[rescue] Parallel ports [was Re: Slightly OT: ?Bad Cap Saga]

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Thu Aug 21 04:20:22 CDT 2008

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 03:13:48AM -0500, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
>Drivers?  If it's on the southbridge I/O, it's on the LPC bus, which is
>just a modern version of ISA (the physical interface differs, but not in a
>way visible to software).  To software, it's at the same old spot it's
>been since the PC/AT.

But what actually supports it? As time goes on the old drivers disappear
and are never replaced. Microsoft did that in mass quantities with XP SP2
(32 bit), removed more in the 64 bit version and even more in Vista.

Linux is subject to the whims of whomever wants to change the driver
architecture this week, lots of drivers stopped working in the 2.6
Kernel, and eventually 2.8 will come out. People will get bored of
backporting or keeping 2.4 alive and so on.

BSD has IMHO a better chance of keeping them going, but eventually people
work on other things and getting legacy drivers for obscure hardware just
plain gets old.

Eventually people get jobs that take all of their time, get married and
have kids, and so on. Or they just get tired of writing device drivers
for entertainment, or fighting the politics that crop up.

How many forks of projects that split due to politics have actually continued?

How long will it be that old operating systems won't boot on the "bare metal"
and some sort of VM or emulator will be needed? Once that happens things
stop working, especially device drivers that need to run on the real
hardware, that isn't there any more.

As an example, look at the floppy driver for MacOS X. It never officialy
existed and a user supported effort died off relatively quickly because no
new computers were made with them.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM

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