Subject: Re: options "BLINK" in config file for kernel?
To: Herb Peyerl <>
From: Calvin Vette <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 01/18/1999 14:33:49
Herb Peyerl wrote:

> [I've Cc'd tech-kern in the event that someone thinks it's a good idea and
> goes ahead to discuss it and implement it]
> "Dan Dockery" <>  wrote:
>  > >options         BLINK           # blink the led on supported machines
>  > >
>  > >ok, it does indeed blink, but what is the purpose? Accept for the fact that
>  > >now I can't tell by looking at the led whether the machine is down or not.
>  >
>  > It looks neat.  Isn't that purpose enough?  Some of us like our blinky
>  > LED's...
> Something I've always wanted and have thought about writing is a
> generic LED driver that basically collects blink events from various
> sympathetic drivers and an MD driver that can drive whatever LED
> hardware is available on a machine.. Then a userland 'ledctl' that
> connects various events to various led's.
> Once, a long time ago, someone did a parallel-port based led-bank and
> tweaks to 386bsd to make them do stuff... I built one, hooked it up
> and started tweaking drivers and found it helpful; especially given
> how unstable 386bsd was...
> anyway, I've never gotten around to even seriously thinking about it
> but I still want it...

When I was running 386BSD, I had an Everex 386/20 with an multicharacter LCD panel
that I always wanted to hook up to the kernel to display things like uptime,
current time of day, load, etc. I never could justify the work then because that
machine was old even then, and no other machine had anything like it at the time
(that I was aware of.) In the PC world, and the Sparc world, I see stuff like that
all the time on servers, which makes me think even more that it would be worthwile
to have. I'd even be interested in creating a USB device to support it. Maybe a
generic serial, parallel, and ADB devices would interest others.

I'd be willing to give it some effort if there's enough interest.