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KernelTrap.org: Kernel Hacker Interview with Dave Jones

Jan 03, 2002, 12:07 (0 Talkback[s])
"Dave Jones currently lives in London, employed by SuSE as a Linux kernel hacker. In the past six months since he graduated from the University of Glamorgan he has gotten involved in an impressive range of kernel related projects, including Powertweak, x86info, OProfile and the Kernel Janitors Project. Additionally, he maintains a -dj patch for the 2.5 development kernel, helping to sync it with the stable 2.4 kernel as well as offering increased stability."
...There's no quick and dirty "Make my system fast" button. A misconception people have is that by loading up the GUI and turning everything on or up to its maximum their system will be faster, stronger, better..

The real answer would be to find out what the specific problem you are experiencing is, and then hopefully, you'll find one of the plugins provides the functionality to tune that feature. Use the IO elevator plugin to test for disk I/O improvements for example. The elevator plugin is a good example of why "everything on 12" approach is a bad thing, as by increasing the size of the buffer to be sorted may end up with a more linear path, the latency involved during the sort may have killed any potential win. So some things are a balancing act to be decided by the users preference.

Some other things are more obvious.. A badly programmed BIOS may forget to enable performance related bits in CPU registers perhaps. Or maybe PCI bridge registers. Sometimes (although become more rare these days), BIOS writers play it safe, and leave features in their "off" state if there's a known hardware compatability problem. Even if the system doesn't contain that hardware. So some of the more experiemental hardware based tweaks are of a "Trial and error" approach, although Powertweak can give warnings if certain tweaks shouldn't be applied on the current system, as it generally has a better view of the hardware than what the BIOS has been programmed to look at."

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