Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Jul 2004 08:45 UTC
Editorial This article describes some of my annoyances in computing. If you had any problems reading this article, then skip this one. It will only be a waste of your time. There are a lot of annoying things in the wonderful world of computing. Of course, nothing is perfect, but that doesn't mean we are not allowed to complain and scream and throw our keyboards at our monitors when yet another irritation pops up.
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Re: You can not do it in hardware
by Daan on Mon 12th Jul 2004 20:41 UTC

"And even if the BIOS would have a means of magicaly updating its table of possible OSs, how much time would it take to scan the partitions? And how big should this BIOS subsystem be? How can it read all these different file systems?"

You can put a driver at the beginning of the partitions. Then the firmware can load it, on demand, when you access a partition. When a partition has no driver, the bootsector can be executed for backwards compatibility. Now so you can imagine it:

PC-Firmware v1.0
Memory: 256 MiB
Booting ide:0.0.2...interrupted
>>> devalias
fd, cd, ide, scsi, enet
>>> ls ide:0.0
0:NTFS, 1:[0:FFS, 1:swap, 2:FFS, 3:FFS], 2:ReiserFS, 3:GeekOS
>>> ls ide:0.0.0.1
bin, etc, usr, var, netbsd
>>> ls ide:0.0.2
Loading driver for ReiserFS...not found
>>> ls ide:0.0.3
Loading driver for GeekOS...ok
Applications, Documents, GKernel
>>> boot ide:0.0.3:/GKernel
Loading....................................ok
GeekOS Kernel v1.0 booting!
pci driver registered
soundblaster via pci
usb via pci
iomega-zip via usb
(...)