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oops, no partition table

On 10/23/2008 09:55 AM, Gregory Boyce wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Oct 2008, Matthew Gillen wrote:
>> Mark J. Dulcey wrote:
>>> DOS is another story. FDISK clears at least the first sector of any
>>> partition it creates so that the partition will appear empty to the
>>> FORMAT program. I don't know whether that is also true of the partition
>>> tools in current versions of Windows.
>> Wow.  I'm flabbergasted.  Who was the genius that thought that up?  I know M$
>> has done some idiotic things, but that's right up there with keeping the
>> hardware clock in local time instead of UTC.  Let me guess: if the first
>> sector of the partition isn't zero-ed out, then FORMAT won't touch it, right?
> I'm guessing its to protect uknowledgeable people from each other.
> I could see someone "wiping" a dos machine by deleting the primary 
> partition.  You hand the machine to the next person, and the first thing 
> they would try is to add a partition.  This way they don't see the last 
> person's data.
I think this is more historical. The IBM PC originally only had floppy 
WRT: Local Time vs. UTC time. Unix was originally designed as a time 
sharing system. The developers Thompson, Ritchie, Khernigan realized 
that it would be used in different time zones, so not only was it 
designed to use UTC, but it was designed to use epoch time (specifically 
the number of seconds since midnight, Jan 1, 1970. All had also been 
involved with Multics. It was never intended to be a single user desktop 
system. The IBM PC was intended as a standalone desktop system, and in 
that context, local time was appropriate. MS-DOS itself was a very 
lightweight "operating system". At that time data communications was 
pretty much limited to a maximum of 1200 bps over phone lines. 
Networking was never part of MS-DOS, and was added to some versions 
Windows 3.1. By that time, local time was cast in concrete.  
Unfortunately, the designers of Windows NT did not change this.

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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