And there it is again. Two lines of description, and reality shifts and bends and the entire interrupt structure of NT leaps into my head fullformed. It's more than just data structures - it's the whole dataflow and direction of the system at the same time. I dig it up on Google and, yes, that's pretty much what I'd expected.
This is the gift (and occasionally curse) that I seem to have - extrapolation. I can look at a small part of an complex system, or an explanation of a small part, and come up with the rest of it . . . maybe it's not how it was originally designed, maybe it's not the best way, but it *works*. Even if I don't understand what's going on around (although often I end up understanding some of what's going on around just by watching the patterns). I don't know, maybe everyone does this - my experience talking with people leads me to believe they don't, at least not to this extent, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Unfortunately I'm unable to see what method Linux uses (there's a rather nice guide for WinNT, but this is the best I've yet seen for Linux. A quote: "This is a considerable improvement over the 4k-epsilon limit for older (2.2 and earlier) kernels. Moreover, this can be changed at runtime using the KERN_MAX_THREADS sysctl(2), or simply using procfs interface to kernel tunables". Uh, yeah! So's your mom! The astute reader will realize that this quote is from the second paragraph. Yes, that's as far as I got. Still, this looks like a good document - I may go over it in detail, I just wish I could find a version that's less technical) but I imagine it's at least somewhat similar.
On an entirely seperate conversation, but that I ran into while doing this: One person saying "Microsoft has cancelled support for Outlook Express!" Well, okay. I can actually believe that - it's a dumb move on their part, but hey. He recommends finding another email client and provides a link. I click the link, take four seconds to realize his email client is part of Mozilla, and instantly close the window.
Hrm. Why am I instantly closing the window? I figure out why. My first attempt at using Mozilla was horrible. The load time was glacial, the run time was glacial, the memory usage was astronomical, it didn't load pages correctly and the interface felt sticky. Browsing through their screenshots online indicates that they've improved the interface at least - my mom's experience on her computer makes me doubt whether the load time is fast enough yet. Outlook Express is nice because it loads in a fraction of a second. I consider this a Very Good Thing. Programs that take longer than that (unless they're games) bug me - so why does everyone feel obliged to add a splash screen? Bah.
Well, maybe I'll give it a try when Outlook Express starts irritating me.