Subject: the murphy's law approach to documentation
To: None <port-pmax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Nathan Parrish <>
List: port-pmax
Date: 02/03/1997 10:31:00
Well, I'm happy to say that my 5000/200 is now happily running NetBSD1.2
in multiuser.  This is great, but leaves me bored, having to invent more
things to fill my few idle hours after the evening commute.  It occurs 
to me that I managed to stumble on pretty much every rocky protrusion 
along the path to getting NetBSD to work on my pmax (kinda sad, really,
considering it's the second system I've installed), and having this 
dubious distinction, it's almost incumbent upon me to document this 
journey.  I'm curious if anyone else has endeavored to assemble something
of this nature (or anything aside from the www Install Guide (which is
actually very good, I'm just, ah, procedurally challenged)).  Otherwise
I'll start from scratch.  Basically I'm thinking along the lines of a
document in the form of "If you get error message XXX it means YYY."  
yeah, I know it's a losing battle to try to get all the error messages 
into a doc like this, I work in tech support; but it seems like a 
database of this sort (even an incomplete one) could be useful to first
(or second, third...) time installers. 

A few of the stickier things I ran into:
1.  bootparams(5) in (at least) netbsd 1.1 fails to indicate the need for
a leading hostname in path specifications.  I believe it even gives an
example w/o it. 
2.  Using Digital Unix as the NFS server for a diskless install:  the
install guide correctly indicates that DU has a problem with device 
inode mapping, and that to fix this you need to tar up /dev/ and untar
rather than doing a MAKEDEV all.  However, I didn't realize that  you 
needed to do this every time you boot...  (Note that if your boot sequence
dies after saying "Copying out init something something" it just might be
the case that /dev/ is hosed).