Subject: Re: A name for the NetBSD port to the Psion Series 5 mx
To: John Fremlin <>
From: David Brownlee <>
List: port-arm
Date: 05/01/2001 14:30:56
On 24 Apr 2001, John Fremlin wrote:

> Hi!
> I'm porting NetBSD to the Psion 5 mx PDA. Currently I can enter the
> kernel (from Arlo) and print humorous messages on the fb - that is,
> printf is working. The MMU is not yet enabled and no other hardware is
> supported, so multiuser is quite far off ;-)
> The people who generously offered CF cards: they won't be much use to
> me for a while (until I start wanting to boot the same kernel twice),
> so hang on to them ;-)
> Anybody interested is welcome to the bits and pieces of the port.
> NetBSD folks: there is a big question of what to call it. Background
> follows:
> Hardware details
>    The [1]Series 5 mx is a small palmtop computer produced by [2]Psion
>    Plc. It is built around an [3]ARM 710 T with a ARM7TDMI (Thumb) ARM
>    processor running at 36 MHz. Although the [4]Series 5 palmtops from
>    Psion and the Geofox 1 have the same native operating system (EPOC),
>    they are based on different hardware to the Series 5 mx: in fact, both
>    are built around a [5]Cirrus Logic CLPS7110, for which documentation
>    is available. There is [6]hardware information for the Geofox 1 (some
>    of it reverse engineered). The [7]Series 7 is based around a StrongArm
>    processor.
>   Serial port
>    The Series 5 mx has the same serial port interface as the Series 7.
>    1.
>    2.
>    3.
>    4.
>    5.
>    6.
>    7.
> I'm not sure it really fits in the hpcarm subarch (which is rather
> StrongArm orientated), though it does have similar classes of devices
> (e.g. the touchscreen) and is used in the same way as HPC
> devices. OTOH the Series 7 is more like a HPC and that does share a
> serial port with the Series 5 mx. As can be seen from the hardware
> differences above, a "psionarm" subarch would be fairly meaningless. I
> thought of having a "handarm" subarch (which would possibly later
> include ports to mobile phones currently running EPOC). Any
> suggestions? I don't want to have to change all the names if it
> finally gets landed in the NetBSD CVS tree.

	The original convention seemed to be pretty much 'if they can
	share a GENERIC kernel, they share the same sys/arch dir'.

	This was broken by sun3/sun3x (A shared GENERIC is probably
	possibly but given the very limited resources on machines such
	as sun3/50 - 4MB total & frambuffer position limits kernel to 1MB)

	It was also broken by arm32, but that seems to be in the process
	of being fixed :)

	We also have sun fun as arch/hpc which is contains code shared
	between hpcmips, hpcsh and hpcarm.

	Would it be reasonable to make a GENERIC kernel to run on
	psion5 + geofox + 5mx + psion7, or are they too dissimilar.
	(Obviously it would make sense to also have customised kernels
	for each)

	If a common GENERIC would not make sense, where would be the best
	split?  psion5 + geofox, 5mx, hpcarm + psion7?

		David/absolute		-- No hype required --