GigaRouter (Was Re: Cisco as Big Brother))

Michael Dillon writes:
> You can also try building a machine with a boot device like the 2.88
> megabyte floppies. Using the same techniques FreeBSD uses for their boot
> disks, you can decompress the boot floppy into a large RAMDISK and run
> that way. Or simply use a ZIP drive for the boot device but run from RAM
> as before. It's not as good as 100% solid state but it comes pretty close.

This isn't clear to me. Why do you assume a ZIP is likely to be more reliable
that a hard disk? ZIPs haven't been around long enough to be sure of this,
and HDs are pretty reliable these days.

Of course I'm not saying that I *Want* to use an HD in this situation; flash
is clearly a big win. But I don't see how using a floppy or ZIP improves

FWIW, I suspect that building a 1.4MB fs that can boot and then nfs-mount
(or ftp to a memory fs) needed binaries would be not a lot harder for FreeBSD
or BSDi than it was for NetBSD.

Not really, the BSDI installation procedure does it with one floppy.
The BSDI bootstrap knows how to load a gzipped kernel image. I've
made modified boot disks from their installation procedure. I've
never turned on NFS though, and admittedly it's all packed in there
tight enough that every time I want to do something else I'm deleting
one thing to add another. An 8mb flash card for $300 would be
very nice if it worked.