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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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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Software Engineering is not Computer Science

When I came to college two years ago, I intended to major in Computer Science. I looked forward to learning and being around people who shared my interest in computers. As I quickly found out, (1) there weren't any people here who shared my interest or even anyone who could speak the same language, and (2) the little bit of learning I would be doing in my computer science classes wasn't interesting to me at all. By the end of my first year, after attempting to discuss my feelings (read: disappointments) about the computer science curriculum and one professor specifically with the head of the department, I realized it wasn't going to change anything. If I wanted a computer science degree, I would sit in boring classes, be treated as if I weren't competent enough to possibly know how to program, and I would have to do my assignments in Ada. After a year searching for a silver lining around the Computer Science department, I switched to Physics -- which may have been the best decision possible if I wanted to do anything interesting with computers.

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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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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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