Subject: netbsd on laptops -- what's the experien
To: None <>
From: Ian McDonnell <100116.1125@CompuServe.COM>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 06/21/1994 14:14:00
To: >

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	  Tue, 21 Jun 1994 14:15:32 -0400
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Subject: netbsd on laptops -- what's the experience like?
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 1994 14:15:30 -0400
From: Ian McDonnell <>

Has anyone any experience of running netbsd on a laptop?  I have
taken a bootable floppy to a few stores and attemped to boot it
using the mach/netbsd bootstrap.  Some boot ok, others load the
kernel and then hang, others (IBM ThinkPad) don't even recognised
the boot floppy.

These laptops have tiny displays, but I thought it might be bareable
if I could get X11 to run with a full 1M frame buffer and pan about
with the 640x480 viewport.  I'm trying to get an idea of what LCD
display chip sets are out there and how/if it's supported by the
current X11 drivers or whether work is needed to get it running.
Also use in VGA/SVGA modes with external monitors and build-in
point device support.

Another concern is the use of the power management, PCMCIA port
hooks and I/O & video busses.  Does anyone know anything about
these?  I imagine the power stuff is just a control/status register
somewhere.  The PCMCIA peripherals have suspend/resume hooks, which
I guess enables a driver to completely save and restore the hardware
state for power down or standby modes.  Some machines have a soft
'power' on/off switch, this must be a interrupt or some such input.
Some have slow clock modes to save power.  I wonder if these features
have propriatory h/w interfaces which are unified with BIOS s/w
interfaces, or if there are h/w standards.

Talking to the dealers doesn't yield any real technical info.  I
called IBM to get help on the ThinkPad boot failure and I just got
the "IBM sets the standard, others have to be compatible" message,
with no info as to why their box was different.

Is there someone out there who's privy to the h/w specs and standards,
who can advise [a unix hacker at AMI, Phoenix, MS, IBM...]?  


PS: Sorry about the CompuServe address, but I'm away on 'vacation'
for a while.