Blog: 13 December 2008 - Does Anyone Care About Fixing Bugs?

As time goes on, alternative architectures like Alpha and PA-RISC slowly lose their userbase. Experienced developers move on to things that interest them more. Emphasis isn't put on fixing bugs for these aging platforms, and the level of support slowly erodes. Eventually a small hardcore userbase is all that is left. The Gentoo Bugzilla showed this effect on the Alpha platform. All nontrivial bugs were left to rot. What's worse, many bugs were so old that the software containing them wasn't even in Portage anymore, yet no one closed the bug report or asked if it was fixed. One, a two-and-a-half-year-old bug about a failing cipher algorithm in libmcrypt caught my eye. I decided I'd give fixing it a shot.

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Blog: 12 December 2008 - Status of X11 on Alpha

As mentioned yesterday, X.Org 7.4 (xserver-1.5 and newer) cannot operate on Alpha due to way it accesses PCI resources such as ROM information and video memory. Kernel Bug 10893 was filed 6 months ago, but nothing has been fixed. A work-around is to implement a fallback in libpciaccess that would access /dev/mem directly, as previous Xservers do. Unfortunately, no one appears to care enough about X support on Alpha to implement it.

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Blog: 11 December 2008 - Christmas Break TODO List

Happy Birthday to this website! It's been running in one form or another for the last three years. A lot has changed since then. Originally it was just a convenient place for me to put SkyOS programming guides. Now, it's a site about Programming, Alternative Architectures, and Open Source (and still a convenient place for me to put things I don't want to lose.) It's evolved quite a bit in the last three years. I've got it, along with many other interesting things, on my TODO list for Christmas break.

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Blog: 30 July 2008 - Licensing Prevents Old Code From Being Freed

As previously reported, it was possible that Compaq's long dead suite of compilers and libraries optimized for the Alpha processor may be released to the Linux community. With hand written and highly optimized code in hand, Alpha developers could improve integral software such as gcc and glibc. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the release of this code will be possible due to licensing issues.

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Blog: 22 July 2008 - Alpha Linux's New Wiki Unveiled

When I bought a DS20L from eBay, I struggled to find helpful information. I sifted through Google search results, searched HP's website, read hundreds of posts on mailing lists, looked at Linux and BSD release notes, and searched everywhere I could think of. In the process, the one thing I discovered was that there was not a definitive spot for information on Alpha based computers, Alpha/Linux support, SRM versions, Alpha assembly and optimization, or Alpha software. Hopefully this new Alpha Linux Wiki will be that definitive spot.

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