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Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
From: pnakada@oracle.com (Paul Nakada)
Subject: X386 and lame SVGA cards
Nntp-Posting-Host: pnakada.us.oracle.com
Organization: Oracle Corporation, Redwood Shores, CA
Date: Wed, 6 May 1992 18:39:34 GMT
X-Disclaimer: This message was written by an unauthenticated user
              at Oracle Corporation.  The opinions expressed are those
              of the user and not necessarily those of Oracle.


Linux Hackers - 

  I've got a Trident SVGA card which isn't supported under X386.
Shouldn't there be a way to use it as a plain VGA card (640x480)?
Aren't all SVGA cards the same if treated as VGA?  Windows doesn't
have any problems with the default VGA driver and my card, it's just
the higher resolutions which need trident specific drivers.  So, is
there an Xconfig for plain VGA cards?

Thanks.

- Paul
--

Paul Nakada  |  Oracle Corporation  |  pnakada@oracle.com

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
From: cummings@hammer.Prime.COM (Kevin Cummings)
Subject: Re: X386 and lame SVGA cards
Organization: Prime Computer R&D
Date: Wed, 6 May 1992 19:13:59 GMT

In article < PNAKADA.92May6103934@pnakada.oracle.com>, pnakada@oracle.com 
(Paul Nakada) writes:
> 
> Linux Hackers - 
> 
>   I've got a Trident SVGA card which isn't supported under X386.
> Shouldn't there be a way to use it as a plain VGA card (640x480)?
> Aren't all SVGA cards the same if treated as VGA?  Windows doesn't
> have any problems with the default VGA driver and my card, it's just
> the higher resolutions which need trident specific drivers.  So, is
> there an Xconfig for plain VGA cards?

The question, as i read it, is why can't X386 support 640x480x16 mode.
The answer I read earlier today is that they don't think its worth the
effort to do so.  They believe that only 256 colors modes are worth
supporting, and 320x200x256 is too small a screen to use X on, even
in a virtual 800x600x256 screen driver (which needs 512K bytes
of video memory to do without swapping to system memory).  So what I
heard them say was that if your video card has less than 512K of
video memory, don't expect to be able to use X386.

I don't agree with them, but they have the source, and I don't.

=================================================================
Kevin J. Cummings                       Prime Computer Inc.
20 Briarwood Road                       500 Old Connecticut Path
Framingham, Mass.                       Framingham, Mass.

Work:  cummings@primerd.Prime.COM
Home:  cummings@kjc386.framingham.ma.us

Std. Disclaimer: "Mr. McKittrick, after careful consideration,
		  I've come to the conclusion that your new
		  defense system SUCKS..."   --  War Games
=================================================================

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: X386 and lame SVGA cards
Date: 6 May 92 22:01:43 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

In article <1992May6.151359@hammer.Prime.COM> cummings@hammer.Prime.COM (Kevin
Cummings) and others write:
> > [ no support for some cards, or even standard 640x480x16, as it's
> > not "worth it" ]
>
>I don't agree with them, but they have the source, and I don't.

Well, in fact you /do/ have source: just get the X11r5 distribution and
hack on it.  That's how the original X386 was created (well, it wasn't
based on r5, but you get the idea).  The linux X-server certainly isn't
based on any proprietary code. 

There seem to be several drivers that implement standard VGA modes (just
look at "real" unixes), but sadly, none of them seem to be freely
distributable, and so aren't part of the standard distribution.  The
X386 drivers included are written by Roell, and it's not really fair to
criticize him for not writing drivers for all the possible card
combinations.  He did them for free, after all (sadly (for us - I doubt
he minds) he seems now to get paid for his effors, so he no longer makes
them available for no chanrge).  If you want to lay the blame somewhere,
do it at IBM who didn't come up with a good standard for video cards. 

The reason there doesn't seem to exist any 16-colour drivers for free is
simply because nobody seems to have wanted to write them: 16-colour
programming isn't fun, and the results aren't as pleasing as 256 colour
modes.  Not surprisingly, 256 colour mode is more popular.  Also, not
surprisingly, chipsets that are easier to program (ie et4000) get the
drivers.

What I'm trying to say is that X386 is free, and that nobody got paid
for producing it: don't be surprised if it doesn't support all hardware. 
Even as I'm not going to write a PS2 version of linux (unless somebody
gives me a PS2 + docs etc), I assume roell didn't want to write a
version that he felt was "uninteresting".

		Linus

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
From: ron_p@aruba.nysaes.cornell.edu (Ron Pool)
Subject: Re: X386 and lame SVGA cards
In-Reply-To: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI's message of 6 May 92 22: 01:43 GMT
Nntp-Filt-2: Fenchurch version 0.3 by Uncle Mikey for Cornell University
Nntp-Posting-Host: aruba.nysaes.cornell.edu
Nntp-Auth: trusted
Organization: Cornell University
Errors-To: Michael_Shappe@cornell.edu
Date: Thu, 7 May 1992 03:12:21 GMT

In article <1992May6.220143.13536@klaava.Helsinki.FI> 
torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds) writes:
>In article <1992May6.151359@hammer.Prime.COM> cummings@hammer.Prime.COM (Kevin
>Cummings) and others write:
>> > [ no support for some cards, or even standard 640x480x16, as it's
>> > not "worth it" ]
>>
>>I don't agree with them, but they have the source, and I don't.

>Well, in fact you /do/ have source: just get the X11r5 distribution and
>hack on it.  That's how the original X386 was created (well, it wasn't
>based on r5, but you get the idea).  The linux X-server certainly isn't
>based on any proprietary code. 

>What I'm trying to say is that X386 is free, and that nobody got paid
>for producing it: don't be surprised if it doesn't support all hardware. 
>Even as I'm not going to write a PS2 version of linux (unless somebody
>gives me a PS2 + docs etc), I assume roell didn't want to write a
>version that he felt was "uninteresting".

>		   Linus

It sounds like the source for X386 as ported to Linux may not be made
available.  This is certainly fair, but I'd like to know if this is going
to be the case or not, so I can decide whether to use X386 or not.  I
very much like the fact that source is available for everything I'm using
in Linux right now, except for possibly X386 and gcc2.1 (as ported to Linux).
I imagine the source for gcc2.1 will be available later (this is actually
required under the GPL, but I've no interest in hacking on gcc itself --
I'm plenty happy hacking with it and find it to work _very_ well for me).
I will want to be able to hack on X386 though.

Does anyone know if the X386 source for the Linux port will be available
at any time?  It's no big deal to me if source won't be available as
I have no burning need to use X11 at home yet.

Ron Pool, ron_p@empire.cce.cornell.edu

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