[rescue] x86 vs. SPARC BIOSes (was: Small servers (was Re: WTT: 1.5G of PC2700 for 1G of PC100))

Mark md.benson at gmail.com
Tue May 13 18:48:18 CDT 2008

On 13 May 2008, at 17:44, Shannon Hendrix wrote:

> That's what a Data General MV20000 supermini I worked on had.  It  
> had a small computer that ran the big one, and you could talk to it  
> without booting the big one.
> Very useful.
> It's 2008, 20 years later... surely we have the ability to do this  
> so cheaply it should not matter.
> Normal users will never see it, so what?

The problem is that you here have highlighted the difference between  
real computer hardware an the atrocious x86 junk the world seems to be  
obsessed with. x86 platform stuff might be cheap and easy t produce in  
volume, but it;s still junk, I don't care how fast it is or what OSs  
it can run these days. I've often had arguments with people as to why  
I don't consider x86 stuff of any denomination of it as a 'real'  
computer, and intelligent and useful Serial/Video capable firmware is  
one of the reasons.

I mean for the love of god, I bought a USD 99 embedded PowerPC board  
that cost jack to produce and it had full IEE1275 OpenFirmware on it  
AND a serial port interface. So what's so damned hard! I guess it's  
just the sheer inertia and laziness of hardware manufacturer. Lay- 
abouts, they ought to get their damnable act together. It'd save the  
IT industry 1000s of man hours a day in diagnosis of faults alone.

FWIW I have a ISP-1100 sat here that I've got to get round to setting  
up, and it's true the serial console does suck complete ass. It's  
great that Intel bothered to do it, don't get me wrong, and as this  
thing has zero graphics card capability I'm grateful nonetheless but  
in all seriousness it could be a lot better. what's annoying is that  
once you boot an OS CD on it it's absolutely fine, dandy as a warhole.  
Why? Because Linux has a proper serial command-line interface!

I pretty much take Sun, SGI and similar UNIX platforms of the mid-90s  
to be the benchmark for what PCs have to beat in order to be what they  
could or should be. They've come some ways since the turn of the  
millennium but they are still a country mile off at the moment. It  
never takes 10 years for any other technology to permeate down that PC  
manufacturers *like* after all.

Mark Benson

My Blog:
Visit my Homepage: <http://homepage.mac.com/markbenson>

"Never send a human to do a machine's job..."

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