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Bug#69157: boot-floppies: boot-floppy creation fails on PowerPC

reopen 69157
severity 69157 wishlist

"ADC" == Adam Di Carlo <adam@onshore.com>

   Me> The installer instructs you to insert a blank floppy into
   Me> the ``first'' floppy drive.  Macs, of course, only have one
   Me> floppy, so it's kind of pointless to tell users to use the
   Me> first drive.  Presumably that text comes from the x86
   Me> installer.

   ADC> *shrug*.  You can have more than one floppy disk.  For
   ADC> instance, a parallel port or SCSI floppy.  You're being
   ADC> too narrow in your focus.

I think that you're being too general -- the installer in question
is allegedly PowerMac specific.  Many PowerMacs don't even have
*one* floppy, let alone two.

There's nothing in the dialogs or the documentation to suggest
that the floppy drive in question is anything but a built-in 3.5"
1.44 MB floppy drive.  The installer clearly tries to use
/dev/floppy, and doesn't provide you with an opportunity to tell
it to use some other device.

   Me> When this dialog appears, the root floppy is still in the
   Me> drive.  The installer hasn't ejected the disk, and Mac
   Me> floppies, of course, can only be ejected by software or by
   Me> poking a bent paperclip into a hole beneath the drive slot.
   Me> If you decide to simply overwrite the root floppy with the
   Me> boot floppy image (you can always make another one, after
   Me> all), the installer suddenly remembers that
   Me> ``Creating a boot floppy is still not possible for
   Me> PowerPC/PowerMac''
   Me> It isn't?  Then why does the installer waste our time
   Me> pretending that it was?

   ADC> Because the installer runs on other powerpc architectures
   ADC> which are less proprietary and have proper floppy support.

You can install Debian on an IBM RS6000 using the PowerMac
installer disk?  I doubt it.

In any case, if the procedure doesn't work on a specific
architecture or subarchitecture, the user shouldn't be led to
believe that it does.  The boot-floppy creation option should
either not be present, or should, if selected, tell the user up
front that it doesn't work on their machine.

Note that I've reopened the bug and reset its severity to
``wishlist'', even though I think it's a genuine bug with the
potato installer.  Maybe we can get this problem fixed in a future
version of the installer.  If there's another package in the BTS
for a woody installer, please reassign the bug report to that



 Behind the counter a boy with a shaven head stared vacantly into space, 
 a dozen spikes of microsoft protruding from the socket behind his ear.
   C.M. Connelly               c@eskimo.com                   SHC, DS

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