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Re: Re: Can a machine test itself? + other issues
> Every computer system needs some kind of firmware to interface the
> operating system to the physical hardware. The BIOS just happens to be
> the PC name for that function.
Point well taken. However, my perception is that the use of the term "BIOS"
suggests an assumption that the system is, in fact, a PC, and not hardware
designed for the purpose, with consequent presence of all sorts of stuff not
related to voting, both hardware and software, and, therefore, many more
chances for hidden problems. I am accustomed to designing systems with
absolutely no unused components, hardware or software, to reduce the cost
of validation and minimize the risk of some wayward component adversely
affecting the system.
Also, the bootstrap and ROM monitor (which, i believe, is what a PC's BIOS
is) are now often linked with the application code on embedded systems.
And, a BIOS is generally perceived as a black box that can be substituted
with any other BIOS designed for the same generation of hardware; hence, this
thread's original author's comment, "I have been inquiring about a foolproof
way to verify a BIOS. I'm not sure that one exists."
Every program has at least one bug and can be shortened by at least one
instruction -- from which, by induction, one can deduce that every
program can be reduced to one instruction which doesn't work.