Status of 6.0 for production systems

Glenn Dawson glenn at
Sat Nov 12 05:33:17 GMT 2005

At 07:47 PM 11/11/2005, Michael Vince wrote:

>>>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 FreeBSD.
>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.

So, it's better to buy a shiny new piece of low power equipment, than 
to use an older yet perfectly suitable piece of equipment that needs 
more power to operate?  I wonder how long it would take for the 
additional power consumed by the older equipment to equal the amount 
of power it took to design, build, distribute and market the shiny 
new piece of low power equipment... the second law of thermodynamics 
comes to mind...

>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 chips.
>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.

Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but wasn't a good portion of the 
work on gcc 4 done by folks at Apple?  Not a contribution to FreeBSD 
per se, but certainly a contribution to the open source community.

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

Who decides who has failed to think?  you?


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