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Date:      Tue, 12 Jun 2007 22:29:26 +0200
From:      "Julian H. Stacey" <>
Cc:        ghozzy <>
Subject:   FreeBSD-6 fails to install on too many old laptops.
Message-ID:  <200706122029.l5CKTQ3n071855@fire.jhs.private>
In-Reply-To: <200706091602.l59G2psm042173@fire.jhs.private> 
References:  <200706091602.l59G2psm042173@fire.jhs.private>

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FreeBSD has progressively broken support for 5 of my older laptops.
One needs massive time reading manuals etc, only then to fail anyway,
getting beyond 4.11.  (Only 1 modern here takes 6.2).

4.11 is nominally dead, yet on many older laptops is all that Works.
Newcomers may give up after 6.2 & dump FreeBSD, not knowing to use 4.11
with working { ATA access, Geom / FDISK, PCMCIA (ether & cdrom), PLIP }.

Developers may use newer laptops or towers, but support for older
laptops should not be So damaged as now, many older laptop are still
fine as office X terminals, UPS/PBX status monitors etc.

Suggestion: A collosal slow_and_safe option in loader.conf (like a
BIOS has), so at least one can install, then until it's turned off,
a grep at boot to mail root reporting machine was deliberately
slowed to ensure install. Then installer can disable  slow_and_safe
and debug- edit on a working platform, not repetitively do 5 floppy
installs typing screeds of "set" magic hopefully to loader.

I'm analysing broken-ness since 4.11, & doc'ing it here: Inc. URL to PLIP failure
(where I hope to later try back porting 4.11 PLIP src to 6.2).

- -- 
Julian Stacey. Munich Computer Consultant, BSD Unix C Linux.
 HTML mail unseen. Ihr Rauch=mein allergischer Kopfschmerz. Dump cigs 4 snuff.

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