linux-l: [Fwd: Alpha Linux] was "Erfreuliches..."

Jan Krueger yesno at
Fr Nov 21 10:28:35 CET 1997

Hallo alle zusammen,

hier ein little Interview with Jay from DEC about Alpha and such:
Not really in german, but quiet understandable, right?

>>> Jan Krueger said:
> Tom Schwaller, German Linux-Magazin, visited DEC at the Systems
> in Munich. One DEC-Human told him, there are 4 people working
> on Linux Alpha at DEC. You said 2, but that was before the
> Systems, now, are you 2 or 4?

Jay said:
There are two developers here in Littleton, Massachusetts; myself and
Paradis.  Dave Rusling, at DEC Reading, UK, was doing Linux-related work
as well (for the last three years), but has had to (mostly) stop because
other commitments, namely StrongARM-related work. We are/were paid by
to do Linux (employed full-time by DEC, ie not contractors).

There are NO other developers (that I'm aware of) paid by DEC to do
work; that's not to say that we are the only ones who have done or are
work, as others in the past have been paid by DEC, and still others may
doing work on their own time.  In fact, I know that a contractor has
hired by DEC Korea to support Linux on Alpha in that country, and I
the same may be true in Australia.

Jan said:
> How does the Intel-DEC-Deal affect Linux-Alpha? Does it affect Linux-Alpha?

Jay said:
Jon Hall (aka "Maddog", also Executive Director of Linux International,
a full-time DEC employee in the DU Marketing group), says:

"INTEL is going to be a subcontractor making Alpha chips for us, just as
Mitsubishi and Samsung do now".

That *is* simplifying it a bit (:-), but from my viewpoint there are a
number of goodnesses that come out of this agreement:

0. DEC still holds ALL rights to the Alpha technology.

1. DEC divests itself of a money-losing FAB for book value, good for
   sides, as I understand it.

2. DEC is able to "pull in" its chip "roadmap" schedule by a FULL YEAR;
   is, by getting INTEL to use its advanced processes (.25 and .18
   technology) to make Alphas, it'll take a full year LESS time for the
   appearance of Alpha chips based on those processes. This can ONLY be
   goodness, as far as I'm concerned.

Jan said:
> DEC announced DEC-Unix for Intel, wouldnt a DU-Personality
> based on Linux make more sense in this case?

Jay said:
Um, no, not IMHO; DU still offers a number of things that LINUX doesn't
and still probably won't by the tiome IA-64 becomes available (DU is to
ported ONLY to MERCED, not X86): namely security, advanced file systems,
clustering, and a large number of applications. Yes, I do see these
happening on LINUX over time, but not in the next 1 to 2 years. I HOPE
be proven wrong, of course!!! :-) :-)

Jan said:
> (Easier to port, cheaper to do, and not just available on Intel
> and Alpha, imagine, DU-Personality on Sparc ;)

Jay said:
Yes, that is still an intriguing idea, but who would develop such a
Why would the LINUX people want to, and how could you convince the DU
that *they* should? Why not a LINUX personality under DU? That way, apps
could be ported to the LINUX OS, and simply be recompiled on all the
platforms and OSes (SUN/Solaris, PPC/Mac, X86/SCO, etc) that support
a LINUX personality... ??? :-)


  American Non Sequitur Society: we don't make sense, but we do like

Jay A Estabrook                         Alpha Migration Tools - LINUX
Digital Equipment Corp.                 (978) 506-4202 or (DTN) 226-4202
151 Taylor Street - TAY1-2              enet: Jay.Estabrook at
Littleton, MA 01460-1407



 Jan Krueger
 mailto:yesno at

"We need a new education, former rules don't apply" - Prince '88

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