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#1 openxdkman

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 08:26 PM

Minidash is a useful tool allowing fast development on hard disk-less machines with short cycles Reboot=>Receive(FTP/HTTP)=>Run=>Edit.

Book mark changelog and check it often:
http://minilgos.pers...h/changelog.txt

If change log gets too big, changes will go there:
http://minilgos.pers.../archivelog.txt

Files:
http://minilgos.pers...sh/miniconf.zip
http://minilgos.pers...sh/minidash.zip (v0.0)
http://minilgos.pers...sh/casyntax.txt

Edited by openxdkman, 28 March 2009 - 10:46 PM.


#2 rommeladres

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:49 AM

Hi,
tried this on my dell Optiplex.
I only got a black screen with the letters "GCNS"
Any idea what went wrong ?


#3 openxdkman

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 06:08 PM

Graphic Card Not Supported

Happens if :
Vesa 2.0 or above BIOS not found
800x600 modes 113h 114h or 115h not found (16 bits per pixel up to 24 bits per pixel)
32 bits linear addressing not possible (this last option is independant from Vesa version)

If it's an old or limited graphic card (chipset on motherboard probably) that may explain it.

There is also the case I've not really thought about of a laptop that allows only 1024x768.
In that last case, I can try a change. But why a laptop could not display a small 800x600 area?

If you can run msdos from a bootable floppy disk or cdrom we can also try to see how your BIOS responds if we interrogate Vesa to see available modes, etc... There should be some program on internet to do that.

I've eventually other solutions for VGA 16 color... but that really stinks nowadays... I mean not being able to display a nice jpeg picture with all colors.
So I kinda dropped this 16 color alternative (which works on all pc for sure).

Edited by openxdkman, 29 March 2007 - 06:11 PM.


#4 openxdkman

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 06:46 PM

http://minilgos.pers...c0/vesainfo.zip

It's a small 16 bits real mode msdos program that lists :

- physical available memory addresses ranges
- vesa version in bios
- graphic card name
- graphic modes (only 113h 114h 115h, usually only 2 of these modes exist)
- physical address of frame buffer (for 32 bits linear addressing)

Launch it under msdos (can't work under windows). It should give us the reason why you got the GCNS message.

(I'm not willing to abandon 32 bits linear addressing... it's so sweet!)

I realize I may have forgotten 12Eh (800x600 32 bits per pixel)
Maybe you have this mode and not the others...
I can add it if needed. We really need to know the list of Vesa modes you have.

Edited by openxdkman, 28 March 2009 - 10:45 PM.


#5 rommeladres

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:20 AM

I couldn't try the small program as I couldn't start in msdos.
but
Meanwhile I tested it on another computer and I get another error message :
"Packet driver init failed"
"Press B or X"
What went wrong with this computer ?


#6 openxdkman

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 08:34 AM

Currently pc0_demo.zip supports these network adapters (do you have one of these on the pc?) :

PCI (1317,0985) : SMC 1244TX (www.smc.com)
PCI (1106,3106) : D-link DFE530TX (www.dlink.com.tw)
PCI (1186,1300) : D-link DFE528TX (www.dlink.com.tw)
PCI (10EC,8029) : Realtek 8029 (www.realtek.com.tw)
PCI (10EC,8139) : Realtek 8139 (www.realtek.com.tw)
PCI (10B7,9200) : 3Com 3c905cx-txm (www.3com.com)

Personally, I only use Realtek 8139, so I recommend it. I've added a few others in order to not piss off other main manufacturers... But problem with other manufacturers is that they change their chipsets all the time... Realtek maintains the same chipset for a long time now, which is sweet for driver stability.
Cost is under 9 US$ for sure.

We have to be realistic. Having an instant boot able to pull a boot code over ethernet needs an immediate running packet driver. Trying to support all existing network drivers is nuts when choosing one is so cheap.
Normally Realtek 8139 has won 70% of the market I've heard. So, many will be covered already and others will have to throw out a very very few coins to comply. Also check the device_id and vendor_id of all your network adapters since there are many brand names that in fact, use Realtek 8139 chipsets. All brand name-less adapters are Realtek 8139, I guess. However packet drivers can be replaced in .dsk file if they are small .com's and accepting either "0x61" or "/I 0x61" as parameter (interrupt number).

Of course you can say that excludes laptops since they don't have PCI slots. But all this project is about a cheap but upgradable PC under a TV in a living room... Laptop is quite expensive for that kind of usage and not really friendly when it comes to upgrade the graphic horse power... However pcmcia network adapter SMC 8036TX should work with pc0_demo.zip (just for testing).

Edited by openxdkman, 31 March 2007 - 07:56 AM.


#7 rommeladres

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 02:13 PM

I have a sis 900 fast ethernet pci adaptor, so i guess it won't work.

#8 openxdkman

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 03:53 PM

If you find the msdos .com packet driver, we can try. Just point the link to it and I can replace one of the other packet drivers with it, in the .bin image. But if it doesn't work at first try, let's give up. I have to focus on nv40 driver now.



#9 openxdkman

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 04:46 PM

Miniconf utility created (link added in first post of this thread).
It will be used later to customize minidash cdrom image with your favorite ip configuration.
Possible choices:
- static IP (and mask,gateway,dns) or dynamic IP (thru DHCP)
- ftp or http for the bootloader path
- with or without username & password for the bootloader path (basic authentication)
See the file readme.txt for more details.

You can create minidash cdroms customized for each member of your family.

Edited by openxdkman, 03 April 2007 - 04:51 PM.


