GigaRouter (Was Re: Cisco as Big Brother))

Rob Liebschutz writes:

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now. The only product
that I've found so far is made by a company called MCSI ((619)
598-2177) , but the only thing I've been able to get out of them so
far is that the darn thing emulates a DOS filesystem through the bios,
though they referred me to another company that does the firmware for
their card, and claimed that this company could do custom firmware for
me. I think MCSI has a card that emulates a dual floppy as well.

I'd love a card that just provided a single raw drive emulations, even
IDE would be fine, so I could just copy a whole bootable file sytem
image into it, but I guess 2 floppy images would suffice.

The dual-floppy configuration seems better to me. I've built single-disk
NetBSD filesystems that included the kernel, shell, and enough other
stuff (mount, ifconfig, etc) to nfs-mount the real filesystems. (Well,
yes, I did strip the kernel, but that's a detail :slight_smile:

With a bit more work, it wouldn't be too tough to build a one-disk boot
filesystem that could make a memory-based filesystem, copy a bunch of things
there from a convenient server, and run gated (or whatever) from there.

The reason the two-disk FLASH is nice is that if you ever have to update
your boot fs for any reason, you can simply make a completely clean new
one, and you're never in a state where your boot fs may be corrupt.
(You switch the PRAM's notion of which "floppy" to boot only after the
flash download finishes cleanly.)