[rescue] Compaq Proliant 8000

Joshua Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Thu Apr 29 14:42:23 CDT 2004

On Thu, Apr 29, 2004 at 03:35:53PM -0400, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:

> Well, yesh, but I was thinking about the manufacturing side of things.  Even
> you and I can only buy what's available.  I don't have the resources to
> build a computer from scratch, or even from chips.  You may, but I'll bet
> you have more profitable things to do with your time.

Thankfully, there are open core implementations of many nice chips, like
the SPARC and MIPs.  Certainly, these are as fast or nice as the real
thing for most tasks, however, it means that even if the Mac suddenly
dies, and all the major old school unix vendors die and all their
machines instantly turn to dust, we can still make our own CPUs for a
not impossible cost.

And, we can always write our own CPUs.  And thanks to some FPGA->ASIC
services, we can even have them implemented in actual silicone should
the sales volume be found.
> The PC's biggest competitor for the desktop/laptop is the Macintosh, and it
> gets, what, 7% of the market?  8%?  Something in the single digits, anyway.
> Imagine trying to break into the desktop/laptop computer market today, with
> something that's not a PC ('cause they suck) and not a Macintosh ('cause
> Apple will sue you into the 9th dimension).  Even Sun and SGI can't really
> compete in that market; they sell "desktop" machines, but in low volumes
> even when compared to Apple.  Sun and SGI aren't exactly coining money these
> days, either.

SGI never really gave it a serious try, and Sun did some amazingly
stupid things in the closest things that could be called an honest
attempt.  Like use a true color graphics chipset, but not allow the
software to use it that way.  Or using a more crippled than usual IDE
controller.  And even on those machines price competitive with Macs (and
PCs), they didn't make much effort to appeal to anyone other than

We don't know that it isn't possible for a company to do it.  What if
someone started selling 5 dollar NetBSD machines with wireless
networking (frankly, I have no clue how they would get wireless
networking that cheap at this moment, but lets suppose) and a simple
desktop setup (email, and web browsing, with other stuff, like
OpenOffice as an option) in Africa, China, India, etc?  I bet there
would be hundreds of millions of people you could convert to real
computers if you raised the capitol to develop a machine you could
virtually give away. 

In fact, I seem to recall hearing that there was a government movement
in China to start pushing their citizens to use Linux on a home grown
MIPs clone, which they could manufactor insanely cheaply.

More information about the rescue mailing list