[ANNOUNCEMENT] Wiki for discussing P35/IHC9(R)/SATA issues set up

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at u.washington.edu
Mon Nov 5 23:55:45 PST 2007

韓家標 Bill Hacker wrote:
> Versteh.  But *I* get grumpy when it is *so* easy to 'close the door 
> firmly' by slapping in last-year's scrap IDE CD or a diferent SATA 
> device, and *then* post with a great deal more certainty that those 
> options produced this or that difference.  Or NOT.  Ergo the problem 
> is more clearly ID'ed - or reconfirmed - each time.
> Surprises DO happen. Remember the CMD-640 ATA controller? Those folks 
> call themselves SiliconImage nowadays, but it was the tier-one 
> Japanese firm that 'foundered' the silicon.
I hated that PATA controller with a passion :(...
> ACK - and developers of software very seldom have access to even the 
> tiniest fraction of the hardware that the community at large have 
> their hands on.
As you mention below though, that comes down to funds vs time.

> WTF - as predominantly a 'hardware' R&D guy, I personally seldom have 
> fewer than a dozen MB within arm's length, though rarely are more than 
> 2 or 3 'current' items. Had a lot more before shipping a chunk of it 
> off to developers.
> So - yes - what I am asking is or *should be* redundant work and may 
> sound useless repitition at first.
> But it places a very light load on 'many hands' of experimenters - 
> most of whom cannot code anyway, but *can* attach a cable - so as to 
> reduce the load on 'few hands' of developers. Very few.

What would be better is creating a series of custom tester boards or 
interface mechanisms so that plugging and unplugging all of this crap 
would be more painless, safe, process-based, and simple, but then again 
I guess I'm dreaming of solutions :\.

> Not as efficient as an aircraft hangar full of every make of parts 
> known with all developers in the same building, but placing the 
> 'extra' work on hundreds of testers vs few developers is the only tool 
> we can afford to shorten the time needed to solve the problem before 
> the parts go obsolete for a NEW set of challenges.
> On which score we ARE falling behind... Accelerating pace of 'new' is 
> the nature of the market.
Indeed. The AMD, Intel, and nVidia camps are all decreasing their 
product ramp-up times, thus making it harder for us to keep up. But keep 
up we need to do...

And the difficulties will only get 'better'.

> Another reason is that while it is very inexpensive to source all 
> manner of MB & controllers here in HKG, to name one (cheaper than in 
> Taipei by far..) it is deucedly expensive in time & money to gin up 
> proper customs paperwork, ship them to, for example the EC, and manage 
> their incoming VAT w/o harm to the recipient.
> The VAT alone on a 'free' box of hardware can cause serious heatburn 
> on a student budget, 'coz the national authority takes a dim view of 
> even 'bona fide gift'.
Yes. I know after sending a few items to a fellow FreeBSD'er in 
Amsterdam. The whole percentage taxing is ridiculous.
> IOW - a 'donation' across a national border just doesn't fly well.
> And the key developers are not only all over the world now, some of 
> the best of the team are in countries that may be quite modern - but 
> do NOT have good, cheap, *low tax* parts markets.
> 'nuff said...
> Bill

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