Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Documentation for Old Systems

The post Hardware Archaeology by Simon Phipps at Sun reminds me of the time a few years back when I got contacted by someone wanting to port NetBSD/OpenBSD to some (very) old Data General Motorola 88000-based AViiON hardware. (I used to work for DG.) He was looking for any code or schematics associated with the hardware and email addresses for engineers who had worked on the platform "as they have a lot to teach us." I had a bit of trouble gently getting the point across that it seemed unlikely anyone at EMC (who purchased DG) would have much interest spending the time/money to chase after old documentation to help get BSD running on a very obsolete piece of hardware.

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