Not again (was Re: Port of MINIX to Unix-PC)

Jeffrey L Bromberger jeffrey at
Fri Mar 22 02:38:10 AEST 1991

In article <1228 at organpipe.UUCP> tom at (Thomas J. Trebisky) writes:
>Another twist - what about a port of 4.3BSD to the Unix PC (note: I don't
>want to enter into a potential firestorm of System V versus BSD debate here.)
>I have been taking a hard look at porting 4.3BSD to the CT miniframe for
>some time now (and was thinking of pressing my newly acquired unix-PC into
>service on this project as development systems).

While I may not be as much as an old-timer here, I've been around long
enough to hear the same things go around again.  For those who 
have forgotten the Summer '89 BOF  at Usenix, let me quickly rehash:

"We're starting a company to get 3B1 source"
"We're going to port SVR3 on top of the 3B1 specific stuff"
"We're going to keep the loadable drivers for the boards"
"We're also thinking about putting in BSD stuff"
"We're going to sell it to our shareholders real cheap"

We're still waiting.

As much as I'd like to believe that this whole thing is going to come
true, I must remain a bit sceptical.  C'mon people!  Let's do a simple

Everybody stand up.
Sit if you're not really well versed in kernel to port one.
Of those remaining, sit if you don't have the time to port a new OS.

Damn, I see a lot of $$ pledges, and lots of moral support, but nobody
has the time, experience, or *whole hearted desire* to put BSD (or
minix or SVR3 or ...) on this machine.

My simple-minded suggestion is this:  Now that we have the .o files
for 3.51m, it will be easier to port over what is broken.  Alex Crain
had at one time (before his latest venture) a semi-stable namei.  It
did symbolic links.  Admittedly, there were bugs, but it was a step in
the *only reasonable direction*.  

Just for fun, is anyone here friendly enough with CSRG to ask them how
long it took them to port 4.3BSD (old VAX version) to support the
newer Tahoe processors?  Make sure to find out how many man-hours it
took.  And ask if they had any problems with finding out about
bizarre hardware timings.  And if the Tahoe people were friendly and
helpful about their product.

If no one else has leads into Bezerkeley, *I'll* ask these questions.

Jeez, I guess I really am an old-timer.  I sure don't buy these pipe
dreams anymore.  While I would *LOVE* someone to prove me wrong to the
masses with a stable BSD port, I'm not holding my breath.

Jeffrey L. Bromberger
System Operator---City College of New York---Science Computing Facility
jeffrey at			jeffrey at ccnysci.BITNET

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