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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:22 pm 
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For historical interest, on the subject of the O2 PROM in particular.

The last IP32 (O2) proms were built using an IRIX 6.3 patch tree, the code was never properly migrated over to the 6.5.x codebase. Version 4.14 introduced support for the RM7000 and was implemented as a 6.3 patch. Version 4.15 was just a bug fix.

Digging out such trees and patches now would be work, given that the code is likely on some backup tape somewhere. The O2 proms were also built on an Indy running Irix 6.2 and some particular MIPSPro compiler revisions, which would take time to get going again.

The Octane, Fuel, Tezro, Onyx PROMs can be built, so far as I know, with the 6.5.x sourcebase and a modern machine; though apart from things such as USB or ISO cd booting support, I can't see what you'd add to them that would improve anything dramatically.

On the subject of X.org graphics drivers, readers may be interested to know that there was small but significant kernel involvement in swapping graphics contexts during process switch that you don't see in something like Linux. This allowed for efficient use of the GL hardware by multiple processes simultaneously. Also of note is that the SGI X server is multi-threaded, something even X.org lacks today. The bigger graphics pipelines (i.e IR2 & 3) had a lot of ancilliary processors, primarily ARM7 chips (if memory serves) to which microcode had to be uploaded in order for the pipeline to function. Writing the original drivers involved a lot of simulators, special debug configs etc - re-implementing, even with documentation, would be a massive undertaking.

If the SGI platform is to be preserved and enjoyed, the best route to doing so would be to work on a qemu style emulation of one of the simpler systems. I would suspect the O2 or Octane would be the best candidates. The Octane would get you 64bit potentially, but the vast majority of SGI binaries are 32bit. The O2 CRIME graphics were actually something akin to an additional MIPS chip with some DMA engines - certainly its the pipeline most likely to succeed in software emulation, given that so much of it is running on something akin to a general purpose cpu already.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:11 pm 
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mchu7gk2 wrote:
...Version 4.15 was just a bug fix.. ...


What was added with versions 4.16, 4.17 and 4.18?

Ian.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Hey, mchu7gk2 - great post! Thanks for sharing the info!


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:13 am 
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mchu7gk2 wrote:
On the subject of X.org graphics drivers, readers may be interested to know that there was small but significant kernel involvement in swapping graphics contexts during process switch that you don't see in something like Linux.

page flipping, right? Also used in the network stack? A neat trick but intimately tied to the underlying TLB and page size. I believe even IRIX had to let go of some of that when they moved to 64bit because the page size changed to 8KB ...

Otherwise good infos. I was pretty sure the PROM source was tied into the IRIX source already all the way back to the 4D series. In those systems the PROM version even matches the contemporary IRIX version.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:34 am 
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jan-jaap wrote:
I believe even IRIX had to let go of some of that when they moved to 64bit because the page size changed to 8KB ...

You sure mean 16KB - genuine Mips chips can only use even powers of two as the page size, therefore page sizes go 4KB, 16KB, 64KB, 256KB, 1MB, and so on.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:44 am 
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^^^ Me bad. Brain fart. Been sick for a couple of days.

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It turns out that when reset, the WD33C93 defaults to a SCSI ID of 0, and it was simpler to leave it that way... -- Dave Olson, in comp.sys.sgi

Currently in commercial service: Image :Onyx2:(2x) :O3x02L:
In the museum: almost every MIPS/IRIX system.
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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:29 am 
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mapesdhs wrote:
pilot345 wrote:
this a real possibility? ...


No.

SGI told me categorically the PROM source will not be released.

Ian.




That's quite a pity though... Hmm I wonder if someone can create a Linux boot loader that loads ROM imagines into memory..
Now I 'heard' that some ATI graphics options are supported in IRIX...
Hmmm..



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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:59 am 
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Ryan Fox wrote:

Now I 'heard' that some ATI graphics options are supported in IRIX...



Looks like you're a little late to this party but yes, IRIX has support for ATI FireGL X1-256M


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:34 am 
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kais58 wrote:
Looks like you're a little late to this party but yes, IRIX has support for ATI FireGL X1-256M
.....via an IRIX port of XFree86 (rather than Xsgi).

Ryan - if you're remotely curious, there's some details on various X server configurations for the IRIX version of XFree86 (and the ATI boards used by SGI) in this TechPubs document: http://techpubs.sgi.com/library/tpl/cgi ... I/apd.html

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:11 am 
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And from all I know the quotes should be around "supported" rather then heard.

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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:37 am 
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I haven't seen anything strange with it, but then I've not run many OpenGL programs on it, if anyone knows of anything to run on it to try, let me know.


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:31 am 
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 7:43 am
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Hi,

bri3d wrote:
...for most systems (Indy, O2, Octane with VPro, and increasingly Fuel and Origin3xxx) the reverse-engineering heavy work was done long ago, and what remains is just a lack of implementation. For example, BSDs have real accelerated CRIME support but Linux doesn't, and VPro is understood and we can render triangles on it but nobody wants to write an X.Org driver.


Who did the work? Is it available anywhere?


Regards,
@ndy


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 Post subject: Re: Irix Open Sourced
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Stanislaw Skowronek did the reverse engineering of the Octane. See http://www.linux-mips.org/~skylark/

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