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Seeking White Papers on PC Architecture (Hardware and Soft..

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2004 10:09:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

I need to get some semi-technical background on PC architecture,
hopefully without having to read an entire book. I'd do a search on
Google, but we all know that searches lead to about 10,000 hits, so
I'm hoping someone can steer me to the kind of document I am looking
for.

Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
need to understand both:

(1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
(keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
follows....

(2) The fundamentals of operating system architecture. This could be
covered by a white paper that addresses only MS Windows, or only
Linux, or a paper that covers both (and perhaps compares their design
and internal structure). I'd like to know about the layers within the
operating system, the boot process, how multitasking is handled, and
any other generally relevant issues.

My own background is a B.A. in physics and math, plus, in recent
years, about a dozen courses on computer programming at the freshman
and sophomore level. I do tech writing for a living, and have at
least a rudimentary grasp of electronics. So you see, the paper or
papers can be a little techie, but not Masters or PhD level, please.

Again, one white paper that covers both hardware and software would be
fine, or separate white papers on each would also work. In case it's
not clear, I'm hoping to get freebies here, the kinds of white papers
that are either put out by corporations to inform their customers, or
perhaps by Open Source outfits.

Any leads (as in, links to download sites) would be much appreciated.
(By the way, I am primarily interested in PC architecture and related
operating systems; but any white papers on the Mac might be
interesting for general background, and for comparison.)

P.S. If you want to e-mail direct, you can find my e-mail address by
visiting the Web site indicated in my sig, below.

Steve O.


"Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs.
www.SpyingOnTheCollegeOfYourChoice.com
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2004 9:04:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Steven O. wrote:
> Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
> documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
> need to understand both:
>
> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
> external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
> (keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
> ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
> follows....

I don't think a single white paper like that has existed since the days of
the original IBM PC, over 20 years ago now. Since then it's ballooned into
dozens or hundreds of white papers for everything from the USB specs, to the
spacing of the bolt holes in the case, to the power management system, PCI,
all of the way upto the CPU.

I'm sorry, you were just born in the wrong timeframe. :-)

Yousuf Khan
September 12, 2004 5:48:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:

> Steven O. wrote:
>> Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
>> documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
>> need to understand both:
>>
>> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
>> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
>> external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
>> (keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
>> ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2),
>> which follows....
>
> I don't think a single white paper like that has existed since the
> days of the original IBM PC, over 20 years ago now. Since then it's
> ballooned into dozens or hundreds of white papers for everything from
> the USB specs, to the spacing of the bolt holes in the case, to the
> power management system, PCI, all of the way upto the CPU.
>
> I'm sorry, you were just born in the wrong timeframe. :-)
>
> Yousuf Khan

I don't know how scholarly you want these papers, but Ars Technica has a
very good explanation of processor architecture and also pci
architecture (two articles). These are written for the non-engineer,
but I found them quite good in explaining things to a hardware
enthusiast.

Malke
--
"Has it ever occurred to you that you're the plucky comic relief?"
- Tech Sergeant Chen
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:08 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 05:04:56 GMT, "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:

>Steven O. wrote:
>> Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
>> documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
>> need to understand both:
>>
>> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
>> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
>> external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
>> (keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
>> ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
>> follows....
>
>I don't think a single white paper like that has existed since the days of
>the original IBM PC, over 20 years ago now. Since then it's ballooned into
>dozens or hundreds of white papers for everything from the USB specs, to the
>spacing of the bolt holes in the case, to the power management system, PCI,
>all of the way upto the CPU.
>
>I'm sorry, you were just born in the wrong timeframe. :-)

he's trolling for someone to write his homework...
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On 12 Sep 2004 10:13:45 -0400, adykes@panix.com (Al Dykes) wrote:

>In article <KsY0d.30089$MQ5.15053@attbi_s52>,
>Malke <malke@nospoonnotreally.com> wrote:
>>Yousuf Khan wrote:
>>
>>> Steven O. wrote:
>>>> Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
>>>> documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
>>>> need to understand both:
>>>>
>>>> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
>>>> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
>
>Are you asking us to do your homework, are you ?

Boy, there is some serious cynicism on the Internet. I posted this
same query to some other newsgroup, and one guy wrote back with a
particularly nasty, flame-bait reply about my laziness -- I try not to
take flame-bait, but yielded to the temptation in that case, because
the guy was clearly such a rude jerk.

