Subject: Re: Questions about features of NetBSD
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Alex R.N. Wetmore <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/10/1995 15:16:35
Excerpts from internet.computing.netbsd.current-users: 10-Apr-95 Re: 
Questions about featur.. by der Mouse@Collatz.McRCIM 
> > 1. fat binaries
> What's a fat binary?

A binary with text segments for multiple system types and one data 
segment which is shared among all of the system types.  NextStep uses
them to get the same binaries to work on the 68000 and x86.

> > 3. machine independent console driver for isa graphicscards
> How can such a thing exist?  Graphics hardware is _always_ machine
> dependent.  True, NetBSD does not run everywhere.  But I don't believe
> a graphics card exists that will work on, to pick just three of the
> platforms NetBSD runs on, a Sun SPARC, an 'x86 clone, and a DEC Alpha.

Except that as more and more machines use EISA and PCI architectures
there will be more and more machines that can use PC video boards.  
Having a standard console driver that can deal with them would be
cool.  Also, only the low level aspects of the console driver (writing
to the video memory) are specific to the machine, the higher level
stuff (like emulating a vt100) are pretty standard.  Think of it the
way that /dev/audio is implemented (to my understanding).  /dev/audio
is a pseudo-device that handles un-encoding ulaw sound files and
handling all of the ioctls, and it calls on lower level drivers 
(like sb0 on ISA machines with a sound blaster) that actually
plays the sound.