Linux uses the PNPBIOS defined in "Plug and Play BIOS Specification Version 1.0A May 5, 1994" to autodetect built-in mainboard resources (e.g., parallel port resources).
If you would like the kernel to detect and allocate resources to your mainboard devices (on some systems they are disabled by the BIOS) say yes here. The PNPBIOS can also help prevent resource conflicts between mainboard devices and other bus devices. ACPI is expected to supersede PNPBIOS some day. Currently, they coexist nicely. If you have a non-ISA system that supports ACPI, you probably don't need PNPBIOS support.
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