I don't see your question as flame-bait, just an honest if somewhat
skeptical inquiry. So, I'll just say, first, that no, it's not for a
homework assignment, if you meant that in the literal sense. I'm
long, long out of school.

If you meant it metaphorically -- in the sense that, it should be my
job to dig through 10,000 hits on Google to find the kind of white
paper I'm looking for -- then, yes, I suppose I'm asking you to do my
homework. My take, however, is different. I like to think that kind
people like to help each other -- what else is Usenet for? -- and if
someone knows the answer off the top of their head, it would be both
kind and generous to share it with me.

I'm doing this background research for a possible business project I
may develop, and the sooner I can get the background info I need, in
the form I need, the better. What makes me incredulous is this
tremendous sense, which seems to hover out there in the ether, that
people are somehow trying to "get away with something", if they simply
aim to make life easier. Again, my values say that we should all be
trying to make life a little easier for each other, if we can do so
without some big personal sacrifice. But that's just my values, and
apparently not everyone shares them.

Anyway, *this* reply is not meant as a flame, and I hope it's not
taken as one -- I hope it doesn't read like one -- I'm just sharing a
point of view.

Steve O.

"Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs.
www.SpyingOnTheCollegeOfYourChoice.com
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:52 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 20:40:51 +0000, Steven O. wrote:

> I'm doing this background research for a possible business project I
> may develop, and the sooner I can get the background info I need, in
> the form I need, the better. What makes me incredulous is this
> tremendous sense, which seems to hover out there in the ether, that
> people are somehow trying to "get away with something", if they simply
> aim to make life easier. Again, my values say that we should all be
> trying to make life a little easier for each other, if we can do so
> without some big personal sacrifice. But that's just my values, and
> apparently not everyone shares them.

Your question is far too broad and general in its scope. I've been
building, programming and using PCs since 1975 and still do not know
enough specialized information to risk some "possible business project".

Go to your city's public library and read the basic texts on computers to
even find out what questions to ask. Ask a specific question on Usenet
and you will probably get a good answer.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Dave Uhring wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 20:40:51 +0000, Steven O. wrote:
>
>
>>I'm doing this background research for a possible business project I
>>may develop, and the sooner I can get the background info I need, in
>>the form I need, the better. What makes me incredulous is this
>>tremendous sense, which seems to hover out there in the ether, that
>>people are somehow trying to "get away with something", if they simply
>>aim to make life easier. Again, my values say that we should all be
>>trying to make life a little easier for each other, if we can do so
>>without some big personal sacrifice. But that's just my values, and
>>apparently not everyone shares them.
>
>
> Your question is far too broad and general in its scope. I've been
> building, programming and using PCs since 1975 and still do not know
> enough specialized information to risk some "possible business project".

The original post specified a "white paper" in the range of 10-30 pages.
That's awfully little information to make such a decision on, given the
complexity of the subject at hand (the entirety of PC architecture). I
would have recommended texts such as "The Winn L. Rosch Hardware Bible"
or Scott Mueller's "Upgrading and Repairing PCs", both from Que. (I
have the fifth and eleventh editions, respectively, and find them
indespesible references.) Either one (or better yet, both) would cover
all of the topics about PC architecture that the OP wishes to address.
They are, however, on the order of 1500 pages apiece and thus don't fit
the search criteria.

IMHO, people in the newsgroup are having a hard time taking the question
seriously since the OP asks for so much information in such a short
document.

The OP's search for a similar document on operating system design is
equally unrealistic given the breadth of information requested.

> Go to your city's public library and read the basic texts on computers to
> even find out what questions to ask.

Or better yet (IMHO), go to the nearest university library or book store
and look at their textbooks for introductory courses in computer
architecture and operating systems. Those will likely have a lot more
technical detail than something in a public library (at least if your
public library is anything like mine).
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 17:50:41 -0400, John-Paul Stewart wrote:

> Or better yet (IMHO), go to the nearest university library or book store
> and look at their textbooks for introductory courses in computer
> architecture and operating systems. Those will likely have a lot more
> technical detail than something in a public library (at least if your
> public library is anything like mine).

Yeah, but the public library is as inexpensive as Usenet.

I have the same university degree as the OP and *I* wasn't too stupid to
use freely available resources.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Dave Uhring wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 17:50:41 -0400, John-Paul Stewart wrote:
>
>
>>Or better yet (IMHO), go to the nearest university library or book store
>>and look at their textbooks for introductory courses in computer
>>architecture and operating systems. Those will likely have a lot more
>>technical detail than something in a public library (at least if your
>>public library is anything like mine).
>
> Yeah, but the public library is as inexpensive as Usenet.

