Tuesday

Tuesday 25/02/2003What is it with you lot? Last week at IDF, I found myself stuck in a session which seemed to have limited interest to even the ubergeek.

Tuesday 25/02/2003
What is it with you lot? Last week at IDF, I found myself stuck in a session which seemed to have limited interest to even the ubergeek. Intel wanted to do away with the PC's BIOS, replacing it with an extensible mini-operating system called EFI. Still, if that was the material to hand I'd better get on and write it up -- and that evening, steeling myself against the inevitable sarcastic comments from my peers, I duly filed the story. It would make a good T-shirt: "I Went 6000 Miles To San Jose, And All I Wrote About Was This Lousy x86 Assembler Code Replacement Scheme." Man, was I ever wrong. The story did better traffic than just about anything I've written, and when the US ran it at the weekend it continued to pull in the hits like Henry Cooper's chin. I'm pleased, of course, but worried. Have I misunderstood the geek zeitgeist? Is there a market for more and more obscure stories concerning, oh, PCB manufacturing techniques, fan spindle design and keyboard plastic specification? Of course, the rest of the team now want more. How about a step-by-step disassembly of a really important option ROM from a SCSI adaptor? Inside The Mind Of The Boot Sector? Fifty Things You Never Knew About Reset Vectors? It's not as if there's any lack of deep dark recesses in the PC specification, crawling with primordial slime and ready for exposition. But I thought the PC was a commodity these days, and people were no more interested in the low level guts than they are in the way their refrigerator compressor works. Am I wrong? Is the world gagging for the real hard stuff? Or is it just the BIOS, and I can safely put away my Pentium timing diagrams and the original PC Hardware Reference Guide. One can but hope.

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