Subject: Re: Alpha motherboard
To: Niklas Hallqvist <>
From: Chris G Demetriou <Chris_G_Demetriou@BALVENIE.PDL.CS.CMU.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 08/31/1995 09:20:41
[ the correct place for this is port-alpha, but... ]

> I've heard of a DEC alpha motherboard called sth like AXP PCI 33.  I
> don't know much about it, does anyone here know of it?

I know what it is.  Or at least, a bit about it.  8-)

> Is it possible
> to run NetBSD on it,

Not yet.  If it's got the OpenVMS/DEC UNIX boot proms, then "yes, it
should be possible."  If it's got only the ARC console (for NT), then
"no, not easily."

> if not, what is misiing?

(1) a tiny bit of frobbing to make function pointers happy, then,
depending on the exact details of the system, zero or more of:

(2) new PCI configuration+pio+memory+dma+interrupt functions 

(3) new console configuration code,

Of those, the only one that's likely to be a problem is the "interrupt
functions" -- everything else is pretty easy.

I figure (from past experience porting to a different systype),
given reasonable docs, understanding of the existing code, etc.:

Things are likely to be running, to some degree, within a day of
you starting work on it.  Things are likely to be working within
2 or 3 days.  (1 day == write everthing, 2 days == figure out
bugs in your interrupt handling code.  8-)

> I may put some work
> into it, if it's not too much that needs to be done.

Two other people have volunteered to work on it, but since they've
been "working on it" for a couple of weeks and i've not heard anything
from them, i give that a "low confidence" rating.

If you can put the machine someplace on the 'net, and set it up with a
serial console, and give me an account, i could probably just do the
port myself.  8-)