Subject: Re: Return of Son of Beneath The Planet of Connectix Virtual PC 1.0
To: Greg Earle <earle@isolar.Tujunga.CA.US>
From: Bob Nestor <email@example.com>
Date: 06/24/1997 19:45:59
Greg Earle reported:
>The bottom line, though, is that I don't think it's going to be practical
>in the long run to tell people "Oh yeah, you can run NetBSD under Virtual PC,
>but only if you run NetBSD-current with an SSTO floppy install disk that's
>had a custom SSTO kernel built for it with PCI configuration mode 1 forced".
VPC isn't the only system that "suffers" from this sort of thing. Look
at all the custom Kernels currently in use in the Mac68k Port effort.
Also the GENERIC i386 Kernel doesn't run well on a stock Hitachi
M-100D/810 laptop because of the way the APM code interacts with the
hardware (even when disabled). That doesn't mean it's impossible to get
NetBSD/i386 up and running, it just takes a little creativity. With all
the hardware now supported it's not practical to offer GENERIC support
that runs perfectly on all configurations, and users are encourgaged to
build their own custom Kernels. I think this is even stated in the i386
INSTALL document nowdays.
BTW, ethernet and floppy are just two of the methods available for
loading NetBSD. It's certainly possible to configure a Serial Port for
SLIP or PPP and download that way. And NFS sharing of a filesystem on a
56K PPP link over a Serial Port works in a pinch if you're _really_
>Just to add insult to injury, I tried the 1.2.1 dual-floppy install under
>VPC 1.0 and got the same result as before: hard error reading from the 2nd
>floppy after being asked to insert the INST-121.FS floppy, with a "panic:
>cannot mount root" and a reset of the Virtual PC.
Try reformatting a MacOS or UNIX floppy on a stock Gateway P133 under
Windows-3.11. I'm beginning to think _nobody_ does a good job of
handling floppies on any platform. Besides, this particular problem has
been reported by users running on real PC hardware too. It just may be
that the INST-121.fs floppy pushes the limits on some drives which makes
the new one disk installation a real winner for many users.
>So Virtual PC 1.0, for the moment at least, joins Apple's MAE 3.0update4
>on my emulator scrap heap, yet another victim of "It works perfectly right -
>well, 98% of the time". Sigh.
I'm sure there are a number of potential uses who would be more than
happy to make you an offer for your "slightly used copy". That might be
a better place for it than your emulator scrap heap. Many of us wouldn't
be running any OS if we expected 100% functionality. For instance
NetBSD/mac68k runs perfectly right on my system - well, ADB Direct isn't
complete yet, no color X, ethernet support is lacking for many standard
cards, 68LC040 support is marginal, .... But, all things considered, it's
perfectly right for me, and I suspect many will feel the same way about
VPC no matter what x86 code they run with it.