Subject: Re: Port performance comparison?
To: Andrew Reilly <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/27/1997 12:35:26
On Wed, 27 Aug 1997, Andrew Reilly wrote:

> On 27 Aug, David Maxwell wrote:
> [ A question that seems silly on the face of it, but prompts
>   me to ask one I've been wondering about for some time. ]
> What is current Macintosh hardware (that can run NetBSD)
> like, and do they make reasonable NetBSD platforms?

Do you mean PowerMac's? They don't run NetBSD yet, as the powerpc port is
very OpenFirmware based, and Apple's OpenFirmware is a little different.

One of the original mac68k porters mentioned he was going to dig into his
PowerMac next month. So that might change soon. :-)

68k macs run ok. Some things are good to great (full lkm support, can
share programs w/ other m68k ports, 020, 030, 040 support), while others
aren't doing so well (bad LC040 support, limited video support, problems
w/ 93 & later macs, etc).

> I did some driver level work on a Mac (plus) back in about
> 1987, and it seemed to me that the only interrupt in the box
> was associated with the horizontal retrace on the video
> controller, and everything was polled from there.  That
> seemed a poor option for a real operating system, so I
> assume they've changed the basic idea.  Is this the case?

That's the only interrupt exported to programs. 68k Macs have 3 interrupt
levels, from the SCC (serial), from VIA2 & SCSI & NuBus, and from VIA1 &
ADB & the clock. They are at level 4, 2, and 1 respectively. Cheep wiring,

> Is there an X server for Mac graphics systems?

PowerPC, no (since there's not a working port). 68k, yes. The distribution
supports monochrome, and there are patches which let NuBus video cards
handle color. internal color's in the works.

> Would a 2nd hand Mac make a better or worse X terminal/Java
> station than, say a cheap 486 or Pentium PC?  How about
> amigas and ataris?

Java, I don't know. Probably a cheep PC'd be better. X term, I'm not sure.
If you just need multiple logins, dt (kinda like pcvt) is great. Plus, it
lets you copy & paste.

Take care,