riscy
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Re: Desperate idea?

To: riscy@sunsite.unc.edu
Subject: Re: Desperate idea?
From: rei2!tsprad@uunet.uu.net (6692)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 1994 20:33:36 -0600 (CST)
In-reply-to: <9402241622.AA16691@rei.com> from "UUCP Login" at Feb 24, 94 10:22:28 am
> I have been following this list since the R3000 days. I think that
> the original idea was to create a reasonably powerful Unix-machine
> that is joy to program. But above all it should be affordable.
> 
> Now we're talking about $1000-$5000 motherboards etc... well I surely
> can't afford to build a machine that costs so much.

If what you want is affordable, maybe the answer is to go back to
the original idea, to design our own based on the IDT 3081.

> Now, wouldn't the easiest & cheapest way to provide a RISC platform 
> be a CPU card for existing PCI or VESA based PC?

The easiest and _certainly_ the cheapest way to provide a RISC
platform is to buy one from SUN or DEC or SGI.  What in the world
makes you think you can compete with those guys on cost?  Half a
dozen amateurs spread out around the world, buying parts in quantity
10 or 20?  You'll pay more for _connectors_ than all the obscene
profits that DEC makes on a system, that you'll be avoiding.

> All the programming and OS-stuff would happen in the clean
> RISC environment, only device drivers and X-server would be
> implemented in the revolting PC-environment.

Cheaper yet, buy a 486 PC.  All the programming and OS-stuff would
happen in the clean Standard C environment, only device drivers and
X-server would be implemented in the revolting PC-environment.

Look, I'm not singling out anyone for criticism, and I'm certainly
not a big fan of 486 PCs.  But if _cheap_ is what you want, I really
think you'll be disapointed again, just as you all were when Andy
Busse announced Waldorf's costs for his board.

I originally signed onto this mailing list because I thought some
people wanted to _design_our_own_ main board and put it under
copyleft so everyone would have access to complete documentation,
and so anyone could manufacture it, and so anyone could improve
it, as long as they kept it under copyleft.

I never imagined it would be cheap, but I figured it might not be
completely unreasonable if we kept realistic goals.  I've continued
to lurk here, keeping my peace, but I pretty much lost interest when
the discussion shifted from 32-bit R3000's to 64-bit pie-in-the-sky,
because I figured the probability of anything actually being built
went from 1 chance in 10 to 1 in 100, or less.

Right now I'm really thinking I shouldn't send this, but just stay
quiet, or un-subscribe.

-- 
Ted Spradley   tsprad@rei.com      Opinions are mine, not theirs.
Information tends to drive out knowledge.  [...] many people cannot
tell the difference between information and knowledge, not to mention
wisdom, which even knowledge tends sometimes to drive out. -Heinz Pagels
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