Most university libraries are just as inexpensive as the public
ones...at least as long as you're content with reading the book there.
Around here libraries don't check your library card except when you try
to take out a book.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:40:56 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Sep 2004 18:39:49 -0400, John-Paul Stewart wrote:

> Most university libraries are just as inexpensive as the public
> ones...at least as long as you're content with reading the book there.
> Around here libraries don't check your library card except when you try
> to take out a book.

I doubt that the OP has the patience to sit for days in a library. He
wants years of technical information development condensed into less than
30 pages. This is the "Reader's Digest" or "Cliff Notes" method of
learning.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 7:03:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

[This note was both posted and e-mailed]

Here in comp.os.linux.misc, Steven O. <null@null.com> spake unto us, saying:

>I need to get some semi-technical background on PC architecture,
>hopefully without having to read an entire book.

Given the wide variety of CPUs, memory types, bus types, and other
variables in the current x86 PC family, I'm afraid a book is the only
solution which will provide the information you seek.

Many A+ Certification Handbooks will give you some background, but I
would also highly recommend this book in particular:

http://cma.zdnet.com/book/upgraderepair/

which is _Upgrading & Repairing PCs Eighth Edition_ by Scott Mueller.

A hardcopy of the current version (16th edition) which is MUCH more
comprehensive is available in most larger book stores or on web sites
like amazon.com, etc.

--
-Rich Steiner >>>---> http://www.visi.com/~rsteiner >>>---> Eden Prairie, MN
OS/2 + eCS + Linux + Win95 + DOS + PC/GEOS + Executor = PC Hobbyist Heaven!
WARNING: I've seen FIELDATA FORTRAN V and I know how to use it!
The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 7:28:27 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Dave Uhring wrote:
> I doubt that the OP has the patience to sit for days in a library. He
> wants years of technical information development condensed into less
> than 30 pages. This is the "Reader's Digest" or "Cliff Notes" method
> of learning.

Instead of speculating on his intentions, why don't we just ask him? He's
still here on the newsgroup.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 7:43:48 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Steven O. wrote:
> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
> external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
> (keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
> ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
> follows....
>
> (2) The fundamentals of operating system architecture. This could be
> covered by a white paper that addresses only MS Windows, or only
> Linux, or a paper that covers both (and perhaps compares their design
> and internal structure). I'd like to know about the layers within the
> operating system, the boot process, how multitasking is handled, and
> any other generally relevant issues.

Well, obviously since this question of yours has caused so much controversy,
it might be wise to split up the question into more easily digestible
pieces, and limit it to only the stuff that's *most* puzzling you. I'm sure
not all of the items you listed in #1 or #2 are completely puzzling you, and
you already have a fair understanding of how they work.

But if *all* of this stuff is puzzling you, then as others have suggested,
the library is the best place to go and check up the PC books that have been
suggested already. Neither #1 nor #2 can be covered in 10 to 30 pages, and
let alone both of them together.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2004 12:52:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Steven O. <null@null.com> wrote in message news:<4of6k0l7cqcstoflpgap27k0s4v452rn7u@4ax.com>...
> I need to get some semi-technical background on PC architecture,
> hopefully without having to read an entire book. I'd do a search on
> Google, but we all know that searches lead to about 10,000 hits, so
> I'm hoping someone can steer me to the kind of document I am looking
> for.
>
> Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
> documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
> need to understand both:
>
> (1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
> computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
> external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
> (keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
> ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
> follows....
>

IMHO, for these particular requirements, forget the web; and, unless
you really know your way around PCs, and need to to specific repairs
and upgrades, I include in that Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing ...

Guessing ... that you know the basics of CPUs, buses, RAM,
interfacing, interrupts, try A. Tanenbaum, Structured Computer
Organisation.

If not try Petzold, Code, Microsoft Press, or I can point you at some
notes of mine in PDF, or A+ Certification style, but nice, Mike
Meyer's A+ Guide to PC Hardware.

The only way you'll know what book suits you is to browse your local
bookshop.

However, I'd question how much detail you need. For example, on
interrupts. Knowing the principle of how a keyboard controller signals
that it has some data that needs picking up, and what the CPU does to
pick up the data and how it makes the data available to the process
(program) that will use it, may well be enough?

