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NetBSD at Comdex Spring 2001

What follows is a summary, based on details from Charles Hannum, regarding NetBSD at Comdex Spring 2001.

BSD daemon

Well, it was certainly a unique Comdex. Due to some wacky politics that I can't go into here, neither Microsoft, nor any of the Linux distributions (except Caldera, who was pushing their Linux-on-SCO stuff more heavily, AFAICT), nor BSDI showed up at all. It was rather hard to find other operating system software.

We did get a lot of attention, though -- and in particular several nibbles from people interested in doing embedded work (and, though I won't name names, some of them may have shown up on our mailing lists already). Much literature was distributed (I almost ran out), etc. The results look fairly positive so far.

Other interesting things that coincided with Comdex:

  • Wind River Systems (purveyors of VxWorks) has announced they're buying BSDI. It's not immediately clear what this means to us, but I'm sure the next year will be interesting. I'm told there's at least one article that ponders why they didn't pick up NetBSD (given that it already runs on `everything'), but I haven't actually gotten a reference to it yet.
  • Agenda Computing announced their VR3 `Linux-based' palmtop. The hardware in it is similar to a hpcmips box, and should easily be able to run NetBSD. Apparently they've already gotten nibbles from people interested in porting NetBSD to it. They seemed fairly receptive to a port when I talked with them, so we'll see what happens. They say all of their application software is open source.
  • Netraverse introduced their `Win4Lin' Windows compatibility software, and offered anyone willing to trade in their copy of VMware a `free' copy of Win4Lin. I didn't get a chance to talk to any engineers, but it sounds like Win4Lin is similar in nature to PEACE. It's not open source.

As in Vegas, the cube was a big hit, especially with the flat-panel display that Eric Haszlakiewicz loaned me for a couple of days. Next time I will try to bring a couple of new and interesting toys. Given the decreasing price of the flat-panels, it could actually be worthwhile to buy a couple to use for display purposes -- given more resources, anyway.

Thanks go to Eric Haszlakiewicz for his assistance (mostly with movein/out, and for the LCD display), to an anonymous helper (for lugging a monitor for me), and to Key3Media for their assistance.


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