Ultimate BSD PC Hardware Setup

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Russell Carter

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Oct 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/2/95
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Well, I've been a trifle busy shipping 35G of disk (with clusters
attached :-) in the last 10 days or so, so didn't have time
to wade around the old net. But the fun things we find!

To make sure there is no confusion, I *am* Geli Engineering, and
the workstation clusters Geli Engineering sells are powered by FreeBSD.
Every claim I make is supported by data on http://www.geli.com, and
if you notice questionable conclusions there please contact me!

I have *no* comments about NetBSD as a project, other than it is an
excellent thing to do. I do have comments about Microsoft, but that
is not what I came to talk about.

What I would like to talk about is the value of advice on the internet
concerning peripherals for FreeBSD when the advisor has got real
problems with both conflict of interest and lack of experience on
the material discussed.

Here's the meat. I have had correspondence with Michael Van Loon
since November of '94, when I brought up NetBSD 1.0 and FreeBSD 2.0
in a head to head comparison on identical heavy duty hardware. At
that time, he recommended NetBSD as an equivalent if not superior
alternative to FreeBSD. You might infer accurately the results
of my analysis by the OS I chose to base my business on.

Now we find that

1. Michael is employed by Microsoft (a rather large multiple OS vendor)
(reluctantly admitted...)
2. Giving hardware and setup advice in FreeBSD netgroups (FreeBSD is
an OS project)
3. Actively steering people to NetBSD on the basis that it is a fully
equivalent alternative. (NetBSD is an OS project)
4. Nearly completely unblemished by experience with the equipment
he recommends on FreeBSD. (reluctantly admitted...)

Now, it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to cook up all kinds
of interesting scenarios for the motivation of this piece of advice
or that one or *that* one 8-0.

This isn't personal, but a reflection of my genuine distaste
for the use of guerrilla marketing. I think a good way to
rehabilation would be for Michael to just flat out say: "You
should use NetBSD! It's really *great*, and here is
why: [datadatadata....]" whenever he gives advice on FreeBSD
hardware. After all that is what he is doing. I think.

Michael's specific comments spur me to output a bit of
good data on the NCR:

|1.
|
| > >Just because my only system at home is EISA-based doesn't mean I have
| > >no experience with other platforms. In fact, I have set up two
| > >different PCI systems. I have used the NCR card, and it worked just
| > >great. I have also heard enough reports on the BusLogic card to know
| > >it works adequately. And, finally, I have heard enough reports on
| > >Adaptec's policies, some of them recent, that I maintain my stand that
| > >I have no intention of ever supporting them with my money.
|
| Wow! Two different systems! That's a lot of experience, I'm curious though,
| were those FreeBSD systems? Be honest...
|
|What's your point? You're splitting hairs, and I have no interest in
|rehashing old ground. Have you beat this useless tangent to death,
|yet?
|
|No. They were not FreeBSD systems. Who cares?! NetBSD uses the
|exact same NCR driver as FreeBSD. The experience applies adequately.

Well, at least until it's run through cpp, but you knew that right?
If so, why is it quite a bit slower in NetBSD?
Well, we both know it is more complicated than just the driver...
I have pretty good data here on NetBSD, but ideally the NetBSD
folks would publish something analagous to what is on http://www.geli.com.

|Plus, in addition to two PCI NetBSD systems, I and others around me,
|use literally hundreds of NCR PCI systems running Windows NT and
|Windows 95, many with multiple drives (and multiple devices). They
|all work very nicely -- I have no reservations about recommending NCR
|PCI SCSI controllers.

Even with a Quantum Grand Prix 4.3 G? I wouldn't do that, with any
system up to about at least the (current) FreeBSD-current. In
other words, what nearly everyone has got access to. Steffen thinks
he's got the problem licked but I have not had a chance to verify
it. It certainly wasn't licked three weeks ago. I had to ship
a web server with a 2940 in it. I *do* *not* unequivically
recommend it with untested drives. The same goes for the 2940
for that matter. Drive manufacturers can be a hedgy lot, and this
is not an OS specific problem. I'll post the results when
I get it to work on the Grand Prix.

