Subject: VAX fundraiser dream
To: None <>
From: Aaron J. Grier <>
List: port-vax
Date: 02/03/1999 11:29:56
My girlfriend reminded me again this morning to tell you about a dream I
had a couple nights ago dealing with NetBSD/vax, and the fundraiser
currently ocurring on the local public radio station.  Somehow in my
dream, I got the two mixed together.

"NetBSD/vax needs your support.  Years ago, pioneering work on Digital
Equipment Corporation's PDP line of computers brought us unix, and as
unix continued its development, DECs VAX architecture, the sucessor to
the PDP, continued to support the original legacy of innovation.  But
that was then, and this is now.  PCs running intel processors have taken
the computing world by storm, and all but a few PC users have forgotten
the contributions that the VAX architecture made to their ability to
have a free and stable operating system on their machines.  While
development continued at breakneck speed on the PC platform, VAXes were
left behind, only recently having such features that PC users take for
granted, like shared libraries.  That's where you, the listener, come
in.  The NetBSD/vax project needs your help to continue its mission of
providing a rock-solid computing environment for the VAX architecture."

"Earlier this week, we were able to interview Anders 'Ragge' Magnusson,
one of the people of the forefront of the NetBSD/vax movement, and Brian
'JARAI' Chase, user of NetBSD/vax and owner of a few VAXes."

"'So Ragge, is it true that although NetBSD on the VAX finally has shared
libraries, that there is still no ELF ABI for the platform?'"

"'Well, yes, actually.  The VAX architecture has been sorely forgotten
in this area as almost all the other ports either started with ELF from
the beginning, or converted to it at an early stage of development.'"

"'What can our listeners do to help?'"

"'If they're VAX hackers, they can help by downloading the kernel source
and helping to bulletproof it.  Even if they aren't VAX-literate, they
can still familiarize themselves with the hardware, and help test new

"'Thanks Ragge.  Now Brian, what do you say to people who think VAXes
are old and slow and not worth all this trouble?'"

"'My microVAX-II may be slow, but it keeps my coffee warm and heats my
room.  And for people with larger VAXes, the excitment of being able to
tinker with a machine that cost a university or a business hundreds of
thousands of dollars not more than 15 or 20 years ago inspires a lot of
respect.  Speed isn't everything, you know.  It's hard to argue with
hard drives the size of washing machines and computers that could kill
you by simply falling over.'"

"'I see.'"

Anyway, it was a silly dream...

  Aaron J. Grier  | "Not your ordinary poofy goof." |
    "NT is mute because it is fundamentally broken, period.  That any 
                 hardware works on that OS is amazing."
     -- Jacob Hawley, Sr. Manager, Custom Engineering, Creative Labs