When you shut down or restart your computer, you catch a quick glimpse of various processors and servers shutting down. If you're quick, you'll catch a glimpse of syslog_daemon before it closes.
syslog_daemon is a simple Be application that sits
waiting for Be messages - from applications, servers, and the kernel - and conditionally writes them to a file, serial port,
or the standard error stream. By default each
message gets a time stamp; the daemon can also log the caller's thread ID
and an identifier string. Furthermore, each message can be given a priority.
You can see the work of syslog_daemon in
boot/var/log/syslog, which looks something like this:
Be Intel Pentium Kernel version of Jun 1 1998 time 18:14:55
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: (C) Copyright 1991-97 Be, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: Total Memory 64 MB
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: CPU features: 0
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: IBM PC Compatible platform
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: CPU speed is 200MHZ
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: PCI: initiating new PCI scan
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: bus 0 device 0 function 0: vendor 8086 device 7030 revision 02
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: class_base = 6 class_function = 00 class_api = 00
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: line_size=00 latency_timer=20 header_type = 00 BIST=00
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: rom_base=00000000 pci 00000000 size=00000000
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: cardbus_CIS 00000000 subsystem id 0000 subsystemn vendor id 0000
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: interrupt_line=00 interrupt_pin=00 min_grant=00 max_latency=00
BOOT 'kernel'[-]: base reg 0: host addr 00000000 pci 00000000 size 00000000, flags 00
and so on. Normally the messages are routine, but if you're having trouble with a specific application check the syslog to see if it has left any useful messages about what is going wrong.