Subject: Re: VAXstation 2000: the lost weekend
To: Brian Chase <>
From: Russell Pavlicek <>
List: port-vax
Date: 12/10/2001 21:16:23
--- Brian Chase <> wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Dec 2001, Jochen Kunz wrote:
> > On 2001.12.10 04:53 Russell Pavlicek wrote:
> >
> > > (1) The boot kernel does not recognize the RD5x
> disks
> > > in the VS2000.
> > The support fo the MFM controller in the VS2k and
> some VS3100 is often
> > broken. And, be honest, you really want to mount a
> SCSI disk in that
> > box. Unfortunately this means that you have to
> load the kernel via
> > network and than you can mount a local root-fs.
> (If you have an EPROM
> > burner you can patch the boot ROMs to get SCSI
> boot support.
> > Unfortunately the NetBSD bootloader does not
> support the VS2k SCSI
> > adapter.)
> More correctly, it's only the issue with the boot
> ROMs in the VS2K.
> The bootloader does support booting from SCSI disks,
> but the ROMs don't
> support loading the bootloader from a SCSI disk. 
> That's mainly due to
> the fact that DEC never supported the use of the
> VS2K SCSI for disks.
> I've not used the MFM support on VS2K.  So I can't
> comment on its
> stability.  It's possible the problems with the
> install program are
> related to some issue with the MFM support, but
> that's a speculation.
> Still, the install program should mask the over any
> rough edges on
> support for the various platforms-- or at least warn
> you of known
> problems.

Regarding speculation over MFM support:
During bootup, the rd0 disk is never identified.
The sysinst program never has a chance to find the
drive, since it is never recognized by the kernel as
far as I can see.  The generic kernel identifies rd0
just fine during the bootup.

> The other complaints are only really warranted in
> that it seems
> Russell's expectations for NetBSD/vax on a VS2K
> exceed the reality of
> what's offered.  I don't see it so much as a major
> technical failing,
> rather our documentation needs to be more up to
> date.

Indeed.  I can live with software that ain't fully
cooked yet -- as long as I know that's the case. 
Documenting the space and kits needed for an X server
when there is no such beast makes NetBSD look like the
used car salesman of Open Source.  There's no need for
that.  Just a sentence or two in the install docs
would make a world of difference.

> -brian.
> --- Brian Chase | |
> -----
>       I'm sorry, this doesn't make any sense.  TO
> YOU!!!  -- K.

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