Subject: Re: Just what is going on here
To: None <port-hp300@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Fletcher Christian <Fletch2@ibm.net>
Date: 09/16/1996 19:38:18
** Reply to note from Jason Thorpe <email@example.com> 09/15/96 11:54pm
First up, I'd like to say that my post was not intended to be a flame, it may have
come over more grouchy than I'd intended because I wrote it *Very* early
this morning after being up all night with stomach flu. So if anyone was offended
I'd like to appologise in advance.
> On Mon, 16 Sep 1996 07:16:32 EST
> Fletcher Christian <Fletch2@ibm.net> wrote:
> > With so much HP stuff becoming landfill I would have thought that
> > getting hardware information out there would be a priority. Each guy
> > who realises that it's worth his while to pluck an HP out of a skip is
> > potentially the Jason Thorpe of the future :-)
> > The unfortunate truth of the matter is that at the moment is isn't worth
> > anyones time to rescue one of these machines. For a start there is no
> > way to boot one unless you already have NetBSD working on another
> > platform. I have a number of computers running a variety of OS's if I
> > realy look into rbootd and the NET2 code I'm sure I could do
> > something. The question is should I have to go to all that trouble?
> That's not strictly true... Scott Reynolds, Mike Hibler, and I helped a
> fellow netboot from a FreeBSD system ... I'm told that someone netbooted
> from a SunOS system (with the LBL multicast code, which includes bpf).
The problem is that to use the port as it stands you need.
1) An HP
2) A network card.
3) Another host to network off that supports NFS, TCPIP and BPF.
Really we should only need 1). I have 5 computers capable of networking
(in addition to the HP) running MacOS, tripos, OS/2 and Solaris if I can't do
it easily who can?
> It would be nice if someone were to do the work to rbootd to make it work
> on non-bpf systems ...
What is the story about this? I tried to get some information on BPF from a
number of sources and the consensus seems to be that it is a tool for packet
monitoring on the network (ie used for debugging). If the rboot stuff is now
well understood why is BPF still needed.
> > I think the problem is that there is a massive difference between the
> > guys running the porting effort and the first time user. From reading
> > the group I would say that people like Jason have 2 or 3 different
> > machines all net capable and at least a working HPUX or
> > NetBSD machine to boot off. In addition they have several years of
> > HP experience and are frankly of Guru or SuperGuru status in Unix
> > hacking :-) The way the OS installation is handled is designed for these
> > people. IF you don't have the capacity to netboot then you are out of
> > luck.
> It is true that I have several systems at home... I'm a bit of a computer
> buff (umm, duh :-) with an affinity for hardware that people consider
> obsolete... (Hey, it still works, right?) When I started hacking
> NetBSD/hp300, there weren't very many of us (umm, 5?), and we sort of
> relied on whatever we happened to have around (in my case, HP-BSD 1.7).
The number of computers was not supposed to be a dig, I have several machines at
home (at least 5 "modern" systems and countless working 8 bit
machines doing all sorts of minor tasks). I agree with you about if it works use it.
My point was that the netload option only realy works if you are in a computer
rich environment. If you're not then you have problems. The fact that the
installation method IS netbooting (as opposed to a media based boot) emphasises
that the originators of the port are in a computer rich environment.
What I would ask is this. Suppose you pulled a 380, 9144 and a 7958 out of a skip
but had no access to any other computer, can you load the OS?
> > > The installation notes say that this will be fixed but unfortunately this
> > has NO priority since the leaders of this effort already have working
> > systems. I would offer to help, but I can't get the OS on my machine.
> Please don't make false assumptions ... The fact is that I _have_ been
> working on making tape booting work.
Ok to quote my managers lets look at your "opertunities" :-)
> But, the combination of a flaky HP-IB tape drive,
Is this flaky as in a bad unit or is this a unit design problem? Being in
Europe I can't help with a bad unit (other than point out a shop in Montreal
Canada with lots of 9144's) but analysis of the design of the tape drive
may be possible once I've sorted out my logic analyser.
> a very short supply of usable tapes,
The same store in Canada has lots of SH tapes too. Better than that I know of a
place in England with boxes and boxes of NEW HP 1/4" tapes marked
"Preformated for use on HP systems" So far I haven't picked any up because
it doesn't say WHICH systems. If you can send me the HP part numbers for the
useable tapes I will send you some new ones if they are ok and it helps the effort.
>and not a lot of time to spend on it means that it just hasn't been finished...
That I can't help with. :-)
> post-1.2 sources, I've done a fair bit of work to the boot code (the same
> boot block will net or disk boot, and is _very_ close to tape booting).
About the HP tapes. Does anyone know what the story is?? Are the mechanisms
the same as standard QIC02 1/4" drives (ie are they only formated diferently) or
are ther actual hardware differences? Does anyone know if it's possible to format
standard 1/4" cartridges to allow them to work in place of the rare HP ones?
> > > Anyway I have an offer. If people will send me what little hardware
> > data they have I'll start to compile a hardware FAQ. I'll need help
> > because I've only seen 2 or 3 of these machines but I'll do all the admin
> > and compilation and posting. This is all I can donate to the project
> > because I can't get the damned OS on my machine. Now once we have
> > some hardware data AND an OS you dont HAVE to netboot I think
> > we can start making progress.
> If you have any machine capable of being an NFS server, and a tape on
> which you can dd SYS_INST, you don't _have_ to netboot, you know. The
> installation notes mention that you can load the miniroot tool from tape,
> but that it's only capable of reading the miniroot image from an NFS
> server. If that part of the notes isn't clear enough, _please_ let me
> know so I can update the documentation... (I do try really hard...)
Thanks I'll look into this.
> Anyhow, if you're serious about maintaining a NetBSD/hp300 FAQ, I'd love
> to have the assistance.
I'm serious, but to be honest I was more intent on an HP hardware FAQ
than a NetBSD one. The reason is that a HW FAQ is principly a compilation
and editing effort since no one person can have access to all the available
hardware anyway. Software FAQ's realy need the author to know a lot about
the software because he WILL receive questions about it. In a lot of peoples minds
the FAQ editor IS the expert on that subject. Until I have more familiarity
with NetBSD I wouldn't realy feel comfortable as FAQ editor.
HOWEVER I would be willing to do the donkey work of compiling and
maintaining a HP300/NetBSD FAQ if someone with more experience
proof read and co authored it.