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Date:      Tue, 23 Nov 1999 17:55:59 +0000 (GMT)
From:      Terry Lambert <>
To: (David Schwartz)
Cc:, chat@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Judge: "Gates Was Main Culprit"
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000101bf3550$dcc5a760$> from "David Schwartz" at Nov 22, 99 05:20:00 pm

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> You just keep getting more and more ridiculous.

Pot, Kettle, Black.

> Look, suppose your motherboard manufacturer made a motherboard
> with no ISA slots. This would cut the base cost by some small
> amount,

Which we would have to multiply by two, since that will be the
ultimate cost differential to the consumer, since that is how
hardware works (my company produces hardware devices, among
other things).

> but it would also reduce the volume because the potential
> market would be smaller.

You're absolutely right.  Look how poorly the iMac has done,
all because it lacks ISA slots.

> Imagine if this was not so. If the benefits of doing this (lower cost)
> outweighed the costs (lower volume) some manufacturer would make a
> motherboard with no ISA slots.

Dell already does.  But they only sell it in their systems.

> Its lower base cost would allow it to corner the majority of the
> market. (Unless you want to attribute this too to Bill Gates'
> mind control.)

I'll attribute it to his market control instead, thanks.

> Now, over time, the cost of the ISA slots has been dropping because there
> tend to be fewer and fewer of them, but this cannot keep up forever, you
> cannot have less than one slot.

0 < 1.

> The advantages of them are dropping too, since fewer and fewer
> people want them or need them. As a result, they 'harm' they can
> do keeps dropping and dropping, and eventually they will be
> overthrown.

The harm they do is to the OS software.  It is very binary: either
the OS contains ISA support code, and all that entails, or it doesn't.
If it doesn't, then the OS ends up not being able to crash devices
via invasive probes, since it can non-invasively probe for all the
hardware installed in the machine.  Note that this means you must
remove the ISA bride in its entirety, and place the onboard IDE and
other devices that are usually in the ISA bridge (to make them slow?)
into another ASIC.

> This is an example of the free market triumphing over what could
> have been lock in.

Uh, because we have ISA, we are triumphantly not locked into
having ISA?

> All the 'lock in' does is increase the amount of time that
> compatability is maintained.

Oh, we _are_ locked into ISA.

> And in any event, this is _beneficial_ lock in.

And we should be grateful for it...

My ass.  Why do you think a Windows install states "if this
step takes too long, reset (do _not_ reboot!) your computer,
and the process will continue from where it left off" for the
hardware probe phase?  It's because it has a probe intention
log, and can only detect ill effects from a destructive probe
(required by many ISA devices) by examining the previous
incomplete action in the intention log, and avoiding it.

Anything that requires my computer to reboot more than once
(for the newly installed OS to come up) is broken.

> Would you prefer being forced to throw out all your old cards
> everytime a better slot standard comes out?

What old cards?  The last ones onto the PCI bandwagon were sound
and multiport serial adapters (understandable, because they need
less bandwidth, and don't demand PCI, like video, disk, ethernet).

					Terry Lambert
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.

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