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IBM Thinkpad A30


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I had at my disposal an IBM Thinkpad A30. Not a bad little box given that it has both CD, floppy, 30G HD and 1Ghz P3 CPU. It only does SSE, though.


I tried booting the Darwin X86 8.0.1 CD. It will boot, it detects SSE and assumes that if it has SSE it will run SSE and SSE2. The boot process stops after /etc/rc.cdrom launches and it goes to run iofindwholemedia.... because iofindwholemedia and a lot of other binaries on the CD aere compiled with libraries that rely on SSE2 !!!


I've been able to boot the cdrom with -s and actually get a shell prompt. From there I've found out more about what will and won't cause an "Illegal Instruction." It's all quite interesting, actually. Moral of the story is there is stuff that expects SSE2 and it isn't there.


My idea is this; if Maxxus and others have come up with an ability to roll SSE3 functionality into some mods to code that use SSE2 and SSE, can't that be further reduced so the only requirement is SSE? Sure, it will be even slower, but given that things are quite snappy on my 1.6Ghz Pentium-M based nc6000 which only has SSE2 it shouldn't be so bad on a 1Ghz box with only SSE..... I wish I actually knew how to code more than Hello World.

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