FBI agent Joe Renato trains and handles rookie agents who go undercover to solve crimes at all levels of Los Angeles' diverse society, interfacing with government and local law enforcement agencies. They come to him for help with both long-term and quick sting operations.

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2003-09-26

The Handler - Interrupt handler - Netflix

In computer systems programming, an interrupt handler, also known as an interrupt service routine or ISR, is a special block of code associated with a specific interrupt condition. Interrupt handlers are initiated by hardware interrupts, software interrupt instructions, or software exceptions, and are used for implementing device drivers or transitions between protected modes of operation, such as system calls. The traditional form of interrupt handler is the hardware interrupt handler. Hardware interrupts arise from electrical conditions or low-level protocols implemented in digital logic, are usually dispatched via a hard-coded table of interrupt vectors, asynchronously to the normal execution stream (as interrupt masking levels permit), often using a separate stack, and automatically entering into a different execution context (privilege level) for the duration of the interrupt handler's execution. In general, hardware interrupts and their handlers are used to handle high-priority conditions that require the interruption of the current code the processor is executing. Later it was found convenient for software to be able to trigger the same mechanism by means of a software interrupt (a form of synchronous interrupt). Rather than using a hard-coded interrupt dispatch table at the hardware level, software interrupts are often implemented at the operating system level as a form of callback function. Interrupt handlers have a multitude of functions, which vary based on what triggered the interrupt and the speed at which the interrupt handler completes its task. For example, pressing a key on a computer keyboard, or moving the mouse, triggers interrupts that call interrupt handlers which read the key, or the mouse's position, and copy the associated information into the computer's memory. An interrupt handler is a low-level counterpart of event handlers. However, interrupt handlers have an unusual execution context, many harsh constraints in time and space, and their intrinsically asynchronous nature makes them notoriously difficult to debug by standard practice (reproducible test cases generally don't exist), thus demanding a specialized skillset—an important subset of system programming—of software engineers who engage at the hardware interrupt layer.

The Handler - Constraints in time and concurrency - Netflix

For many reasons, it is highly desired that the interrupt handler execute as briefly as possible, and it is highly discouraged (or forbidden) for a hardware interrupt to invoke potentially blocking system calls. In a system with multiple execution cores, considerations of reentrancy are also paramount. If the system provides for hardware DMA, concurrency issues can arise even with only a single CPU core. (It is not uncommon for a mid-tier microcontroller to lack protection levels and an MMU, but still provide a DMA engine with many channels; in this scenario, many interrupts are typically triggered by the DMA engine itself, and the associated interrupt handler is expected to tread carefully.) A modern practice has evolved to divide hardware interrupt handlers into front-half and back-half elements. The front-half (or first level) receives the initial interrupt in the context of the running process, does the minimal work to restore the hardware to a less urgent condition (such as emptying a full receive buffer) and then marks the back-half (or second level) for execution in the near future at the appropriate scheduling priority; once invoked, the back-half operates in its own process context with fewer restrictions and completes the handler's logical operation (such as conveying the newly received data to an operating system data queue).

The Handler - References - Netflix