Subject: Re: NetBSD hardware upgrade path?
To: None <amiga@NetBSD.ORG,>
From: Donn Cave <>
List: amiga
Date: 02/19/1996 12:20:48
I was in about the same position a couple of years ago when I decided to
get onto NetBSD.  Same 16Mhz CPU, less memory - 1 + 1, not 2 + 2, and the
little 52 Mb Quantum.  I bought the memory, got a graphics card, and left
the CPU alone.

Static column ZIPs were not cheap then either.  I bought 12 Mb worth.
A faster CPU on a card with cheaper memory would have been nice, but
whether it's really worth it to boost the CPU clock depends on what you
have in mind - if this is going to be a 3D rendering engine, you better
do that.  For my purposes, the 16Mhz 030 is enough.  The advantage with
the stock hardware is that things tend to keep working, no hassle ...
maybe that's true with some of the cards, who knows.  At one point I had
myself on the list to get a 40Mhz Warp 68040, but I chickened out, and
have heard lots of odd little things come up about that card and about
running a 68040 with other hardware.

On the other hand, the graphics card is a giant step up.  I got a Retina BLT Z3,
but even a regular Zorro II no-blitter Retina is magnificent compared to the
standard hardware on NetBSD and X11.  (Of course if you want to see that, you'll
have to think a little beyond that 4Mb minimum RAM.)  It's also good for
AmigaDOS.  My 1950 monitor just died and I replaced it with a nice 15" DEC
tube last week, I'm running Workbench right now at 800x600 @75Hz, enough
to be typing in a full 80x24 window with a topaz 11 font.  All the software
I use works fine (I don't use anything particularly exotic that way, though.)

So there you go, probably just proof that it takes all kinds, what's good
for me is not necessarily what you want.  If you're really interested in
UNIX, you should seriously consider a PC.  You can run Linux, 3 flavors of
BSD, Mach + Hurd maybe, VSTA and all kinds of cool things, and you can get
the fast CPU and SIMM configuration you're talking about at very competitive
prices at the local mall.  Meanwhile your Amiga can do what it's good at,
and I think with less than half the resources you'll find that it's still
more useful.  NetBSD is not exactly the Amiga's forte, even for the A3000.

	Donn Cave, University Computing Services, University of Washington