Re: "obsolete" hardware

Trevor Jenkins (
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 16:55:08 +0000 (GMT)

> But I really see no reason to have 386 support (and I'd say drop
> math emulation too so that people can use FP in the kernel) in the
> 2.1.x and later kernels. None of the new features are really worth
> implementing on such old hardware.

This is a truly arrogant attitude worthy only of Microsoft---that
you must have cutting-edge technology to run the latest version of
some "product". One of the virutes of Linux has always been the
support of obsolete hardware. Commerical UNIX vendors want their
customers to upgrade to the latest hardware so as to be commerically
viable but why must we follow suit?

I'm looking forward to the day when my venerable old 386 can be
retired from running MS-DOS/Windows 3.1 to the freedom of running
Linux. If by the time I do that I'm expected to bleed because
Linux will then only working on cutting edge stuff then I'll not
remain a Linux supporter for long.

> Is anyone really going to have an IPv6 modem pool? And
> if you're doing IPv6 routing wouldn't you want a 486 anyways?

There's a difference between wanting and having. The real beauty of
Linux, for me and I suspect others, is that we can run multi-user
services/servers on hardware that cannot run Windows 3.1 let alone
run Windows 95.

If as Alan Cox said in a follow-up:

> Why go to the extra work of dropping it. Anyway there are people
> using MCA bus 386's with Arcnet quite happily in 2.1.x. I dont see
> why IPv6 routing needs a 486 either

(and he should know) why would you insist upon making life more
difficult by explicitly excluding 386s?

In closing I left wondering about why you want floating point
calculations in the kernel. Please enlighten me. In all my dealings
with operating systems from TOPS-10 through to Linux via George 3/4
and VAX/VMS I've need never needed FP in the kernel code; in
applications yes but the in kernel no.

Regards, Trevor.


"Real Men don't Read Instruction Manuals" Tim Allen, Home Improvement