#10 openxdkman

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 04:57 PM

Minidash v0.0 released!
Can be configured with Miniconf.
For now, just downloads boot code and displays it on screen.
(v0.1 will execute it with interpreter engine, later)



#11 openxdkman

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 05:01 PM

Here is a beta of Minidash v0.1 for PC0 platform, so you can play with canonic assembler samples a bit...

http://minilgos.pers...c0/pc0_beta.zip

The return value of your boot code affects the global behaviour of Minidash:

0 : Download boot code again and execute it immediately
(This value makes minidash execute your boot code in a loop. The advantage of this is that you don't even need to reboot the PC0 machine to try a new version of code. Just update boot file and see result. Reboot only if bad crash occurs. Note that all cpu and fpu exceptions should be trapped nicely, so crashes will be avoided and explanation messages will appear. However, current version doesn't manage well to resume execution after a cpu or fpu trapped exception, so you will have to reboot. If a debug mode is active in the text area where problem occurs, you will get the line number)

1 : Minidash will quit
(On consoles, that will make you return to system/dashboard menu. Not implemented yet)

2 : Power off machine
(Not implemented yet)

Error value (0xee??????) : Displays explanations messages, then displays "Press enter when you are finished editing boot file", then waits for 'enter' key.
(Happens when an exception is trapped, a user or engine error is triggered or a syntax error is detected)

Native code address (any value >2 and different from 0xee??????) : Move code and jump to it
(Not implemented yet. If your boot file is just a native code boot loader, after allocating a memory buffer and filling it with your native code program, you will compel Minidash to jump to it. On pc0, since we are still in real mode, code will be copied to 0070:0000 and CPU will jump to that address. That means your code must be address independant. Developpers willing to port XBMC may start trying to have reactos nt kernel clone boot on PC0 that way and init a ram file system...)

Edited by openxdkman, 28 March 2009 - 10:44 PM.


#12 openxdkman

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 08:32 AM

After months of study and modding... it seems that homebrew on vulnerable 360 (I spent a lots of my free time water cooling and installing infectus) and regular PS3 (nice work done by other coders at ps3dev) are progressing well... I hope to release minidash v0.0 for these platforms before end of year...

Once it's done, I will push forward minidash version for pc0,
but also for xb1, ps2, 360 and ps3 at the same time.

v0.0 does nothing , but you know, it's the first step that costs the most...

It's possible I put wii, nds and psp in the same "holiday water-downed bag".
i.e I will consider them as lesser machines, consuming less power, that can receive water-downed version of homebrew for vacation time. You transfert your saved game, you go on holiday and when you return, you transfert back.

It's possible wii homebrew (not gc homebrew) will just be a flash file you access through Opera... Because it seems that support for wiimote through opera exists. Actually I find GC homebrew a bit lame because it can't support wiimote at all... Also wii could just be considered portable since it consumes only 17 watts. It's not so hard to mount it into something able to draw power from a car or solar panels, or something like that. Therefore, we just need a way to see how to re-use Opera for (legal) homebrew purpose... I will think more about it...

Edited by openxdkman, 14 September 2007 - 07:30 AM.


#13 openxdkman

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 10:21 AM

Recent discovery made by Ironpeter and Glaurung on PS3, about direct RSX access for homebrew, is also interesting for PC0 platform, assuming we target GeForce 7300 or GeForce7800 graphic cards.
RSX chipset is similar to those and progress made in direct programming of this chipset on PS3 may help me to make faster progress in the graphic card chipsets understanding.

About the Wii, the more I think about it, the more I think about the Wii as a graphic and sound card for PC0... Sounds silly, but if you want remote support right from the Wii, internet channel is the (cheap) way to go. Recent release of hullbreachonline and wiideo center allow to think that a PC0 may act as a web server for the Wii and supply graphic and sound through streaming. It can come from a movie or a virtual screen updated by homebrew code (runnong on PC0 side). It would turn to zero the troubles to find a PC compatible graphic and sound card...




#14 beige

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 10:15 PM

Would it only work on a Wii or will it use a standard that other devices that display streaming media are able to use?

On another matter, would it be possible to use the Boot From LAN function that most newer bioses have to load the pc0 software instead of booting it from a CD rom? It seems like it would be an easy way to update the program without having to burn a cd everytime there's a change. Plus it's less hardware required to run on the PC0 machine. (Not that CD drives are hard to come by)

#15 openxdkman

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 10:00 AM

I haven't studied at all LAN boot or bios flash methods. They probably work of course.

About CD burning, CD-RW works... so...
That's really the easier solution, compatible with all drives accepting El Torito standard. Now once it's done and with more time, everything is possible. Also physical CD acts like a physical key to boot machine, when you divide login password in two parts, one on CD and one in your mind. If you keep CD with you and machine is stolen, your online data is even safer (Pwd stays with you. The half one on CD and the half on in your head).

About using another machine (wii) as graphic display and sound device :
Surely standard streaming protocol, since we have to do it in a clean way so the Opera browser accepts it. Just like Wiideo center does... I strongly suggest everyone to try Wiideo center at least once. Installation is incredibly simple : you unzip files somewhere, you open port 8080 on firewall, and you click exe. Then you can browse your PC hard disk through your Wii to play media files... Amazing...

Anyway I haven't finished studying GPU's on all platforms I'm targetting (360 recently finished thanks to tmbinc, and PS3 starting thanks to IronPeter and Glaurung). Once this is done, I will be able to figure out some unified library and then the real fun will start... (i.e you take a crappy old PC, and you can play on network against friends, playing on their next-gen console with same homebrew title... Maybe not with same graphic details level, but definitely same gameplay. I'm interested in doing Netrek 3D)

Edited by openxdkman, 01 November 2007 - 10:18 AM.





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