Subject: Re: DEC 3000/700 and NetBSD
To: Rowdy <email@example.com>
From: Paul Mather <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 02/11/2006 14:45:50
On Sat, 2006-02-11 at 19:11 +1100, Rowdy wrote:
> I have recently acquired a DEC 3000/700 in reasonable condition (as far
> as I can tell it has been hardly used, and "stored" for most of the past
> 10 years). It has a 21064A 225MHz CPU, 64M RAM, two RZ26L (1.05G) HDD
> and a RRD43 CD-ROM drive. The firmware is revision 5.1 and the PALcode
> indicates OSF version 1.35. This info comes from the dmesg of OSF/1
> V3.2A that is currently installed.
I have a DEC 3000/300 and used a DEC 3000/500S (running Tru64 and later
NetBSD) as my desktop machine for quite a while. I have a DEC
AlphaServer 1000A running NetBSD 3.0_STABLE that acts as a DNS and Web
server. The only notable problem I've had is with hardware (when the
3000/500S began succumbing to its extreme old age and relentless
usage:). The OS itself just stays up for ages.
> Question 1: Currently the machine is not Y2K compliant, and I suspect
> this is the operating system that is on there now. Is there likely to
> be any issue in the area of Y2K compliancy on this machine with NetBSD?
No; NetBSD is Y2K compliant.
> Question 2: Has anyone experienced any instability or problems with
> NetBSD 3.0 on the alpha architecture? If so, would it be safer to stick
> with an older version, say 2.1, or perhaps 1.6.2?
The only instability problems I have had with NetBSD 3.0 is when the TCP
SACK support was introduced and I began experiencing random reboots. At
the time, I was running CURRENT, and the suggested workaround on here
was to disable SACK, so I added this to my /etc/sysctl.conf and the
problems went away:
# Turn off SACK support
Since then, though, 3.0 has seen formal release, so there's a good
chance that the wrinkles in SACK were worked out. (I'd imagine that
buggy SACK support would be a release showstopper.) Also, since then, I
switched over from tracking CURRENT to the netbsd-3 branch on that
machine (to be more conservative for others that might have to admin it
besides me). I guess I should remove those /etc/sysctl.conf entries and
see if the reboots come back.
> Question 3: the INSTALL.txt on the 3.0 alpha install CD notes that the
> Turbochannel DEC LANCE ethernet card is "UNTESTED" - has anyone
> experienced problems with this network card?
I think this note refers to the add-in TurboChannel DEC LANCE ethernet
card. I had one of those, and there was a problem where it would report
"le: Reg did not settle" and not work properly. To my knowledge, a fix
was committed but presumably not tested on actual hardware due to the
relative rarity of those cards. (I know that I no longer had the card
by the time the fix was committed, so I couldn't test it.)
The onboard DEC LANCE ethernet is fully supported and is rock solid.
> Many thanx for responses or insights - hopefully NetBSD/alpha is as much
> fun as NetBSD/cobalt and NetBSD/sparc :)
NetBSD/alpha is great! For the TurboChannel alphas, it's the only game
in town, IMHO. Thank you, once again, to all the developers.
"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production
deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid."
--- Frank Vincent Zappa