Subject: Re: NetBSD usage in embedded environments
To: Wojciech Puchar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Erik E. Fair <email@example.com>
Date: 04/02/2003 17:33:39
Some years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he was using NetBSD
for an embedded consumer device. I thought he was nuts, and asked,
"Why a full blown OS instead of some smaller real-time thing?"
He replied, "because a megabyte of RAM only costs $1."
His point was that NetBSD (aside from being cheap itself) doesn't use
all that many resources on a price per resource basis in the modern
world, and it gives you the full flexibility of a complete UNIX
system kernel for your device. Naturally, his device was using flash
so that they could upgrade functionality in the field.
It's good to want your software to be as small and efficient as
possible. Most good software engineers want that. However, you should
never forget that in business, there is a diminishing return to that
effort, and there will be a point beyond which the businessman will
simply say, "You're taking too long to shrink that/make it
faster/more efficient/etc. Let's just throw hardware at the problem
to make it go away."