Subject: Re: What I did on a snowy day in DC.
To: None <>
From: David Weaver <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 01/28/2000 16:15:43
On Thu, 27 Jan 2000, HerbalGypsy/justbob wrote:

I was just about to write a NetBSD/alpha install story for the list

// I had picked up this PC164/500 from sysmerica via ebay.  picked up a box

I picked up the same board, in the same place.  It is a really good board.  
It comes with a number of oscillators and a fan with a sensor in it to
keep it from overheating.  I had to change the clock jumpers and
oscillator myself.  It came set for 366MHz though the 500MHz processor was
already installed in socket 499.  I put in enough memory to fill the 256
bit wide memory bus, because I hear wider is better on the PC164.

One problem I had was that the PC164 does not implement the #PS_ON signal
from the ATX power supply.  Pulling the signal to ground with some
creative wire wrap solved that problem.  Another problem is the board does
not come with an ATX I/O plate for its unusual arrangement of ports.  
Since this is just cosmetic, I let it go.  Unless you have official Axxion
DL-17 case or some tin snips, you will have a big opening around your I/O

I put a 3Com Etherlink III (ISA) card in it and hooked up the serial port
as the console.  The upgrade from ARC to SRM 5.5 and the installation of
NetBSD/alpha 1.4.1 went well.

It is a great improvement over the i486DX4-100 I have been using!  Now the
i486 is an X workstation (soon to be diskless) with all the X clients run
on the Alpha.

I was a little disappointed that I couldn't run any version of Netscape on
it without a copy of the OSF/1 libraries.  Mozilla 1998 works, but has a
number of severe quirks and usability issues.  Mozilla M12 compiles with
some configuration changes, spewing out thousands of warnings about casts
from integers to pointers of different size.  But it won't link - it
complains about unresolved references in the various Mozilla library
files.  nm shows "U" for those symbols in the .so files, but shows "T" in
the .o files.  Probably an issue with the way the .so files are built, but
I'm not enough of a link format expert to know.

Anyway, it's probably all moot now with the happy announcement on this
very list that Compaq is distributing the OSF/1 libraries with its Linux
Netscape package.  I went to get it immediately, entering "NetBSD/alpha"
where they ask what version of Linux I'm running.

// My compliments to the 1.4.1 team.
// My compliments to the alpha port team!!

Add mine to that.  It is a really well built, well thought out, rock solid
operating system.

// Now i intend to see if I can get that bit of pppoe code running on the
// alpha!!

Making the Alpha a PPP and IP NAT gateway for my home network is my next

  David Weaver - Network Administrator - USA Connect