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Re: SEUL: hardware detection

On Sat, 17 Jan 1998, Mike Scott wrote:

> It should not be necessary to directly read the proprietary database format
> of the W95 registry because (1) it also maintains the system.ini text file
> for backward compatibility, just look at the section

I'll be a dirty bird!  How do you like that.  I like it very well, thank
you. :)

Does it also maintain information on ALL other devices, such as network
cards, mice, and so on?  If so, is that information specific enough for us
to use?

> (2) use regedit, and its "File/Export Registry" command to write the
> registry to a text file for examination; search for the name of your card.

That's good, technically, but it requires the user to fire up regedit and
fool with it.  That defeats the whole point - making this hardware
detection business transparent and easy.

> Note that method (1) might be better because I noticed that the registry
> not only had an entry for the name of my current video card, but also the
> previous one that I replaced.  It might be easy to mistakenly pick the
> wrong one.

We'd need someone familiar with the format of the registry to poke around
with this.

> Note that M$ does not _always_ properly detect the video card; they just
> default to standard VGA.  The user that has no knowledge of who made his
> video card, can he install WinBlows in better than VGA resolution?

Not usually.  Of course, a user who has no OS installed, AND does not know
anything about his hardware, will be in a world of hurt anyway.  They'll
be hauling their computer down to the local repair shop in no time, where
someone knowledgeable can open the case, look at the card, and identify

Of course, PCI cards are *always* identified properly.  This is a function
of PCI that we and MS both can count on.  A user with an ISA-based system,
no OS installed, and who has no clue what his computer is made of, AND he
has one of those finicky cards that doesn't like to be probed.  Let's call
it a "special case" and save it for version 2.  :)

> WinBlows who would be quite unable to install it.  Is it unreasonable
> that an OS should be _installed_ by a qualified person?

No, it isn't, but in our world, no one is qualified.  :)

> Concerning the use of a DOS boot floppy to defrag and resize a W95
> partition; it would not work under FAT32 file system.  I believe the

No, but it's worth a shot.  There are in the grand scheme of things very
few systems using FAT32, because OEM's realized that FAT32 was breaking
all manner of applications and getting them irate customers on the tech
support line.  FIPS and DOS-defrag will error gracefully when confronted
with FAT32.  Actually, does anyone know whether DOS-defrag likes to mangle
VFAT filenames?  Can we even distribute it?  If our installer detects
FAT32, it will have to tell the user either to destroy his data or get
partition magic.  Better than nothing.