Subject: Re: Considering port to new processor
To: None <,,>
From: Chuck McManis <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/30/2001 16:41:07
At 07:27 PM 3/30/2001 -0500, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
>I don't think I was sufficiently clear.  What I was getting at is that we
>no longer have the severely constrained address space of the PDP11, so it
>may be that we can do more with "bare minimum" hardware support.

Except that there are those of us who would *like* to run NetBSD on a 
PDP-11 system and this sort of stance leads to problems. It takes courage 
to constrain yourself even when it is "easy" by one measure to avoid the 
constraint. While the PDP-11 is an older architecture it doesn't mean they 
aren't still used and sold (albeit by Mentec rather than Compaq) Further, 
there is a revolution starting right under our collective noses and that's 
called "vanity processors" which are implemented in a single, low cost 
FPGA. (see <> (OpenRISC) or 
<> etc.) These CPUs _are_ constrained on the sort of 
MMU they can implement and frankly the PDP-11's simple one looks _very_ 
attractive given that it is relatively easy to synthesize using VHDL. So 
I'm planning to participate in this revolution that will simultaneously 
overthrow _both_ Microsoft and Intel, and that's one of the reasons I like 
the compartmentalized architecture of the NetBSD machine specific stuff. 
Once we reach unencumbered computational platforms with reliable operating 
system support, the PC revolution is going to look like a little "blip" and 
Windows will be a mere curiosity (sort of like VMS today :-)