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Re: Linux on O2?

To: Marc Esipovich <marc@mucom.co.il>
Subject: Re: Linux on O2?
From: Ralf Baechle <ralf@oss.sgi.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 00:14:45 +0100
Cc: Ralf Baechle <ralf@oss.sgi.com>, brett <brett@madhouse.org>, Bruce Leggett <bleggett@sofamordanek.com>, linux@cthulhu.engr.sgi.com, linux-mips@fnet.fr, linux-mips@vger.rutgers.edu
In-reply-to: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0002190629430.7658-100000@mucom.co.il>
References: <20000218035335.F5234@uni-koblenz.de> <Pine.LNX.4.20.0002190629430.7658-100000@mucom.co.il>
Sender: owner-linuxmips@oss.sgi.com
On Sat, Feb 19, 2000 at 06:30:22AM -0200, Marc Esipovich wrote:

> > > Im still wainting to hear anything about the indigo i hear alot of talk
> > > about the indigo2 but nothing about the original blue boxes
> > 
> > The problem is that the origin docs are gone by now and SGI can't
> > just go and ship the IRIX source to hackers ...
> 
> Wow, what do you mean gone by now?  are you saying there's no chance in
> hell to obtain the documentation?  it can't be gone.

Remember that SGI is a company that designs a large fraction of a system.
So the designers of some piece of hardware and it's direct users, the
kernel programmers have close to each other.  For a lot of chips
documentation never is written or at least never the same way so it would
be the case for chips that would be marketed as such.  It's obvious that
this isn't good at all for Free Software where the access to high
quality documentation is crucial.

So now imagine what has happened to all the knowledge about a machine
during the decade after it was developed?  The product's development
finishes, it get's marketed, the OS for gets some final bugfixes and
even later it gets phased out.  Silence.  Meanwhile the brains behind
the machine leave the company, tapes and paper go to some dark room
where nobody still remembers them and the machine gets forgotten.

Slow death of a computer ...

  Ralf

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