> (2) The fundamentals of operating system architecture. This could be
> covered by a white paper that addresses only MS Windows, or only
> Linux, or a paper that covers both (and perhaps compares their design
> and internal structure). I'd like to know about the layers within the
> operating system, the boot process, how multitasking is handled, and
> any other generally relevant issues.

Much more difficult. Assuming basic knowledge on your part, possibly
Tanenbaum's Modern Operating Systems, 2nd ed. but could be hard work.
Most of the other college books on operating systems are just
examination fodder.

Again, I can point you at notes that I use, but more so than the
hardware part, the OS part depends on a lot of performance on my part
in the classroom. Again, there are only a few basic issues:

- booting starts by an address getting forced into the program
counter; that address is the address of the start of a small program
in ROM; that program reads some agreed part of an agreed disk device,
and the chain of events repeats until the OS has been read into memory
and starts executing;

- the idea of a process and how it gets created; start off with a
simple single-tasking model; read program into memory; jump to start;
execute until end; then jump back to OS;

- how to multi-task; (assume multiple programs and OS already in
memory) start a process as above; timing interrupt causes jump back to
OS; OS causes jump to another program/process, ...

- what to do if you need more physical memory ('RAM') that you have;
virtual memory; how to use a combination of disk and available
physical memory to fake it;

I was looking at two books last week that may be worth a try: Dietel,
Dietel and ??, Operating Systems (contains case studies of Windows XP
and Linux); and O'Gorman, Operating Systems (mention of Linux in
title).

>
> My own background is a B.A. in physics and math, plus, in recent
> years, about a dozen courses on computer programming at the freshman
> and sophomore level.

That makes me suspect that what I've written is of little use to you.

Best regards,

Jon C.

For email address see: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jg.campbell/
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 14, 2004 8:04:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

I've been following the responses to my original query, and -- with
all due respect to everyone here, and acknowledging your general good
intentions -- I respectfully disagree with virtually all of you.

I make my living doing technical writing, and I've documented some
very advanced technologies, especially in telecomm. I've written 100
and 200 page reference manuals that explored and explained the
detailed nitty gritty of software APIs, communications protocols,
messaging systems, and even register-level functionality in ASICs;
and I've also written five to ten page white papers that conveyed the
essential principles of exactly the same systems.

My point is, it's do-able, and if the goal is to convey fundamental
principles and essential concepts only, 10 or 20 pages can often
accomplish almost as much as 200 pages. Maybe the white papers I am
seeking (on PC hardware and OS fundamentals) exist, or maybe they
don't. But if they don't, then, once having learned the subject, *I*
could write the darn things, and I assure you they'd be highly
informative.

Listen, I posted my original query because I am in search of
relatively condensed background info on PC architecture. But it's
clear to me that you gentlemen, for all your talents in hardware and
software, may not know how to utilize the written word (and
illustrations) to their fullest, and most economical, advantage. So
I'm going to take the liberty of advertising just a bit, and saying,
if you need help in that area, feel free to check out my services at
www.OpComm.com.

And I'll still take any leads on those white papers, if anyone can
suggest anything that might even be close.

Thanks,
Steve O.


On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 18:09:44 GMT, Steven O. <null@null.com> wrote:

>I need to get some semi-technical background on PC architecture,
>hopefully without having to read an entire book. I'd do a search on
>Google, but we all know that searches lead to about 10,000 hits, so
>I'm hoping someone can steer me to the kind of document I am looking
>for.
>
>Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
>documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
>need to understand both:
>
>(1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
>computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
>external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
>(keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
>ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
>follows....
>
>(2) The fundamentals of operating system architecture. This could be
>covered by a white paper that addresses only MS Windows, or only
>Linux, or a paper that covers both (and perhaps compares their design
>and internal structure). I'd like to know about the layers within the
>operating system, the boot process, how multitasking is handled, and
>any other generally relevant issues.
>
>My own background is a B.A. in physics and math, plus, in recent
>years, about a dozen courses on computer programming at the freshman
>and sophomore level. I do tech writing for a living, and have at
>least a rudimentary grasp of electronics. So you see, the paper or
>papers can be a little techie, but not Masters or PhD level, please.
>
>Again, one white paper that covers both hardware and software would be
>fine, or separate white papers on each would also work. In case it's
>not clear, I'm hoping to get freebies here, the kinds of white papers
>that are either put out by corporations to inform their customers, or
>perhaps by Open Source outfits.
>
>Any leads (as in, links to download sites) would be much appreciated.
>(By the way, I am primarily interested in PC architecture and related
>operating systems; but any white papers on the Mac might be
>interesting for general background, and for comparison.)
>
>P.S. If you want to e-mail direct, you can find my e-mail address by
>visiting the Web site indicated in my sig, below.
>
>Steve O.
>
>
>"Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs.
>www.SpyingOnTheCollegeOfYourChoice.com


