Subject: Re: 'hanging' mount problem 'fixed'? Forklift Upgrade....
To: None <>
From: Ken Wellsch <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 04/08/1999 10:10:17
I think I'm the less-than-zero stupid-user that posted the problem in
the first place.  Trying to think of something useful an otherwise
clued-out kind-a-guy could do to be of use, I thought it might make
sense to sup every day and build the world - like what Erik Fair does
with the sun3/sparc stuff (from what I can see anyway).

So when I built a kernel on Saturday March 26th and it hung, I was
concerned.  I had been building almost daily for a week or more.  But
having reported what turned out to be a false alarm to Ross about a hang
earlier in the week (Wednesday or Thursday), then after building a new
kernel of the sup-of-the-day and the problem went away, I thought hold
off saying anything.

On Sunday when it happened again I sent mail to Ross.  Now being no better
than chicken-little or the boy-that-cried-wolf, I didn't expect to hear
back.  Heaven forbid Ross actually is busy or unavailable! 8-)  So finally
on Tuesday, after sup'ing every day and still getting hung, I posted mail
to the list reporting my problem.

Luckily (or unluckily for some of us) someone with port-alpha credibility
replied immediately that they too encountered the problem - that was
Matthew. Great, I thought, this isn't just yet-another-stupid-user-error. 
Bernd Ernesti also reported seeing this.

I also had the view I think Matthew mentioned - does it make sense to
PR something that is changing daily?  I presumed it was transient enough
I'd just mention it as a data point and someone in-the-know might go -
``oh, yeah, that could have happened but we've fixed that.'' or ``I am
unable to reproduce the error, give more details.''

I'm really grateful to folks like Manuel Bouyer that help keep us little
guys from feeling like true outsiders.  How he has the patience to answer
the same "dumb" questions over and over, I can hardly imagine; if in fact
I did not have that as one of my many jobs while working at the Univ of
Waterloo (Canada) as the chief consultant for our faculty - answering
questions (e-mail/phone/in-person/news) from thousands of the great-
uneducated (as far as "UNIX" and our computing environment goes).
Along with admin'ing many of our systems (I was the "DEC guy") and
writing/maintaining/debugging software etc.

I am also indebted to Manuel as he took a week of exchanging e-mail with
me each day as we debugged what turned out to be some missing lines of
code in the Cypress chip-specific IDE controller on my AlphaPC 164sx.

I don't _expect_ this sort of service - how could I be such a fool to do
so?  Hell, the project is free and you only get out of it what you put
in... da da da.  I only wish I was as clever as you folks and could
get up-to-speed on the vastly detailed aspects of NetBSD kernel internals
and actually get in and provide the needed fix along with the problem
report.  I know that just whining about a problem isn't much use.


-- Ken Wellsch