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Re: SEUL: hardware detection

William T Wilson wrote:

> Does it (system.ini) 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?

No, sorry about that.  Just a few basics.

In the registry, all the contents of Control Panel/System are stored under


if you're curious and want to take a look.  However, I am having second
thoughts about depending too much on mining info from M$.  It leaves us
with nothing if the machine doesn't have W95 installed, and M$ might make a
big stink about it (either legally, or simply to publicly sneer "If Linux
is so much better than Windows, how come they have to steal from us?")
Now, mining info like a monitor database is one thing, trying at install
time to read the config of _this machine_ is another.

I have been using a program called PC-Doctor to perform diagnostics and read
the configuration of machines I have been called to work on, and I believe
that somewhere there may exist similar programs that are shareware or
freeware, that could run on a DOS boot disk, and produce report text output
that we might find useful.  I will have a quick look for such a thing.

>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.

That may change, long before SEUL has a chance to become widely available.
Every week I see more ads than ever before advertising systems with hard
disks in the 4 to 6 Gb size range.  Since FAT16 will only go to 2 Gb, and
that only by the 32k cluster size that causes such an _obscene_ waste of
valuable disk space (~40%), and CI customers get obnoxious when they ask
"why does my 6 Gb disk only hold 2 Gb?"... what else are they going to do?

I personally have installed a lot of systems with FAT32, and have not
had any problems specific to FAT32 only.  (Of course, the whole thing
stinks, and having almost daily to explain to CI customers that just
because 95 is broken doesn't mean the machine I sold them is defective...
means 95 has single-handedly taken the enjoyment out of my career as a
self-employed computer consultant)... but the FAT32 systems don't seem
to be that much worse than the rest. 

> FIPS and DOS-defrag will error gracefully when confronted
>with FAT32.  Actually, does anyone know whether DOS-defrag likes to mangle
>VFAT filenames?

I believe that it does; I wouldn't take the chance.