Oh my God! I killed Kenny… er the VAX

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right?  Like the fictional character from the old “Pebbles & Bam Bam” cartoon “Bad Luck Schleprock” where a cloud follows you around and everything you touch turns to… well crap?

I think I had a day like that yesterday.

It all started when I read a posting on Undeadly.org announcing that OpenBSD was dropping support for the VAX platform:


As I read the posting, especially after seeing the part where it said “after much internal discussion”, I groaned.  Literally groaned out loud.

You see, if we roll the clock back to January, I had picked up a dirt cheap VAXstation 3100 on eBay and was working on getting OpenBSD-current up and running on it.  When I looked at my favorite mirror, however, I couldn’t find packages in the “snapshot” subdirectory for the VAX architecture.

Being the n00b that I am, I posted to the misc@ mailing list and asked the question that I fear started this whole snowball rolling:  “I can’t find -current packages for the VAX, are we dropping support in 5.9 for it?”


Really quickly, someone answered back that we weren’t building packages on that platform because it took so long and that we typically build them near the end of the release cycle.  No big deal, I went on with my day.

Well, if you follow the thread (and I clearly wasn’t doing so), it goes on until we see Theo weigh in sometime later and… I fear I was the guy who accidentally kill the VAX support in OpenBSD.  I’m like the people who keep killing Kenny on South Park.


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3 Responses to Oh my God! I killed Kenny… er the VAX

  1. Nom says:

    Nah.. it was already on the chopping block, many things contributed, internal discussions were also ongoing.

  2. poofygoof says:

    I feel like I contributed to a similar thing for NetBSD/i386 on actual 80386 hardware. Being NetBSD, it took two broken major releases before the removal of support was actually codified. (Having a 80387 might’ve extended that. I haven’t checked.)

    I agree with David Brownlee’s point in https://mail-index.netbsd.org/port-i386/2012/08/28/msg002908.html that it’s easy to leave support for something that doesn’t affect other ports, but also see OpenBSD’s point that if a port isn’t being actively maintained, that it needs to go away.

    I still have a 12.5MHz pmax (decstation) that I poke on occasion, and I still feel like I haven’t quite wrapped my head around how much OSes have grown to consume existing computing resources in the last couple decades.

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