Subject: NetBSD advocacy at work.
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Dave Burgess <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/05/1997 17:48:34
I forwarded this message to one of the author's in InfoWorld who wrote a epic poem
about NT being multiplatform.  Just thought I'd share it with the choir.  A few of
these a month and pretty soon people will block my E-Mail.  I just wanted him to
know that NT on two platforms does not necessarily make a system multiplatform.

<Forwarded message below>

Imagine my surprise when I noticed an article about 'being multiplatform'. 
Finally, I thought, an article about the most seriously multiplatform 
operating system available at any price: NetBSD.  Based on the pioneering 
work of the University of California at Berkeley, via the unencumbered Net2 
release, NetBSD presents a common operating system for about 22 different 
hardware platforms, from the PC to VAX and on to the PowerPC.  Developing 
code for one of the NetBSD platforms ensures source-code level 
compatibility with all of the other hardware that NetBSD currently runs on. 
Machines of the same hardware type (The Macintosh/Amiga/Atari/680x0 based 
systems) are even intercompatible at the executable level.

In addition to multiplatform support, NetBSD provide the capability to 
execute most programs from the original manufacturer's operating system 
natively *(see note), as well as (on the 80x86 family) providing Linux and 
FreeBSD APIs.  Java, DOS, Windows, and Win32s APIs are also in the works.

{Ed.Note to the NetBSD crowd - I understand that there may not be APIs for 
all of these thing built into NetBSD.  Add-on APIs count too, as far as 
I'm concerned. }

This feature so enthralled DEC that they recently released NetBSD for the 
ARM32 as THE operating system for their recent ARM-32 machine, with the 
implication that it is becoming more and more committed to providing this 
highly reliable free operating system (which is unfettered by the GNU 
public virus) for many (if not all) of their new systems.  Most of their 
legacy hardware is already supported by NetBSD versions, so extending it to 
the new ones is relatively easy.

*Note:  Some executable require access to shared libraries which are not 
available to the public.  These executables may not operate correctly due 
to these manufacturer limitations.  If the libraries are available, the 
programs will nearly always execute correctly.

If and when NetBSD is capable of running NT executables, the fears most 
network managers (as expressed in your article) will cease to be an issue, 
since NetBSD will provide a framework into which any program for a given 
hardware architecture will operate.  NT on the Alpha was once expected to 
be the foothold of multiplatform support in the marketplace.  With Microsoft's 
abandonment of the Alpha, the only real contenders for the multiplatform 
support are Linux (with three platforms supported) and NetBSD (with 22).

Dave Burgess                   Network Engineer - Nebraska On-Ramp, Inc.
*bsd FAQ Maintainer / SysAdmin for the NetBSD system in my spare bedroom
"Just because something is stupid doesn't mean there isn't someone that 
doesn't want to do it...."