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SubjectRe: Memory Rusting Effect [re: Linux hostile to poverty]
On Mon, 20 Jul 1998, Raul Miller wrote:

> Linus Torvalds <> wrote:
> > Linux was written to work well on MY machine. At one point that
> > machine happened to be a 386 with 4MB of RAM. That time is _long_
> > gone.
> Careful, or people will start donating palmtops and such...

Actually, there's a very serious point there: uClinux (the port of Linux
to microcontrollers, and, as it happens, the Pilot) has to be able to cope
with even less memory then that 4MB 386. It seems that these "rusting"
effects, both directly, and due to the techniques which are their cause,
will quite probably prevent a uClinux branch off of 2.1.x that is usable
in low-memory conditions. Thus uClinux (which seems destined to be a
permanent branch off of mainstream Linux, assuming Linus doesn't want to
switch over to a Pilot) may need to stay rooted to 2.0.x, for the same
reasons as other folks.

I find this a bit unfortunate, but it is perhaps inevitable. If nothing
else, we should remember that there is no particular reason why Linux 2.2
_must_ perform as well as 2.0 on low-end hardware, as long as this is made
abundantly clear to everyone, and 2.0 is still available and supported.
It's not as if 2.0 will (or can) be "pulled off the shelves", and have its
the support staff decommissioned...

Kenneth Albanowski (, CIS: 70705,126)

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