On the other hand these drives shipped out the door with NCRs working
flawlessly this week:

Fujitsu M1606 1GB
Quantum Atlas 2.1GB
Seagate Hawk 4.3GB
Quantum Fireball 540M.

In addition, I don't hesitate to recommend it with any drive that
shows up on http://www.geli.com.

[ and a lot of misinterpreted stuff deleted...]

Cheers,
Russell

Michael L. VanLoon

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
to
In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell Carter) writes:

For some reason, Mr. Carter has taken it upon himself to attack me
personally, and repeatedly. Don't know what I did to get his shorts
all in a knot...

What I would like to talk about is the value of advice on the internet
concerning peripherals for FreeBSD when the advisor has got real
problems with both conflict of interest and lack of experience on
the material discussed.

What conflict of interest? Did I suggest anyone switch to NetBSD (if
so, show me where)? Do I make money if someone runs NetBSD? Do I get
bonus points if anyone switches away from FreeBSD? Did I recommend
anyone switch to NT or Windows 95 from any other OS?

Here's the meat. I have had correspondence with Michael Van Loon
since November of '94, when I brought up NetBSD 1.0 and FreeBSD 2.0
in a head to head comparison on identical heavy duty hardware.

We have? Was this a single exchange? It certainly wasn't notable
enough that I have any memory of it. I didn't realize we were
"corresponding". How much correspondence did we exchange on this
subject?

(I might also point out, that if we did, in fact, correspond on that
date, I was not working at Microsoft then, so there goes the MS
conspiracy theory.)

At
that time, he recommended NetBSD as an equivalent if not superior
alternative to FreeBSD. You might infer accurately the results
of my analysis by the OS I chose to base my business on.

If I did, I had my reasons. If you asked me today, I would say that
in general they are equivalent. Each does certain things better than
the other. I never said NetBSD is, hands down, better than FreeBSD in
every area. In general, I would still stand by the statement that
they are equivalents. I would also stand by specific areas where each
is better than the others. I have never stated otherwise. Prove me
wrong.

Now we find that

1. Michael is employed by Microsoft (a rather large multiple OS vendor)
(reluctantly admitted...)

I have never hidden this fact. Show were I tried to deceive.

2. Giving hardware and setup advice in FreeBSD netgroups (FreeBSD is
an OS project)

What's your point? What qualifications are needed to give advice in a
FreeBSD group? Do I hold the wrong club card? Have any of the
FreeBSD core members ever asked me to stop posting (as if that
matters)?

3. Actively steering people to NetBSD on the basis that it is a fully
equivalent alternative. (NetBSD is an OS project)

I have never once told someone to run NetBSD instead of FreeBSD in a
public forum. Prove me wrong. If I have ever done so in private
email, it would have been because 1) they asked, and 2) I believed the
particular problem they are having could be better handled on NetBSD.
Can you supply evidence to the contrary?

4. Nearly completely unblemished by experience with the equipment
he recommends on FreeBSD. (reluctantly admitted...)

You're simply full of shit. I have as much PCI experience as 90% of
the people in this group who've used PCI. I have significantly more
SCSI experience than probably 75% of the people in this group.

However, there is some hidden gem that I just can't dig up which
causes me to be "unblemished by experience". What is it? Tell me
what it is that I'm lacking. Please enumerate in exact detail the
qualifications it would take to be labeled PCI-SCSI-aware.

Or, maybe there is an engineering degree we all need before we are
allowed to post helpful PCI SCSI hints in the group? I wasn't aware
that I was over-stepping some taboo standard.

Now, it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to cook up all kinds
of interesting scenarios for the motivation of this piece of advice
or that one or *that* one 8-0.

No, it doesn't. You seem to have done quite a job already.

This isn't personal, but a reflection of my genuine distaste
for the use of guerrilla marketing.

What load of bull. It has been personal for the last couple of weeks.

