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Re: netbsd on vax 11/730; booting in sim

On Sat, 10 Jan 2009 01:11:01 +0100
Johnny Billquist <bqt%softjar.se@localhost> wrote:

> > No. I consider a CDC-6600 or a PDP-10 or 4.2BSD a dinosaur.
> > VAXen and m68k machines are already mammals. ;-)
> Since 4.2 ran on VAXen, how do you get that? :-)
Or 2.09BSD or V7... I wanted to say: An OS that is so old, that it is
hard to get current applications running on it.

> > I say: If you run current operating systems on old hardware, you
> > have accept that it doesn't run that fast as a 10 year old version
> > of that operating system. 
> And I can't really see a compelling reason for why it should be so.
> But that's just me, I guess.
> Why should newer always equal slower?
Because newer means more "bloat", i.e. more complexity, more
functionality, just evolution. There is a penalty for for this
functionality. If you get somthing, you have to pay somthing.

> > Also: We VAXherds are not the only users of NetBSD. There are other
> > users with other priorities, other interrests and faster machines
> > like Alpha, UltraSPARC and even PeeCees. Refusing to import "bloat"
> > that those people want, _need_, only because it slows down our old
> > VAXen, is a bit unfair.
> True, in a way. But I think it's wrong to make the division between 
> owners/users of modern hardware vs. old hardware. It's rather a
> division between people who want one set of features and
> functionality vs. another set of features and functionality.
Yes, different people need different feature sets. The problem is to
find a balance. In contrast to you I think NetBSD keeps this balance
very well.

> And then there are those who would not. Who perhaps would prefer a 
> system that still used ASCII, or possibly Latin-1. Who don't want
> PAM, LDAP, and any number of features that they consider are just a
> burden which is unwanted and unneeded. Unfortunately, there are less
> and less choices for that group of people to select from.
Well. If you want to stay static in the past pick an older version of
NetBSD and fork(2). But by doing this you will do more harm then good.
You will split up the userbase and you will have to reinvent your own

Port-atari was already mentioned. NetBSD-VAX benefits a lot from MI
improvements. Not to talk about e.g. pkgsrc. The amount of people
working on port-vax is still relatively big and many developers keep
"old" architectures in mind and take care of them. port-vax is the most
prominent. Have a look at all the work e.g. Matt Thomas has put into
the VAX toolchain. Calling port-vax orphaned is simply an insultation
to all those people still taking care of port-vax. Sure, there are
still many minor and even some major bugs. It is hard to avoid and fix
these bugs simply because the userbase of port-vax is so small. Less
use, less bugreports, less bugfixes.

> Every current OS is trying to mimic everyone else.
This feature is called interoperability and I call it essential. 
Interoperability is also one of the primary NetBSD Project's goals:

> Well, 15 years ago is a bit exaggerated. The last orders for VAXen
> were accepted in 2000. That's a bit over 8 years ago now. And it was
> COMPAQ, and not DEC by that time.
Yes. Comcrap delivered NOS VAX hardware until that date for those
"inert" people who could / want not recognize that the days of the VAX
had ended when the first Alphas entered the market.

> And as far a speed comparisions, that's difficult. The speed range of 
> the VAXstation 3100 series is very wide. The 3100/76 is pretty ok.
> And that one is contemporary with the SPARCstation 1, I believe.
A SS1 or DS3100 runs circles around a VS3100m76. You probably need at
least a VS4k60 to beat a SS1.


Homepage: http://www.unixag-kl.fh-kl.de/~jkunz/

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