Subject: Re: Alpha Recommendation Query
To: John C. Hayward <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 01/21/1997 18:01:59
>    We are in the process or distributing our network services on various
> machines.  Since NetBSD is well connected with Sendmail, DNS and so on
> we are considering using some Alphas running NetBSD for these services.
> With last falls sale of varioius Multia's we were thinking of using
> some of these inexpensive Alphas for doing various things and having a
> spare around to plug in as a replacement.  
>    Last Fall it seemed that the 166MHZ multia was going for $800 and in
> smaller supply the 233MHZ for $1100.
>    Any suggestions for what might be a good Alpha which NetBSD is
> supported which would be good for such a pupose?
>    If not we will probably get some Pent-Pros and put the i386 port
> up.

So, Multias, etc., are (in my experience, at least) sturdy little
boxes, but ... rather slow.

If you're thinking machines comparable to Pentium Pro systems, i'd say
you're looking for systems with either a high-end 21064A cpu (e.g. the
faster versions of the AlphaStation 255), or with a low-end 21164[A]
(e.g. the AlphaStation 500 and 600, or the eb164/pc164
motherboard-based systems).

AlphaStation 200/400/255 systems are my primary development machines,
and they work great.

AlphaStation 500 and 600 systems work, but their built-in SCSI
controllers aren't supported, and so you need to add an NCR 53c810
SCSI board (an '815 board, or a board based on any other member of the
53c8xx family _will not_ due, since the firmware won't recognize it).

The eb164/pc164 systems are being mass-marketed these days.  They
_almost_ work with NetBSD.  (NetBSD boots on them, but for some
reason, just about all binaries croak ... rather quickly.)  I'm in the
process of trying to debug that, now.