Show me the marketing. Please, label it clearly -- I'm too dense to
understand this stuff, remember?

I think a good way to
rehabilation would be for Michael to just flat out say: "You
should use NetBSD! It's really *great*, and here is
why: [datadatadata....]" whenever he gives advice on FreeBSD
hardware. After all that is what he is doing. I think.

Show me a single post in the last month in this group where I
recommended running NetBSD instead of FreeBSD.

I'll make it easier. Show me a single post where I bashed FreeBSD.
Show me even a single post where I said anything derogatory about
FreeBSD. I challenge you to find it.

Michael's specific comments spur me to output a bit of
good data on the NCR:

|1.
|
| > >Just because my only system at home is EISA-based doesn't mean I have
| > >no experience with other platforms. In fact, I have set up two
| > >different PCI systems. I have used the NCR card, and it worked just
| > >great. I have also heard enough reports on the BusLogic card to know
| > >it works adequately. And, finally, I have heard enough reports on
| > >Adaptec's policies, some of them recent, that I maintain my stand that
| > >I have no intention of ever supporting them with my money.
|
| Wow! Two different systems! That's a lot of experience, I'm curious though,
| were those FreeBSD systems? Be honest...
|
|What's your point? You're splitting hairs, and I have no interest in
|rehashing old ground. Have you beat this useless tangent to death,
|yet?
|
|No. They were not FreeBSD systems. Who cares?! NetBSD uses the
|exact same NCR driver as FreeBSD. The experience applies adequately.

Well, at least until it's run through cpp, but you knew that right?
If so, why is it quite a bit slower in NetBSD?
Well, we both know it is more complicated than just the driver...
I have pretty good data here on NetBSD, but ideally the NetBSD
folks would publish something analagous to what is on http://www.geli.com.

Oh good. Bash NetBSD. I get it now. You're setting this up as a
guise for bashing NetBSD, while pinning all the blame on me. Very
clever. If NetBSD doesn't fit your needs, don't use it.

Personally, I'm happy you chose FreeBSD. I wouldn't want to have to
listen to a dick like you whine on the NetBSD lists all the time.
(Sorry to have passed him along, Jordan.)

|Plus, in addition to two PCI NetBSD systems, I and others around me,
|use literally hundreds of NCR PCI systems running Windows NT and
|Windows 95, many with multiple drives (and multiple devices). They
|all work very nicely -- I have no reservations about recommending NCR
|PCI SCSI controllers.

Even with a Quantum Grand Prix 4.3 G? I wouldn't do that, with any
system up to about at least the (current) FreeBSD-current. In
other words, what nearly everyone has got access to.

Oh yeah. *Everyone* has a Quantum Grand Prix 4.3GB drive... I seem
to have lost mine...

Which SCSI card, again, has never had a problem with every drive made?

Steffen thinks
he's got the problem licked but I have not had a chance to verify
it. It certainly wasn't licked three weeks ago. I had to ship
a web server with a 2940 in it. I *do* *not* unequivically
recommend it with untested drives. The same goes for the 2940
for that matter.

OK, let's rephrase this. I recommended the NCR, while you recommended
the Adaptec. I get dragged through the coals by you, because the NCR
doesn't work with one drive. But, you can go ahead and recommend the
Adaptec, even though you wouldn't unequivocally recommend it. So,
which card *do* you unequivocally recommend? And, assuming there
isn't one, what do you do? Not recommend anything? Does anyone see a
double standard here?

Drive manufacturers can be a hedgy lot, and this
is not an OS specific problem. I'll post the results when
I get it to work on the Grand Prix.

Yes, they can. So can SCSI card manufacturers. I'm sure there are
many combinations that are sub-optimal. Do I carry them around in my
head? No. Do you? *Every* combination?

On the other hand these drives shipped out the door with NCRs working
flawlessly this week:

Fujitsu M1606 1GB
Quantum Atlas 2.1GB
Seagate Hawk 4.3GB
Quantum Fireball 540M.

