Subject: Re: i386 bootselector changes
To: None <>
From: William Allen Simpson <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/23/2003 17:03:54
Frederick Bruckman wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, William Allen Simpson wrote:
> > To be honest, I don't think so....   It's always seemed better to me to
> > eliminate artificial distinctions about drives and volumes, and make
> > the entire system seem one seamless whole.  IMHO, more "unix-like".
> It wasn't seamless -- you'd press "F5" to get disk 2, "F6" to get disk
> 3, or "F7" to get disk 4, then you'd get the menu for the bootblocks
> on the other drive. Given that you can't have one menu for all
> partitions, it's more logical to have separate keys for drive and
> partition selection. 

Hmmm, I must be remembering some other bootloader.  I've only been using 
NetBSD again for a little more than a year now and have only two systems 
with multiple boot, that being merely DOS 6 and OpenBSD, and w98 and 
NetBSD -- for old data, so I rarely even turn them on.

It's been a long time since I tried more than 4 OS's on the same system 
(which I recall as DOS 6/WfWG3.1.1, RedHat 4.0 "Colgate", NetBSD 1.2.?, 
FreeBSD 2.2.?, and OpenBSD 2.3).

I have a few systems that go into diagnostic mode on F10, so I'd 
actually prefer 1-n there to avoid conflicts.

> When I first tried the new bootblocks with 3
> drives, I didn't understand what was going on at all, but I figured it
> out easily enough, and got used to it really quickly. Give it a try.
Since there are only 4 partitions on a drive, and rarely more than 2 
drives on a cable, and there's no need for any particular order or 
correspondence with the "slice"/partition #, I'd prefer 1-9,0,'-','=' 
for serial bootblocks, and the old F1, F2, ..., F12 for laptop/desktop.

To choose between the two schemes, I'd probably go with 1-n for 
consistency, to avoid BIOS conflicts.  But in any case, I prefer a 
single keystroke rather than tiered approach.
William Allen Simpson
    Key fingerprint =  17 40 5E 67 15 6F 31 26  DD 0D B9 9B 6A 15 2C 32