just turn it on and off
    but they are succesful in getting it to do what they want (for the most

    Cars used to be the same i.e. people who had them knew how they worked, my
    grandma for example once mended the throttle cable with a hair clip when we
    were miles away from anywhere, I can't see my wife doing anything that
    involves opening anything but the petrol cap. It is now normal and accepted
    that you can own and use a car and not have any understanding of it at all.

    Computers are going the same way but Linux is struggling coming to terms
    with that maybe. It really is unfortunate because it is so much better than
    Microcrap at every level, problems get fixed, properly, difficulties are
    understood by thousands of people who will bend over backwards to help other
    people get into it. Money and economies play no part in the development of
    the stable system and contributors are genuinly horrified when problems are
    proven to exist with lots of midnight oil burning to fix them.

    You are absolutely right a non-crashing machine is worth the effort and in
    the long run you will live longer because of the stress that Windows forces
    on you.

    Windows has some amazing features about it though, for example, how do they
    make the severity of the crash inversely related to the time you have to
    complete the task?
  12. Andre

    Andre Guest

    ***WARNING- Extreme Rant Follows***
    All I care about is if it lets me program PICs and access hardware at
    low level. Which is why I use DOS 6.22 on my laptop. No problem.

    2K is just a royal pain when it goes wrong, though it is fairly stable
    (as long as you only run M$ apps and use approved drivers on it).
    Otherwise it *will* fail eventually.

    XP is worse ! Much worse. I mean, it shows how much of a stranglehold
    M$ have that I cannot buy a machine without XP preinstalled (and the
    dreaded "restore disk") from the local vendor, ******** ********** FYI
    (deleted to save lawsuit)
    Plus its every hacker and virus writer's dream OS due to all the
    horrible critical security holes (chasms) that you have to download
    hundreds of updates to fix. Pity those on a slow Net connection, they
    haven't a snowball's chance in hell!

    If more companies wrote a DOS or Linux version of their software they
    would make much more money, especially from the less well off people
    who have for various reasons opted out of the Windows upgrade ladder.
    As far as I am concerned Windows software that won't allow low level
    hardware access that WORKS is a no-no. (Are you listening, Gates et
    al) ?????!

    BTW, Rich . Windows 2000 is *NOT* the Borg . The Borg have proper
    networking support! :):):)

  13. Dave VanHorn

    Dave VanHorn Guest

    boy that's scary..
    if i code in a nop, it's because i need that timing delay.
  14. Mjolinor

    Mjolinor Guest

    Not much of a programmer but I am left wondering why you would want a 0
    cycle NOP, what other uses does it have other than a bit of time?
  15. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Well, accessing hardware 'trivially' is great if you're a hacker -- it's a
    nightmare if you're a regular user trying to protect yourself from poorly
    written programs and virii.
    All operating systems will fail if you just willy-nilly add half-baked
    drivers. I won't get into whether or not Linux or Windows is inherently
    more stable, but I will say I've seen both Linux and Windows machines crash,
    as well as both staying up for months at a time (and only being taking down
    for maintenance, not crashes!).
    If Linux were anywhere near as popular as Windows, you can bet all the virus
    writers would be targeting it with just as much enthusiasm. And while I'm
    again not qualified to perform a security analysis of either OS, I think
    it's safe to say that Linux has security holes as well... and all it takes
    is one...

    The Windows Update approach to patching is a good idea, IMO. Although I
    agree that those without a high-speed Internet connection are at a
    disadvantage, be aware that Windows will slowly download patches in the
    background for those with a dial-up connection, so assuming the user spends
    some hours per week connected to the Internet, they'll still get all the
    patches they good.

    Last time I tried Linux (about a year and a half ago now), it didn't have
    automatic updating available -- it still required user interaction to
    install each patch. And the typical argument that Linux programmers will
    more quickly fix a found security risk may be true (but it's certainly
    debatable!), but unless those patches can be pushed to users effectively,
    it's all for naught.
    DOS is far too limiting for modern prorams. You can do sophisticated things
    in it, but realistically 99% of all the cool programs that run in DOS have
    already been written. I agree that more companies writing Linux software
    would generate revenue for those companies -- but the question is whether or
    not it's _enough_ revenue so as to pay for their added development costs!
    You do have a point, but keep in mind that someone buying a new Dell or
    Gateway PC every 3-5 years is effectively paying all of about $50 for the
    operating system (bundled with the system). It's very challenging these
    days to build your own PC for the same price that Dell, et al. can if you
    actually intend to go out and purchase legal copies of Windows, Office, etc.
    from a retailer. XP Pro. brand new is $299 retail! :-(

