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Re: lenny+1 and the future of the alpha port?

On 22 Aug 2008, at 10:34 pm, Gary Lee Phillips wrote:

Institutions and individuals in tight financial situations or in less
technically advanced areas continue to use Alphas because they are what is available. Buying newer 64-bit machines may simply be out of the question
for them.

I don't think that's true. I don't think any PC vendors now sell Wintel machines which don't have 64-bit capability.

I may just stick with etch for that, since as you say, bits
of lenny are already broken on the Alpha.

That's certainly true, and even etch is quite broken, especially on the larger-scale hardware. albeniz.d.o and goetz.d.o are both quad- CPU ES45's, and as you may all have noticed have been horribly unreliable. It turns out that SMP support seems to be really flaky on that particular type of machine (and I would guess probably also on other similar vintage Compaq alpha server boxes). We've had to move them to the alpha-generic uniprocessor kernel, because that's the only thing that's even remotely stable.

The default lenny kernels we can't use at all, because licensing issues have caused the kernel maintainers to disable some of the drivers required to make albeniz and goetz work. I can only see this sort of bit rot getting worse, with time. As a result, I'm probably happy for alpha support to stop after lenny.

With respect to electricity consumption, the machines I have don't really use any more than other desktop PCs would. Nor do they take up a lot more
space, as far as that goes.

On the server side, that isn't true either. ES45s are huge beasts (7U high), which is enormous compared to, say, an HP DL360, which can have 8 CPU cores and a lot more memory than the ES45 in a 1U box, and will use less power too.



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