Compaq iPAQ 3130

Bennett Todd bet at rahul.net
Thu Aug 19 12:29:44 PDT 2004


2004-08-19T18:39:01 John Gay:
> On Thu 19 Aug 2004 17:18, Ian Molton wrote:
> > It'd be MASSIVELY faster than MrNobbys machine.
> 
> Really? A 206Mhz StrongARM with 16M RAM would be faster?

Faster than a 20MHz 80386 with 4MB RAM, 64KB external cache, and
7.5MB of add-on RAM in expansion cards? One would hope so.

Now if you ran _windows_ on it, surely it'd be slower, that's the
purpose of windows. But you've got hotter hardware than what mrnobby
used; in fact, he squeezed in so very, very close to the minimum
possible config that I'll be surprised if anybody one-downs him. He
really did "get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an
hour before he went to bed", etc.

Of course, mrnobby was actually demonstrating a startling extreme
position: Linux _as_tuned_for_modern_workstations_ can still
bootstrap itself into existence on this antique kit!

Outside of the amazing time-bridge mrnobby has created, a possibly
more apt application of a 386 might be to bootstrap something
more of the flavour of Bent Linux, or some other LFS-inspired
self-bootstrapper that uses uClibc with static linking, plus
busybox; or perhaps dietlibc and the suite of itsy bitsy unix utils
written to work with it. Comparing glibc and the GNU tools with the
stuff to run on a 386DX20 is kinda extreme. Small isn't in the list
of design goals for GNU software. Even closer to the real mid-'80s
feel would be if you could not only bootstrap up with uClibc or
dietlibc and comparable tools, but also use a cc and binutils set of
comparable sophistication and size. Unfortunately, I don't know of
such a compiler that can handle uClibc + Busybox, which is what I
use. But fortunately, I'm only shoehorning this into a "mere" 660MHz
Transmeta Crusoe with 128MB RAM:-).

-Bennett
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