I must be ignorant of this need to idle a program to prevent overheating.
First thinking of the 8088/86, 80286, 80386, 80486 system boards of the
1980's and early 1990's.  I can't remember overheating caused by looping
programs.  I wrote BIOS calling assembly language routines that would poll
the keyboard awaiting input.  I did not observe such overheating.

My work after that time frame depended on the use of large shared libraries
that may have masked such issues.  I've not worked at the hardware level in
the Pentium series CPU.  What if anything has changed since that time?

What mechanism of system board design would cause such behavior?  I want to
know the how of how can a system board overheat and need a software
intervention.  Can you offer any online links that discuss design issues
related to this overheating.

John S. Wolter

On Sat, Sep 11, 2010 at 5:24 PM, Christian Masloch <>wrote:

> All versions of DOS I know require the use of a TSR (like FDAPM, or
> MS-DOS's POWER) to idle correctly, or of a program that does the idling
> itself (I don't know any COMMAND.COM version that does so). However, as
> the flawed call usually will simply be called by idle-unaware software, an
> idle-aware handler of the call could provide correct idling. This
> particularly means that DOS can fix incorrect applications, if they call
> DOS, and that the BIOS can fix DOS (because DOS always calls the BIOS) and
> all applications that call the BIOS. Though I have not yet seen a BIOS that
> idles correctly (even on recent boards!), there might be some that do.
> Regards,
> Christian
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