GRUB discussion follow up ?

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As a result of the ongoing GRUB discussion, I have been trying to trace
the use of GRUB from BIOS to the end of GRUB stage 2.  I am particularly
interested in seeing how the MBR is used.

I can create a temporary copy of my MBR using:
# dd if=/dev/sdX of=/tmp/sda-mbr.bin bs=512 count=1

My question is; what program should I use to read this file in a human
meaningful way (hexdump??)?  I am trying to see how the MBR names
partitions; and how GRUB uses those names.  That is, are the partitions
named in MBR actually named hd0,0 (ie the binary or hex equivalent of
hd0,0) etc. or is there a further translation step required by GRUB?
Does the device/partitioning system used by MBR and GRUB have a name(s)?
(For Internet search purposes).  

I am interested in the hardware/software interface of booting.  Is there
anything additional I should know about this partition-locating process?

Regards Bill

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