    Linux, Open Office, etc. is a wonderful solution for people who can't really
    even afford, say, $500-$1000 for a PC. The groups that use 'last
    generatrion' (e.g., 2+ year old PCs) hardware and package them up with free
    software and either give away the machines or sell them for next to nothing
    are performing a valuable service.
    Ever heard of a device driver? You don't just willy-nilly bang on the
    hardware if you expect your driver to obtain Microsoft certification, but if
    all you want to do is hack around, there are several drivers out there that
    will take your "peek, poke, inport, or outport" request and just stick it on
    the hardware.

    The Windows driver model is a Good Thing -- the 'layering' approach that
    allows the guy who creates the USB oscilloscope (ob. electronics group
    reference!) to not have to know anything at all about the USB chipset on the
    motherboard in question is a huge convenience vs. having to do it in DOS.
    Although there were some pseudo-layering standards in DOS (e.g., packet
    interfaces for network cards), the lack of a real OS is why your DOS PC
    doesn't support USB CD ROM drives, flash ROM cards, etc.

    The big annoyances I had with Linux were:
    -- Lack of program installation standards. Depending on which desktop you
    were running, there were variegated methods to get a program connected to AN
    ICON ON THE START MENU. Very few programs were smart enough to do this
    themselves -- much less to add themselves to a standard 'add/remove program'
    database. This is all completely standard in Windows. Of course, there's
    no reason Linux couldn't do this -- it's just a lack of standards.
    -- Lack of common keyboard control standards. I really despised how some
    programs would use, e.g., Alt+X to cut whereas others used Ctrl+X! Yes, of
    course these could (typically) be 'fixed,' but I really don't want to spend
    my time doing that. Standadization is a good thing. Customizability is
    great too -- but I want the base product to have the same defaults as all
    the rest. The keys Windows uses for routine tasks are so common these days
    that many keyboards have them printed on the front sides of the keys.

    ---Joel Kolstad
  16. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I doubt that 'zeroing out' occurs that often, but 'safely filling...' would
    be used, for instance, in order to align the next chunk of code on a cache
    line boundary. Of course, this is prone to break on other processors as
    well -- I would consider using NOPs for alignment purposes or timing
    purposes a 'reasonable' programming approach only if your code has checked
    what kind of CPU it's running on and has a 'safe' (but slower) alternative
    method if it isn't 100% positive it has the right target.

    ObAnnoyance: The Microsoft Windows 2000 IDE drivers will run on Intel, Via,
    and SiS chipsets, albeit with non-optimal performance for the later two.
    The Via driver will CRASH if started on a non-Via chipset. :-( Score one
    for Microsoft.

    ---Joel Kolstad
  17. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Oh, I suppose it does! Although Microsoft hopefully doesn't do this in
    Windows anywhere. :)

    I was thinking more along the lines of self-modifying code, which you
    (hopefully) don't see much of today since it's a lot trickier to make work
    correctly and I'm not aware of any benefit of using such code on a modern
    processor anyway. (And I mean 'self-modifying while it's running,' not just
    patching up absolute addresses prior to starting execution.)

    ---Joel Kolstad
  18. qrk

    qrk Guest

    On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 17:44:21 -0700, "Joel Kolstad"
    There are virus writers out there targeting Linux and Unix systems. It
    just doesn't make the headlines as much as the Windoze stuff.
    I just got another notice from Red Hat about a potentially nasty hole
    in OpenSSH. Second in about a year or two period for OpenSSH. I'm
    getting used to updating my Linux box every month due to various
  19. In programming, you use a NOP to allow time for a device to settle
    before sampling it. You have to ask yourself how much time is consumed
    by programming a 0 cycle NOP, and how many times will I have to loop
    it before, say, 31 nanoseconds is consumed?

    Harry C.
  20. Actually, if you coded a 'NOP', it did take a cycle.
    The problem was the instruction 'pre-fetch' on the K6, bypassed the
    'implicit' NOP, in a decrement and loop instruction.

    Best Wishes
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