Want to know why I started posting again just now?
Adi Oltean posted a great entry about his favorite hardware bug. This prompted Larry Osterman to post his favorite, and I started feeling left out. I have a ton to choose from, after all I deal with new bleeding edge hardware on a daily basis. I’m hard pressed to call them my favorites, because they generally cause me to suffer, but it’s my job so I can’t complain too much. They can be a ton of fun to work on too, much more abstract and asynchronous than just working on dry code.
Unfortunately, I can’t really share the best ones since they’re still pretty fresh on the market. All the stories would start like this: There was this one time a few <CENSORED> ago, when our OEM, <CENSORED>, was about to ship a new <CENSORED>, and it had this really strange behavior when you <CENSORED>…and end like this: In the end, we fixed it. OR: In the end, they hoped not many people would see it and just shipped anyway.
Riveting stuff, eh? I know I could be more generic, but since I work with these vendors on a daily basis I don’t want to chance it. I can tell you what is the bane of any operating system developer: System Management Interrupts (SMIs) BIOSes that make heavy use of SMIs can wreak havoc with an OS, and there’s very little in the way of figuring it out, and no way to stop it except a new BIOS. I’ll go into the pain and misery of SMIs in my next post.