Subject: Re: Free SPARC5 in Silicon Valley, USA
To: None <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
From: Johan A.van Zanten <>
List: port-sparc
Date: 02/11/2006 22:59:14
der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA> wrote:
> As of 1.4T, the tcx driver in tree needed only minimal tweaks to work
> with the S24 enough for me to build an Xs24.  (Comparatively little use
> of the acceleration - what acceleration there is - but it handled 8bpp
> and 24bpp on the same screen.)

 I used one of these SPARC-5s in about 1997, when they were "brand new."
I was very excited to get a 24-bit video Sun, because i'd never had a
24-bit frame buffer in a Sun before.  (They existed, but i didn't work
anywhere where i had access to one.)

 In my experiences, running Solaris 2.5.1, 2.6, or 2.7, this frame buffer
was painfully slow.  I found a TGX+ SBus frame buffer and a spare monitor,
and attached them to the same box, so i had a "fast screen" as well as the
slow S24 "colorful screen."

 I'm not at all disparaging any work people have done on getting it to
work in NetBSD -- i'm amazed at how much people have been able to
accomplish with formal specifications or the cooperation of the
manufacturer.  And i also have one of these SPARC-5s as my desktop and
would love to see it work. If i knew anything about writing drivers (i
don't), i'd offer to help.

  But in my recollection, if someone has never used this frame buffer
before, one will be disappointed by how slow it is.  Especially when
compared with any modern video card.

 Perhaps the old Solaris driver was written badly, but from the
discussion, it sounds like the card was also oddly designed.