Date of Award

Spring 5-2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Alonzo Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


Currently in the world, computers are used in order to do numerous actions to benefit humanity at large. Part of the computer power is used within the realm of personal computers workstations, which is the most widely used type of computer. However, in a lot of ways, the current computer is inefficient. Much of the computer buying populace buy newer computer systems that scientists in the 1970s and 1980s could only dream of but use an average of only 20-30% of its full processing capabilities during its operation. In other words, many beginner and novice users simply don't use its full capabilities; a person does not need a computer operating at 2.80 GHz [gigahertz] (2,800 MHz [megahertz]. a very fast clock speed, to play Solitaire or browse a text page on the Internet. For those purposes, a 350 MHz computer is sufficient. With the above comparison in mind, 2.45 GHz (or 2,450 MHz) of the clock speed is simply used to speed up the process. A benchmark is needed for a full comparison, but currently this a very wasteful use of resources, since newer computers more often need more electricity to power that much speed, which requires that more thermal discharge (i.e., heat) needs to be exhausted out of computer systems since heat is the "natural enemy" of most electronic. Also, some expert users would like to go above the ordinary clock speed capabilities of their processor, but do not have an easy-to-use utility fir doing so. How can user easily minimize the amount of inefficiency and waste used by the newest personal computer dynamically by operating the computer within its needed capability and nothing more, while still allowing for advanced users to tweak the computer as they will as well as prohibiting the dynamic changes being made for the times that maximal computing power is necessary? To provide for both of these solutions, the concept and study of "Dynamic Modifications of Basic Input/Output System Attributes via the Operating System for Intelx86 Architecture Personal Computers" was created. Via thorough research and study into the technology of the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) for the typical consumer personal computer, this study formed a conceptual basis for arriving to the solution to this problem. Also, this study deals with one of the most important pieces of software inside of the computer: the software, or "firmware" for the BIOS. The solutions include user applications for manipulating BIOS characteristics, or in layman's terms, "tweeking" the BIOS, through consumer operating systems: changing the structure of the BIOS to support the greater integration of external devices to the computer, such as manipulability-capable power supplies; and the discussion of using newer technology and its limitations to solving the problems presented by the BIOS structure on a personal computer, including a technology to replace the BIOS concept, called project Tiano, by Intel Corporation.