Oh, so the NCR *does* actually work with something after all. You
better not recommend it, though, or else this babbling hot-head I know
will jump all over you. I've corresponded with him at length.

In addition, I don't hesitate to recommend it with any drive that
shows up on http://www.geli.com.

That's nice. Now, what was your point again? Why are you jumping all
over me? What exactly did I dis-recommend?


OK, Mr. Carter. Your arguments are getting so intermingled that I'm
not even sure what it is you think I've done wrong. Answer these:

Is it because I work at Microsoft? I'm part of a super-secret
Microsoft marketing conspiracy because:

A) I've worked there for nine months, and have been active in the BSD
newsgroups since 386BSD 0.0, approximately four years.

B) I ran the largest NetBSD FTP site in the country from Iowa State
University for a little over a year.

C) I post constantly telling people to run NT instead of FreeBSD.

D) I post constantly harping on FreeBSD's shortcomings.


I don't know anything useful about PCI SCSI because:

A) I work with two PCI machines daily.

B) I have set up three different NetBSD PCI systems.

C) I see literally hundreds of NCR PCI SCSI systems, with a vast array
of connected devices, operate without incident daily.

D) I only run EISA SCSI at home, so how could that ever apply?

E) PCI is too hard for a professional computer scientist like myself
to figure out.


My advice for people in the FreeBSD groups is bad because:

A) I have a valid, well-educated opinion, except it is less valid and
less educated than everyone who has booted a FreeBSD floppy image.

B) I run NetBSD, so I can't possibly speak with any knowledge on the
operation of FreeBSD.

C) The SCSI drivers in NetBSD aren't appropriate because they're
written by the same guy as the FreeBSD drivers, and use a similiar
high-level SCSI subsystem.

D) I spend several years as a systems programmer on BSD-based unix
systems, so I don't have any real on-the-job experience with
similar, but different systems.

E) My opinions are well-respected by most of the people who have been
on these groups longer than you, and I correspond with FreeBSD core
members in respectful and friendly tones.


Your arguments are becoming absurd because:

A) You think you know more than anyone else about PCI SCSI.

B) You claim to not be into personal attacks, when that's all you have
been doing lately.

C) You infer that anyone who runs NetBSD can't possibly give good
advice about FreeBSD.

D) You assume that everyone who works at Microsoft has a secret
marketing agenda which includes the destruction of FreeBSD.


Have we had enough of this drivel yet?


--
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Michael L. VanLoon mich...@HeadCandy.com
--< Free your mind and your machine -- NetBSD free un*x >--
NetBSD working ports: 386+PC, Mac 68k, Amiga, HP300, Sun3, Sun4,
DEC PMAX (MIPS), DEC Alpha, PC532
NetBSD ports in progress: VAX, Atari 68k, others...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nate Williams

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
to
In article <MICHAELV.9...@MindBender.HeadCandy.com>,

Michael L. VanLoon <mich...@MindBender.HeadCandy.com> wrote:
>In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell Carter) writes:

>For some reason, Mr. Carter has taken it upon himself to attack me
>personally, and repeatedly. Don't know what I did to get his shorts
>all in a knot...

While I don't agree with the tone of this, I do want to point out what I
believe to be some mis-leading statements.

>I have never once told someone to run NetBSD instead of FreeBSD in a
>public forum.

Well....

>Show me a single post in the last month in this group where I
>recommended running NetBSD instead of FreeBSD.

I looked, but my server had expired it. Basically, the gist of it was
'real' unix types run NetBSD cause they like having to hack the snot out
of the machine just to install it. It implied that 'real' users don't
use anything but NetBSD, but if you want it easy because you aren't a
'real' unix guru you could settle for FreeBSD.

This is a recommendation to anyone who considers themselves a unix guru
or unix guru wannabe. Note, I'm *splitting* hairs here, but none the
less it can be construed as recommending NetBSD. As a guru in the
making, I consider running/developing FreeBSD enough 'hacking' w/out
having to beat my head against the wall to be a real guru.

'Nuff said.


