Subject: couple-o-things...
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Chuck Van Tilburg <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/02/1995 10:10:56
System: NetBSD-current (7/27/95) running on 486DX2/66 (80 at home) 
	16 MB RAM, VLB 5428 (and 5424) Cirrus video, VLB IDE I/O,
	210 MB IDE HD, Sparcstations still running 1.0, problems noted
	are reported only for intel CPU machines.

First, KUDOS:

	I wish to express my warmest appreciation to all who have 
	and continue to contribute to the NetBSD effort.  I use 
	the system at work and at home.  Long live BSD!  I really 
	admire those portmasters (and other contributors) that can 
	deal with possibly very frustrating situations, problems, 
	and people.  We all know all of this is volunteer and pretty 
	much do-it-yourself-or-don't-expect-much, but then there is 
	the community that is a distributed environment of skills 
	and interests that is a unique and exciting dynamic situation 
	with a lot of possibilities; who knows what is out there?
	You gotta ask!

Disclaimer (who am I):

	I am an employee of Oberlin College in Ohio.  I work half
	time for both the Psychology department and Computer 
	Science adding up to a full time job.  Thus I do not have
	a lot of 'non-fire-mode' time or composure left to deal
	with a lot of nitty-gritty kernel hacking as of yet, but
	I'm working on it as I certainly have the interest.  We 
	run a grand total of about 75 peices of various equipment 
	in CS and about 20 in psych for which I am directly 

	I/We have been using NetBSD 1.0 for the past year (almost 
	exactly) and have recently upgraded all machines to 
	-current.  I have NetBSD installed on 15 PCs and 4 
	Sparcstations at work and one PC at home.  Most of the
	machines are intel based and employed supporting a 
	teaching lab intended to retain non-traditional students.

	So far, I use the home machine to build stuff for work
	and personal uses and experiment with changes before I do 
	them at work.

a) For the extremely largest part, NetBSD works great!

b) Since seems to exist, have there been any 
	organizational changes wrt any kind of body to which
	one can send donations?  Does such make sense yet or
	at all?  It would seem that a GNU-type organizational
	base (even a minimal one) would be good in terms of 
	collecting machines (or at least disk drives) upon 
	which to try/run/develop/centralize appropriately the 
	ports and/or at least provide a yearly gathering of 
	some sort for the community.

c) Anybody tried a MediaVision Reno portable CDROM drive (v2.03)?  
	Claims to be scsi-2 double speed, but if I try to mount a 
	data CD or a data CD is in the drive at boot time, my 
	buslogic 445S VLB card goes into lala land (and stays 
	there; a warm boot after crash won't fix it; needs reset 
	button) and the drive seems to spin down and also sounds
	like it is trying many times to do whatever it has been
	commanded to do.  I have hacked in the LUN override for it, 
	and I have tried changing system speeds which results in
	a more informative boot-time message wrt a data CD in the
	drive that says fatal non-media error with a bunch of
	zeros, a 09, and then five more sets of 00.  Kernel panic 
	messages are that bt0 has timed out and then bt0 not accepting 
	commands.  Can someone detail the mount process?  From what 
	I have discerned wading through the code, not even the 
	capacity inquiry (which is the first command done?!  Why
	is this even needed?) succeeds and may be (or a part of) the 
	problem (for data but not audio?; audio cds don't have a 
	problem during boot probe; numbers are actually printed about 
	capacity if memory serves)  I haven't tried a compile or use of 
	xcdplayer for audio but the drive works just great under 
	DOS/WINDWOES with Corel and with a paraSCSI+ with its drivers 
	on a laptop.

d) Our crop of NetBSD machines mostly used for an educational lab at 
	work exhibit some strange 'freezes', some recoverable, some 
	not.  It would seem a remote telnet 'unfreezes' the machines 
	in some cases.  Has anyone else noticed this and have any 
	theories as to what is going on?  These machines have 
	NC2000 ethernet cards and are completely relying on the net 
	for non-OS (and some minimal OS space; share) disk space.  I 
	use the -a4,-M,-d flags with NFS and the server is an Ultrix 
	4.3A machine.  There are Novell servers (and possibly 
	macintoshes) on the subnet (certainly on the campus net) with 
	these things; could this be confusion wrt unknown protocol 
	packets? This does not seem to occur on machines (same 
	configuration) on other subnets.  Yes, I am fully aware the 
	'freezes' could be due to total network traffic, but not that 
	result in crashes or NFS servers claimed to be unresponsive for 
	large (~5 minutes) periods of time.

e)  I'd just like to echo the comments made by
	someone else regarding these directory deletions/recreations
	and add the observation that the messages I get from CVS 
	through majordomo don't seem to correspond very closely in 
	time (usually takes more than a day) with the SUPs that I 
	do at 6am EST daily.  Can someone detail the whole process 
	of the sup updates and what to expect in terms of SUP; is 
	supping every day silly?  etc. etc.


Charles C. Van Tilburg
Computer Systems Technician
Computer Science Program			216-775-8077/8064/0504 -->
Oberlin College		 				office(morning)/
131 Severance Hall					office(afternoon)/
Oberlin, Ohio, 44074					home.