[MUD-Dev] Gearing up against GEAR

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Sun Jul 22 23:15:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Rickey

> To be more specific, it messes with the 18 tick per second system
> clock used by all PC's to figure out when "now" is (this is
> entirely separate from the bus and processor "clocks", which are
> used to synchronize data transfers internally, this is the only
> true "clock" in the computer).  This is one of the most
> standardized pieces of legacy technology in the system, dating
> back nearly unchanged to the original IBM 8080 based systems.

> Basicly, the PC thinks time is passing 2, 4, 8...256 times as fast
> as it actually is.  Everything synched to this real-time clock is
> therefore done that much more often and that much faster.  One of
> the consequences (and the only one easily detected by the server)
> is a drastically increased packet rate from the client.  However,
> anyone relying on this behaviour for detection should consider
> that making the system drop most of the excess traffic is entirely
> possible.

> I might add, on many motherboards this can be changed in hardware,
> although it would take much more technical knowledge to do than it
> takes to run the GEAR software (it would involve bypassing a few
> pins on the BIOS).

This makes me wonder if future versions of Windows will have ways to
determine if some other program is messing with the clock.  Sounds
like the job for an OS process or something that might be
detrimental to the health of the OS if mucked with might be in
order.  Other than an OS level patch, I can't really see how it
could be defeated at the API layer.  It would be akin to messing
with the HAL layer of Win2K or the other Windows OSes in which case
Micorsoft programming preaches that the user need not worry about
such things.

I am sure something like this will grow in usage if it gives a
measurable advantage and doesn't trash your OS installation.  I am
very interested in keeping tabs on this.  Is the twister network the
main place to do so?

Derek

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