Subject: Re: Intel Mini?
To: None <>
From: Johan A.van Zanten <>
List: port-i386
Date: 10/03/2006 19:10:24
> > "Jonathan A. Kollasch" <> wrote:
> > > I really can't see why anyone would want Mac hardware that's
> > > not significantly different than stuff that's often cheaper,
> > > and better supported by NetBSD.
> > 

On Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 04:41:50PM -0500, Johan A. van Zanten wrote:
> > 
> > Because one can run all sorts of commercial software without using M$
> > Windows.  Some people prefer OS X to Windows in terms of stability, lack
> > of malware, or look and feel.  Others prefer to give money to Apple
> > instead of Microsoft. And keep in mind you get a bunch of the FreeBSD
> > userland with OS X, which you do not with Windows.
> > 

"Jonathan A. Kollasch" <> wrote:
> Did you not catch my implied "to run NetBSD" premise?

  I think you may be missing a point that i probably made failed to
communicate in a clear fashion: With a Mac, one can *also* run Mac OS X.
With any other Intel-based PC-type hardware, one cannot run Mac OS X.  Why
would one want to run OS X or Windows?  First, there's a a lot of
commercial software that won't run on anything else. Second, a lot of
hardware is better supported, which is necessary or beneficial for
software like games or other 3D-intensive graphical software, PDA
syncronization, and so forth.

> It's still Not (Free) Unix.

Absolutely correct, and IMO, a major flaw.

> > Intel GMA 950
> Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not comparatively
> crap, not that NetBSD has DRI support anyway.

 And just because it's new does not necessarily mean it is comparatively
crap.  These are useless points if this discussion is to be productive.

  There was a recent a thread that suggested that there was not the
necessary functionality in the NetBSD (i386) kernel to make use of some
features in many graphics cards, such as 3D acceleration:

> None of this is not already available from PC vendors.

 Correct. The hardware is available from various vendors.  Apple hardware
is based on the same standards or devices as PCs (PCI, DDR, DDR2, SATA,
EIDE, Intel CPUs, Same video chips).

 The point i'm trying to get across to you is that Apple is -- in some
cases -- supporting these devices better than NetBSD is comparable PC
hardware.  Not a fact i'm happy with either, but denying what appears to
be the state of affairs won't help fix anything.

> Seriously, if you care about that stuff more than NetBSD, you don't
> belong here.

 Wow, way to be inclusive.  And people wonder why Linux has so many more
users than the BSDs.  In some ways, i do agree with your point -- i doubt
NetBSD will achieve the same sort of desktop functionality that OS X has
in the near future, with any hardware.  And so if someone cares "more"
about than other factors, then yes, they should probably be running some
other OS.  But this doesn't seem like a good point to emphasize, because
you're telling a bunch of people who care about desktop-ish functionality
to get lost.  Those are users who might have helped test new hardware,
find bugs, or maybe even contributed the occasional bit of useful code.

 I care enough about using NetBSD that my next step in setting up my first
x86 desktop will be to try a NetBSD/Xen kernel and a Linux guest domain to
see if i can get better support for the ATI Radeon card, for the few
applications that would benefit from such hardware acceleration.

 Perhaps you will just dismiss this as a preoccupation with something that
doesn't matter. But just because it doesn't matter to you, doesn't mean
it's without merit to others.

> What can I say, they have more resources than we do.

 My goal is not to get you to say something negative about NetBSD.  NetBSD
is my favorite OS.  Apple will probably almost always have more resources
than NetBSD.  They're a huge, international corporation, run by a
fanatic. But as i mentioned earlier, i think we must realistically assess
what the situation is in order to make improvements.

  You said you couldn't understand why someone would buy Apple hardware to
run NetBSD on.  I'm giving you reasons why, the main one being:

 The ability to boot a commercial OS (that isn't that Windows) and that
gives access to more commercial software and in some cases, better
supported hardware.

> {more random flames here}

Yeah, there's really only just so much time in the day. :)