Subject: Re: mods for proposed port 'tsarm'
To: Jesse Off <>
From: Richard Earnshaw <>
List: port-arm
Date: 12/05/2004 20:40:31
On Sun, 05 Dec 2004 09:57:49 MST, "Jesse Off" wrote:
> Thank you for the description.  Based on that, the TS-7200 could probably
> easily be classified as a complete system; though a very modular one.  It
> does have a small enclosure and power-supply board of its own though it is
> often just sold as the board (a lot of customers build their own
> enclosures/power supplies).  It also has PC/104 (ISA) slots to add
> peripherals including video.  We do ship and sell a PC/104 VGA video board
> with PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors though this doesn't quite work
> with the TS-7200 netbsd port yet however since the VGA board has a x86
> BIOS extension thats required to properly initialize them.  We are
> currently building a LCD/VGA daughter card with touch screen controller
> that we will be supporting on the ARM boards.  I *have* to make this card
> work with Linux on the ARM since thats currently what all our customers
> are using, but I'd like to also make it work with NetBSD.  For this card,
> a USB keyboard would be assumed.
> The "disk" for this board is the compact flash socket.  Compact flash
> cards look just like an IDE device and I have seen some up to 4GB large. 
> You really need at least a 256MB one for NetBSD, and if you want, there
> are CF to 40pin IDE adapters available if you want to attach a real hard
> drive (though you're only gonna get the PIO speeds)  You can buy the cards
> with boards/enclosures from us and we can currently preload a Linux OS on
> them, though its usually more economical to purchase from somebody like
> CostCo, where a 512MB card is currently going for around $46.
> I have some pictures up of the board w/enclosure at

I don't wish to appear to be denigrating your product (indeed, it looks 
like a pretty neat box), but I'm not sure this sort of device can really 
be classed as a full-fledged machine in the way that something like the 
Iyonix is.

That's not meant to imply it can't run NetBSD: it clearly can.  But the 
number of applications that would be viable on it is, I suspect, somewhat 
limited.  The limit on physical RAM is one part of this.

There are a number of boards very similar in specifications to this on the 
market: I'm not sure we'd want to create full ports for all of them, which 
leaves us with a conundrum to solve.  I wonder if we should have a 
'sbcarm' port (single-board-computer) in which this is the first sub-port.

If I were restructuring the ARM ports again, I might well put the shark 
port into the sbcarm category.  However, machines have to be judged 
against their peers at the time they become available, and that changes 
with time.