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26.Mar.2004
ANN (Website)


OpenBSD-support for Pegasos cancelled
After a public statement of the OpenBSD developer Theo de Raadt on Wednesday that next versions of the operating system OpenBSD will not support the Pegasos any longer Dale Rahn who is responsible person of the Pegasos port has given some more detailed information about this case.

Shortly speaking Dale Rahn was asked in October 2003 to update his port which he has written for Pegasos I. Therefore version 3.4 of OpenBSD has been also published for the Pegasos.

On October 27th, 2003 he was employed as "non-benefits employee" by Genesi with the task to port OpenBSD to the Pegasos II. But this agreement happened only via telephone with Bill Buck. Dale Rahn pointed out that a corresponding documentation is necessary to write such a piece of software. He was replied that "this is no problem".

To the same time there were talkings between Genesi and ShopIP about the Pegasos Guardian which is an OpenBSD based system for recognizing intruders in networks and which has been introduced on the New York InfoSec-fair. All seems to be ok except a delay of nine days of paying his salary for December which was justified by "issues of the stock exchange". At the end of the fair it was decided to send the salary cheques to the staff. Because Dale Rahn was there he directly got his cheque for the months of October and November.

But this cheque over 10,000 US-Dollar was written on the November 12th, 2001, two years ago. Therefore the bank refused to cash the cheque. Later Dale Rahn saw that the other cheques were never sent and that the mentioned account of Genesi had not sufficient money to pay all the staff.

At the beginning of this year with 15,000 US-Dollar of salary missing he told Genesi that he would go if he did not get his money. Then he got a salary for one month so that he would stay. Meanwhile he also got a Pegasos II so he now could start porting OpenBSD to it. But this lasted longer than expected because of special issues of the new Northbridge.

Nevertheless he had no detailed documentation to do it in a accurate way the succeeded to port it with the help of some provisional solutions. But he pointed out that he must habe a documenation for writing the Gigabit-Ethernet-Driver needed for Guardian. But although he was an employee of Genesi bplan did not send it.

Finally he at least got the Linux driver for the Gigabit connection although he previously said that this would be really kind but not sufficient and that it would not be a substitute for the documentation.

Then Dale Rahn tried to get the new firmware version of the Pegasos II. After some "asking" on IRC he got it. But he had to recognize that OpenBSD did not work with it. He informed Genesi and bplan and then he was only told that some things had changed but no specific information so that he could find the bug. One week and a half later the new boards were delivered with a newer firmware.

After this and after the message that the salaries could not be payed Dale Rahn noticed to the March 1st, 2004. To his point of view bplan did not care about OpenBSD and the quality of the boards. As a reply to his notice he got a confirmation and the promise that he would get his salary for the past months.

Finally he sent a statement that it was too late to adapt the OpenBSD version and that there would not be any possibility to create a Pegasos version in future.

As a result he got the response that he would not get any salary for the time after February 4th. Additionally he had to pay the two Pegasos boards which were sent to Theo de Raadt.

Altogether Dale Rahn got a payment only for five weeks instead of four and a half months. He is now looking for a new job.

Meanwhile all hints to OpenBSD have been deleted from the official Pegasos-website.

On MorphZone Genesi comments that the support of OpenBSD would have cancelled in any case because the company could not afford an OpenBSD expert with a salary of 5000 Dollar monthly and because the market had not demanded such a product. Nevertheless the service of Dale Rahn would be appreciated. (snx) (Translation: dr)

[News message: 26. Mar. 2004, 15:43] [Comments: 0]
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