Subject: Re: The wonderful world of heterogenous PC OSes
To: VaX#n8 <>
From: David Brownlee <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/28/1997 14:31:28
	It depends very much on what your needs are, whether you would
	leave machines on overnight, etc.
	If you're happy enough leaving a single machine on continually,
	juct locking/blanking the screen & coming back to whatever you
	were doing later then you have a perfect case to hang the modem
	off the back of that machine and make it your 'server', and to
	have a second machine for everything up to 'crash and burn'
	testing ("Oh its trashed my disks.. well I'm annoyed, but
	then again its not my server" :)

	You seem to be pretty much on track :)

		David/abs	david@{,,}

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On Sun, 26 Jan 1997, VaX#n8 wrote:

> Nontechnical:
> Hi.  While getting a second system up and running today, I was contemplating
> that I seem to be gathering one computer per OS.  This seemed rather silly
> to me, since one PC and a cool boot manager aught to do the trick, but I've
> begin to find out a couple of things:
> Some of them boot in profoundly dumb ways (these are mostly commercial ones)
> Some of them don't coexist peacefully
> Unix likes to stay running; named caches names and a reboot blows the
> cache away (I have an idea of sending it SIGINT and saving the /var/tmp
> file away in some kind of cache for next reboot, would that work?)
> Shutting down frequently leaves jobs half-finished.
> There's often no good recovery.
> There's not even a particularly good way to (for example) have Unix
> change personalities and start PPPing into somewhere else, acting like
> a different host (sendmail caches the hostname and you run into other
> problems, and of course a firewalled setup gets complicated).
> People like to have a box running; that way you can debug your problem
> with the help of the Internet, and if you screw up the boot process or
> partitioning, your important stuff is still safe.
> Therefore, it seems logical to have a Unix "server" which has most of
> the storage and media types, changes infrequently both hardware-wise
> and system-sw-wise, and has a very simple setup (e.g. no need in having
> 4 OSes on it).
> Is this consistent with other people's collected wisdom?
> Anyone have comments or solutions I may have overlooked?