As a near-junior CS major in college presently out-of-work, I can certainly
echo the "not everyone can afford fresh new hardware" line. :) I'd happily
run a P3 or P4 w/ 256MB+ if I could, but...
Anyway, getting on-topic: from what media is FreeBSD bootable? We can boot
from floppy and CD now, obviously. What about USB memory keys (i.e. those
$20+ USB plugs with 16MB+ memory onboard)? Or Firewire HDD's? Zip disks?
Most BIOS' I've run across lately will boot only from floppy, IDE HDD, or
CD/DVD. Most-recently - with a P4 box I built for my mother - IIRC, USB
devices are now an option as well...
What's more, FBSD's support for, say, USB memory keys (or for syncing USB
Handspring Visor's, as I've discovered doesn't work (as of 4.7; haven't tried
5.0 yet, but I never got it working properly under Slackware Linux either))
or Firewire HDD's -- seems spotty, at best. For that reason alone, it would
be unwise to abandon the floppy media, given that it's a stable, mature,
well-understood technology (note I didn't say "reliable" or "fast" :) ).
Floppy support isn't desireable or preferable, but for the sake of users
not-so-fiscally-well-endowed as others here, I believe it's necessary.
As basically an end-user trying to install FBSD-5.0 on my 7 year-old P200 (I
say "trying", because when I boot from floppy on the P200, the 5.0-RELEASE CD
is unable to be mounted (the Knoppix Linux distro can mount it, however;
haven't tried any other Linux/BSD distros) and it seems that I cannot install
via FTP/HTTP because FBSD isn't getting a DHCP IP via my Linksys LNE100TX
NIC), all I can really say is that if FBSD dropped floppy support, I'm afraid
I'd have to attempt to install OpenBSD or install Linux on it instead. I'd
rather not run Linux, if I can help it... :)
It's really a matter of what seems "reasonable" to you in terms of hardware
age. I think we can all agree that a 386 is too old to waste time on...
...but surely you don't want to leave people with roughly P400's and lower
behind?? People actually still *use* such systems...
On Saturday 03 May 2003 06:59 pm, The Anarcat wrote:
> On Sun May 04, 2003 at 09:29:36AM +1000, Duraid Madina wrote:
> > Are you saying that you would be honestly upset or at a serious
> > disadvantage if 4.8/5.0-rel were the latest releases you could install
> > from floppies and that if you wanted a more recent FreeBSD on your 1996
> > hardware, you'd have to install 4.8 or 5 first and upgrade your way up?
> I know I would be upset.
> Why does everyone keep on trying to ditch the old hardware? It still
> works, doesn't it? It's still useful, isn't it?
> So what if it it's pre-'95? Are we so "hip" that we need to drop support
> for everything older that 7 years?
> I despise the habit of the computer industry of deprecating perfectly
> valid hardware in order to make sales.
> We don't have to follow such trends.
> I think you are mixing two problems: the CDROM boot and the FLOPPY boot.
> Those can be 2 totally different issues if we need to. Fix the CDROM
> boot to allow fatty kernels for your exotic hardware. But don't break
> the floppy boot, a lot of less fortunate folks need it.
> Not everyone can afford fresh new hardware.