Subject: Re: i386 floppy no longer fits
To: John Nemeth <>
From: Frank Warren <>
List: tech-install
Date: 01/09/1999 02:36:03
My two cents from someone who has tried, and failed, to get NetBSD
(which I get to use at work and have found it marvellous) but who can't
get an ftp install.

I'd rather have two floppies than have BOTH my network cards fail to
come up.  Both 3Com 3c509X and
3Com90X cards fail with the 1.3.2 distribution.  I'm running FreeBSD not
because I want to but
because until I can get something from CheapBytes, or buy yet another
network card (praying that the manufacturer didn't change chips and
architecture like 3Com clearly has) there is no other option besides
junk like Linux, Microschnarf and suchlike.

If I get the leave to make a suggestion, on i386 I'd rather have more
drivers than less, and swapping
a floppy won't hurt my feelings any.  I spent 4 seriously frustrating
hours trying to get the NetBSD floppy to bring up one of my network
cards, but no joy.  I went so far as to disable PnP ISA, and
increasingly much until finally I could no longer see my PCI SCSI
controller.  Still no joy with the network cards.

To run NetBSD, you first must be able to get NetBSD.  Thinning out
drivers will not help since the most visible place to get it is via
FTP.  And, unfortunately, the view of the user who is not in the
industry is that it shows how badly NetBSD runs and how badly it is
prepared, not how evil manufacturers play tricks upon us, pretending
that any 509, or 905 etc., is a single, homogeneous device when it's
nothing of the kind.

If I did not know how good NetBSD is, and what goes on with
manufacturers in the PC industry, I think I'd have just given up.  Even
after I get something from CheapBytes, though, I'm going to need to buy
yet another network card (yanc) before I can again netify myself.

In order that no one feels badly, FreeBSD fails with the 3Com 509X card
too but succeeds with the 90X (but only if you use the 2.2.8

It is not enough that I should win.  Everyone else must lose.