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Re: Device detection?

On 10 Mar 1999, Mark W. Eichin wrote:

> > No crap, dont think I know that? Im saying there is a *small* amount of
> > hardware which it is perfectly safe to probe. And for modules like this it
> > would be *ok* to do so.
> What you're missing, I think, is that the fact that psaux modprobe's
> safely for *you* has nothing to do if it will safely probe for someone
> else.  There exist some combinations of probes that will crash
> *unrelated* cards that just happen to end up on the same range of
> ports... this issue used to come up with certain video and network
> cards, in particular, if I remember right.  It wasn't the people who
> *had* the video card who got smashed - it was those who *didn't* but
> had some network card that was in the same place...

Yes, I remember this being the case with the Debian boot floppies. Some
time ago, I don't remember exactly which distribution it was (I think it
was bo, but it was definitely a _stable_ distribution), they would lock up
any NE2000 compatible network card (and real NE2000 cards, too) while
probing for a particular SCSI card. It caused the card to send lots of
small packets to some non-existant MAC address and prevented any real use
of the card. I had to make some boot floppies with a custom built kernel
for a friend to let him install Debian from the network.

> If I understand new hardware correctly, PCI avoids most of this
> problem.  That's only "new" systems, though...

rd31-144: 11:20pm  up 5 days, 22:12,  8 users,  load average: 1.07, 1.05, 1.07

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