Nate

ps. I've had a heck of a time getting email to HeadCandy.com in the
past, I hope it's fixed now.

--
na...@sneezy.sri.com | Research Engineer, SRI Intl. - Montana Operations
na...@trout.sri.MT.net | Loving life in God's country, the great state of
work #: (406) 449-7662 | Montana. Wanna go fly fishing? I don't charge or
home #: (406) 443-7063 | feed you, but I do know the area pretty well.

Richard Tobin

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Oct 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/4/95
to

In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell Carter) writes:
[Flamage deleted]

Just what is your problem? Michael Van Loon has been a prominent
figure in the free BSD world since 386BSD first came out, and has been
better than many in avoiding the internecine warfare between the
various groups. I see nothing to suggest that his advice is biased,
and I haven't noticed any change in it since he started working for
Microsoft.

Michael's posts are helpful and informative. I haven't noticed any
equivalent contribution from *you*.

-- Richard

--
"... we were extremely sceptical, like most people, about 'conspiracy
theories of history' ..." - The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

Russell Carter

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Oct 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/6/95
to
In article <DFxJv...@cogsci.ed.ac.uk>,

Richard Tobin <ric...@cogsci.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell Carter) writes:
>[Flamage deleted]
>
>Just what is your problem? Michael Van Loon has been a prominent
>figure in the free BSD world since 386BSD first came out, and has been
>better than many in avoiding the internecine warfare between the
>various groups. I see nothing to suggest that his advice is biased,
>and I haven't noticed any change in it since he started working for
>Microsoft.
>
>Michael's posts are helpful and informative. I haven't noticed any
>equivalent contribution from *you*.
>
>-- Richard

Oh please... His words do speak for themselves.

Folks,
Needless to say anywhere but the net: I believe NetBSD is a *GREAT*
thing to do. Even with such spokespersons. Cross platform OS
development is a wonderful way to understand a little better
price/performance issues. If you want to hack an OS, NetBSD is as
good as any.

Points I made previous to this post, reiterated, with emphasis.

Russell

>
>--
>"... we were extremely sceptical, like most people, about 'conspiracy
> theories of history' ..." - The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

Oh in the context that is such an interesting quote!


Craig Bevins

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Oct 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/9/95
to
In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell Carter)
writes:

| [ much self-serving drivel deleted .. ]


|
| 1. Michael is employed by Microsoft (a rather large multiple OS vendor)
| (reluctantly admitted...)
|

| [ more self-serving drivel deleted .. ]

So what? Lots of people work for Bill Gates, and not all of them have
been inducted into the great world-domination conspiracy. Michael has
been popping up around here for a long time. You're a relatively recent
blow-in, and you don't do much for your credibility with these unjustified
personal attacks.

Good grief!

Craig
--
Internet: cra...@ips.oz.au UUCP: uunet!ips.oz.au!craigb

X-SPAM-Archive: Canter & Siegel suck. Archive *that*, you turkeys.

Robert Rogoff

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Oct 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/19/95
to
In <45b4t9$5...@ipso.ips.oz.au> cra...@ips.oz.au (Craig Bevins) writes:
>
>In article <44q671$e...@shell1.best.com> rca...@best.com (Russell
Carter)
>writes:
>
>| [ much self-serving drivel deleted .. ]
>|
>| 1. Michael is employed by Microsoft (a rather large multiple OS
vendor)
>| (reluctantly admitted...)
>|
>| [ more self-serving drivel deleted .. ]
>
>So what? Lots of people work for Bill Gates, and not all of them have
>been inducted into the great world-domination conspiracy. Michael has
>been popping up around here for a long time. You're a relatively
recent
>blow-in, and you don't do much for your credibility with these
unjustified
>personal attacks.
>
>Good grief!
>
>Craig
>--
>Internet: cra...@ips.oz.au UUCP: uunet!ips.oz.au!craigb
>
>X-SPAM-Archive: Canter & Siegel suck. Archive *that*, you turkeys.
feels great to be able to talk on the internet. i'll check later to see
if it appeared on this page. take care

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