Subject: Re: Problems installing php4 on a VS4000/60
To: None <>
From: Dave McGuire <>
List: port-vax
Date: 08/10/2004 14:41:54
On Aug 10, 2004, at 2:36 PM, Patrick Finnegan wrote:
>>> I made a clean install of 1.6.2 without a hitch. When I try to
>>> install php4 from the packages, a floating point exception occurred
>>> during the install of pear. That install is done by a php program.
>>> There is a core dump, and with gdb the core shows that the
>>> exception was in the middle of a vax CALLS instruction... All I
>>> really know about vax guts is what I have read in books... :-(
>>> Has anybody else tried this?
>>> Could it be a problem with VAX_fp vs IEEE_fp?
>>    I've not tried this, but I'm very curious about it...I will see if
>> I can find time to put together a machine to try this here tonight.
> PHP on VAXstation 4000/60 seems slightly disturbing to me, but it
> probably is possible.  Just don't expect great speed from it. :)

   I dunno, I expect it'd do pretty well.  PHP is quick, and the 4000/60 
is no slouch.

>>> Do I need to abandon the VAX web server for a PC? :-(
>>    Certainly not.  If you need to abandon the VAX web server, you
>> could move it to another *server platform*...not a PC.
> Indeed.  Alphas (like the DEC 3000 series) and PowerPC-based RS/6000s
> (like my 43P-140) run NetBSD very well and make excellent small
> webservers.  Hell, even a Sun Ultra 1 would make a good webserver.

   Absolutely.  I'm currently making Real Money with a lot less than an 
Ultra1...I still have a SPARCstation-20 (running NetBSD of course) with 
about ten virtual hosts on it, several of which are running PHP-based 
web sites.  The bottleneck is always the connectivity, man.

   The DEC 3000 family are the oldest of the Alphas...but I've always 
been really impressed by how well NetBSD runs on them.  They perform 
incredibly well for lower-end machines, by today's standards.  I'd not 
swap my 617MHz DS10L for one, but still, they're quite capable of doing 
Real Work.

> Just remember if you switch to i386, you'll make yourself accessible to
> more skr1pt k1dd13z with their spl0itz.  There's not all that many root
> kits / precompiled exploits laying around for Linux or NetBSD on
> Alpha/Sparc/PowerPC/VAX, especially compared to i386.

   This is very true.  And don't forget the matter of trusting stuff you 
care about to crappy PC hardware.  That is always a bad idea.  Many 
have been burned by it, but far too few are smart enough to realize it. 


Dave McGuire             "'s a matter of how tightly
Cape Coral, FL             you pull the zip-tie."       -Nadine Miller