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Re: /etc/disktab on vax

On 07/01/2012 04:46 PM, David Brownlee wrote:
> On 1 July 2012 21:33, Dave McGuire <mcguire%neurotica.com@localhost> wrote:
>> On 07/01/2012 04:24 PM, John Nemeth wrote:
>>> On Nov 15, 10:39am, Dave McGuire wrote:
>>> } On 06/25/2012 07:10 AM, David Brownlee wrote:
>>> } >>> I hope support for my old VAX is still around when I finally get
>>> } >>> around to get it running again.  Linux just removed support for some
>>> } >>> of the older SPARC systems that I collect.
>>> } >
>>> } > That would be sun4c? Linux never really ran very well on it - they did
>>> } > a much better job on sun4m and later.
>>> }
>>> }   Very true.
>>> }
>>> } > I would not expect NetBSD/sparc sun4c support to be an issue going 
>>> forward :)
>>> }   It had better not.  The day NetBSD stops supporting sun4c is the day
>>> } it stops being NetBSD.
>>>      That's a little excessive.  Depending on the longevity of NetBSD,
>>> there will come a day when supporting sun4c will be utterly pointless.
>>> That doesn't mean NetBSD is no longer NetBSD just that it has evolved.
>>   I disagree.  There will come a day (and this day has come and went for
>> MOST people, but not all) when it's pointless to run a sun4c in
>> commercial production.  Many people run them for hobby purposes.
>>   So.  Shall NetBSD just decide to be a commercially-targeted OS that
>> only cares about what is new and shiny?  Speaking as a proud and happy
>> NetBSD user since v0.9 almost two decades ago, I feel that I can
>> reasonably assert that this has NEVER been what NetBSD is about.
>>   Loss of functionality is not "evolution".
> There my well come a day when a 32bit system with a 64 or at most 128M
> address space and the performance characteristics of a sun4c is no
> longer a viable platform for NetBSD. I do not see that happening in
> the near future, but its possible that in 20 years, or 40, or some
> even longer time it is no longer feasible to support such ancient
> hardware and still deliver what is expected for a modern OS.
> Coming from someone who is using NetBSD/vax and playing with
> NetBSD/dreamcast I can safely say I have hardware much closer on that
> curve than sun4c :)
> Still, I suspect NetBSD/sun4c support may outlast most of us on this list :)

  Very true.  NetBSD is a bloated pig now compared to what it was, say,
in the 1.x days.  It used to be SCREAMING fast.  Of course on a big
six-core i7 machine with 32GB of RAM, it's still screaming fast.  Twenty
years from now, it'll likely be a bloated pig on that six-core i7.

  The difference is important, though: That consumer-grade six-core i7
machine will most definitely not be functional in twenty years, while I
know of quite a few VAX-11/750s (~30 years old) that are still running
just fine.  That was one of NetBSD's earliest supported systems, and the
VERY first one, I believe, (Ragge?) for NetBSD/vax.

  Let us not be too quick to de-support for the sake of de-supporting.
The maintenance and testing overhead is minimal.  The latter can be ZERO
if we put it on the users of, say, VAX-11/750s, to do the testing on
those machines and report bugs, preferably with patches. (I will, once I
get my 11/750 reassembled)


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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