"Spying On The College Of Your Choice" -- How to pick the college that is the Best Match for a high school student's needs.
www.SpyingOnTheCollegeOfYourChoice.com
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
September 14, 2004 2:01:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Here in comp.os.linux.misc, Steven O. <null@null.com> spake unto us, saying:

>And I'll still take any leads on those white papers, if anyone can
>suggest anything that might even be close.

The web site that I suggested earlier:

http://cma.zdnet.com/book/upgraderepair/

is not a bad summary for its time period (it only goes through earlier
generations of PII processors), and it really isn't that lengthy.

Please don't dismiss it arbitrarily. This chapter in particular is a
very nice summary of "Bus Slots and I/O Cards" as its title suggests:

http://cma.zdnet.com/book/upgraderepair/ch05/ch05.htm

WRT your second request (for bits of information about the general
concepts of operating systems, etc), I've found that the various case
studies in various editions of Andy Tananbaum's Operating Systems book
(at least the two or three that I've personally read) are specifically
intended to provide this sort of implementation-specific information.

His OS book is well worth reading if you have interest in the subject.

>I'd like to know about the layers within the operating system, the
>boot process, how multitasking is handled, and any other generally
>relevant issues.

Even something as simple as task scheduling or memory management will
differ greatly even between various Windows flavors (i.e., Windows 95
versus Windows NT), and other operating systems that are able to run on
the "standard" x86 platform such as CTOS, OS/2, PC/GEOS, or Solaris can
be different from Microsoft platforms in a plethora of ways.

FWIW, once you develop an understanding of the x86 architecture and the
bevy of hardware and software architectures which are covered under
that convenient umbrella term, I would be quite interested in reading
your synopsis of the subject... A shorter summary is needed, IMO.

--
-Rich Steiner >>>---> http://www.visi.com/~rsteiner >>>---> Eden Prairie, MN
OS/2 + eCS + Linux + Win95 + DOS + PC/GEOS + Executor = PC Hobbyist Heaven!
WARNING: I've seen FIELDATA FORTRAN V and I know how to use it!
The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then.
September 15, 2004 1:19:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.os.linux.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Steven O. wrote:

> I've been following the responses to my original query, and -- with
> all due respect to everyone here, and acknowledging your general good
> intentions -- I respectfully disagree with virtually all of you.
>
> I make my living doing technical writing, and I've documented some
> very advanced technologies, especially in telecomm. I've written 100
> and 200 page reference manuals that explored and explained the
> detailed nitty gritty of software APIs, communications protocols,
> messaging systems, and even register-level functionality in ASICs;
> and I've also written five to ten page white papers that conveyed the
> essential principles of exactly the same systems.

I too have read the replies here and was surprised no-one mentioned any of
the sources I used during my stint studying computer engineering :) 

IEEE's "Spectrum" magazine has many good articles over the years on the new
technologies that drive PC's as they have evolved. They (IEEE) also have
the engineering docs that chip/peripheral/software developers use to design
new equipment etc (for ratified standards anyway...which covers most of
your original questions). Intel and IBM also have printed white-papers
(never seen them online) which would also answer a lot of your questions
regarding the hardware.

For architectural design of Linux/Windows etc, I can only recommend so more
googling :(  I'm a systems engineer and build kick-ass hardware foor the
software guys - beyond tuning the OS and providing the infrastructure, I'm
not a lot of help.

<yoda>A programmer am not I.</yoda>

Do some digging around the IEEE web site and maybe some googling of the
Spectrum articles. A letter (ye olde paper-and-stamp variety....remember
those? :p ) or e-mail to Intel/IBM for their printed docs might prove
fruitful too.

Another avenue might be to visit a University library - at least the Uni
where I studied had hard copies of all this stuff going back to the late
80's and electronic format (indexed PDF's) for the earlier stuff. Problem
is you need to be an enrolled student or member of the faculty to access
most of it....see how you get on.

Cheers, and good luck!

James
--
"The Computer made me do it."
!