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Self destructing hardware vendors

Are hardware vendors self destructive?

Are hardware vendors keeping open secrets?
(Too many iBooks at IBM.)

HP push PA-RISC based rp series with HP-UX
HP push IA64 based rx series with Linux

SGI push MIPS based Origin with Irix
SGI push IA64 based Altix with Linux

Sun push UltraSPARC with Solaris
Sun push IA32 based LX50 with Linux

IBM push S/390 based zSeries with Linux
IBM push PowerPC based iSeries with OS/400
IBM push PowerPC based pSeries with AIX
IBM push IA32 based xSeries with Linux

Now see http://www.debian.org/ports/

1. Debian GNU/Linux runs on 11 architectures including all of those listed above.

2. RISC processors are volume sensitive (Intel already have more than enough volume).

3. Yet vendors are mostly pushing customers to Intel Architecture for Linux.

This all looks like it is directed at making Intel an unassailable monopoly.  Why would any one want that?

We will then have to put up with the poor performance, low reliability and high power and cooling demands of inefficient CISC processors that are not IP or stream (packing / unpacking) optimized.  Does this sound familiar?

A better solution would be to have the architecture out live the UNIX if the UNIX is actually dying.  If UNIX is not dying then RISC can only be helped by higher volumes.

Running Linux on their own architecture should be a win - win situation for the hardware vendor.

Any one interested in ports should contact their hardware vendors to clarify support for Linux.

Providing current RISC hardware for testing, building and performance profiling to the Debian project which supports 11 architectures with the Linux kernel would be worthwhile.

Providing hardware compatibility and steps required for installation of Debian on their hardware would be worthwhile.  OS vendor support is not possible with a free OS, but hardware vendors should do compatibility testing (free of charge) of snap shots (such as the r0's) at least.

Build times would understate performance of RISC which runs compiled C applications much faster than interpreters or compilers, however these would still be worthwhile.

Andrew Buckeridge
BGC (Australia) Pty Ltd

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