Status of 6.0 for production systems

Michael Vince mv at
Sat Nov 12 03:47:40 GMT 2005

>>I prefer the idea of the FreeBSD team aiming at only the latest
>>hardware, all I use is brand new server equipment.
>>I don't like the idea that FreeBSD features and performance development
>>could be hampered by the core guys trying to make stuff work on old
>>hardware, in fact if it was a fact that a lot more performance and
>>features could be in 6.x if they dropped support for everything below
>>1ghz for x86 I would be happy
>Supporting older hardware is not some bad decision made by core, it is
>a general design and philosophy point of not only FreeBSD, but unix
>and the community in general. That is a very selfish statement, and
>rather rediculous actually, that the tens of thousands of people
>running older hardware (example: Yahoo! - pentium of about half that
>speed serving hundreds of thousands of http requests per day)  should
>upgrade to 1ghz machines because that's what you use. Even Windows
>runs on less than that.
> But you are always welcome to make your own version that supports only that.
I said it in terms of an over the top example to maximize a trigger of 
thoughts in this area of topic, such as an example of movement as those 
more in the realms of what MS do with what their standard is in hardware 
support for modern operating systems, luckily I am just 'some guy' on 
the mailing list and have little what so ever say to what happens on 

I don't believe its a very selfish statement at all. When I say get rid 
of old hardware the one of the largest flow of thoughts that go through 
my mind is the support future world energy needs. Most scientists tell 
you that there will be a world energy crisis sometime in the future and 
people should be prepared to pay money money for the energy they use.
Its energy crisis web sites are all over the Internet. While some people 
fear a nuclear attack from terrorists or nuclear war in general if you 
want to fear a day of doom some people will tell you there is something 
even more terrifying and just as destructive coming our way, that is 
running out of cheap energy, hard to understand? I recommend to any one 
using a PC for the single use of a home gateway or using power in ways 
that aren't ideal but simply because energy is cheap simply because they 
can get away with it the get the DVD  'The End of Suburbia'. It will 
tell you that as the world hits its energy peak the cost of fuel will 
always go up in the world market every time there is any kind of issue 
and barely go back down (as it has lately). They claim the cost of 
moving around in suburbia will get so expensive that the value of the 
suburban house will fall through the floor and ruin a lot of lives since 
most people put their life savings investing in their home assuming it 
will increase in value over time.

While most people aren't using a pentium 1 to run a water sprinkler 
system, there are a countless amount of people using machines for things 
that aren't ideally power efficient. A lot of people using old PCs and 
Internet gateways in their home network and nothing else. This is a 24 
hour PC running just to provide Internet where a basic Netgear home 
router 500ma device can do it just as well, (5volts * 0.5amp = 
2.5watts), a lot of people use FreeBSD as a server in some way on a 
network and need to keep it somewhat up to date for security reasons 
this also means 24 hour running. A lot of people on the FreeBSD mailing 
lists like the idea of getting rid of their clunky old PC routers and 
still using a good firewall like Packet Filter by using the MIPS based 
linksys WRT54G router that could run FreeBSD, while there is no port for 
this on FreeBSD the closest front for this would be NetBSD.

Its really a case of the dark side of the force is clouds your vision.
Most people who have a properly functioning conscious mind who setup a 
PC as nothing more then a gateway for a small band of traffic feel a bit 
of guilt when they do it while others are just ignorant or work under 
the theme of what they can get away with is OK. Lets just continue this 
line of thought, how about the rich and powerful nations go dropping 
barrels of nuclear waste out of airplanes on poor nations, this is 
something they could probably 'get away with' but its not right thing to do.

A lot of people wondered how Steve Jobs could dare change over to Intel 
In Steve Jobs keynote speech announcing the big move Intel chips was 
just about entirely stated as because of the 'performance per watt 
ratio' of Intel CPUs. Check out the picture of the key note speech and 
look at the bottom of the picture with Intel and IBM's PowerPC processor.

Big tech industry is trying to take some responsibility for people and 
Intel and AMD are already making it easier to build desktop systems 
using their mobile chips, check out more on Anandtech for that.

If Yahoo are using countless thousands of old Pentiums as stated earlier 
then they should take a chunk of the countless millions of dollars they 
have made over the years using FreeBSD and invest it back into FreeBSD 
so they can enjoy a better 'performance per watt ratio' as Steve Jobs 
calls it and condense the amount of systems they have. Apple should be 
doing the same thing and giving back to FreeBSD if its taken so much of 
its work, unfortunately big business thinks exactly the same way as a 
guy who runs a PC as purely a low bandwidth home gateway and thats what 
I can 'get away with' is OK. The only thing that often works in these 
situations is discussion and public pressure. There is selfishness in 
every direction but I believe my points of view aren't selfish at all.

I am not trying to particularly push anything but I do enjoying 
providing some thoughts for those who fail to think.


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