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Ignore This Space!

- - - - - ACPI/DSDT

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irrational John

irrational John

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!! IGNORE THIS SPACE !!


I recall a silly and, in hindsight, offensively objectifying t-shirt from decades ago. It was simply the text "Watch This Space!" on the chest of the shirt. I assume it was expected to be worn by young ladies in eager anticipation of pubescence. Ah, youth. :dev:

I've never written a blog before and frankly I don't really think I'm starting one now. My intent is more to collect some notes to help me organize my thoughts as I grapple with shoe horning OS X onto a "PC" motherboard.

A favorite teacher of mine once quipped about taking notes with the intent of throwing them out immediately after a presentation. The idea was that the act of writing things down in and of itself causes your thoughts to be processed differently. Probably because your thinking goes through different pathways in your brain when you write as opposed to just reading about something.

That's how I intend to try to use this space here. In other words, primarily as a potential aid for my comprehension, not communication per se.

Not that I'm in any way opposed to communication. Hey, if communication happens, well, golly gee wilikers, that would be just swell! :dev: I'm just not expecting or advertising that anything posted here will be of use to anyone other than myself.

My most wildly optimistic hope is that when I say something particularly stupid, someone else may notice it and point it out to me in a comment. But, seriously, given the extremely low signal:noise ratio of the blogs I've sampled here, I truly doubt anyone will ever have the time or interest to bother.

Oh, well. :dev:

One of the things I want to start with is to try to figure out more about what ACPI/DSDT is all about. Let's begin with just what is ACPI? One obvious starting place is the ACPI entry on wikipedia. Or you could go with my preferred short answer at this time: ACPI is one big honkin' confusin' mess!

Or as Linus Torvalds apparently once jibed,

"ACPI is a complete design disaster in every way. But we're kind of stuck with it.
If any Intel people are listening to this and you had anything to do with ACPI, shoot yourself now, before you reproduce.
"
(Linus & the Lunatics, Part II, November 25th, 2003)

Here's my impression at the beginning based only on briefly skimming parts of the 727 page June 16, 2009 4'th revision of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface Specification. ACPI is an attempt to solve the complicated and (thus) difficult problem of describing specific platform dependent hardware interfaces in a generic way that is both portable and platform independent. As an unintended (I assume) consequence, ACPI has become an even more complicated and difficult system than the original problem it was trying to "solve". (Don't ya just hate it when that happens!?)

Someone I worked for ages and ages ago once very perceptively boiled program design down for me this way. "When you make it easy to do something complicated, you often can also make it hard to do something simple."

Yep. I'd say that's captures my impression of ACPI in a nutshell. But Linus' observation is also very true. We are indeed kind of stuck with it. What'cha gonna do? :dev:

-irrational john





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