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Re: QVSS wscons driver

On 4 January 2015 at 02:25, Charles Dickman <chd%chdickman.com@localhost> wrote:
> I spent some of the Christmas break from work writing a wscons driver
> for the QVSS (VCB01) video controller. qv.c in the NetBSD source tree
> is ancient (from Ultrix?), so it was pretty much useless for anything
> but a hardware reference. The video portion is based on the smg driver
> and serial port/keyboard on the dz driver.
> The board is split into two devices: wsdisplay attaches to qv for the
> video portion and wskbd attaches to lkkbd attaches to qvaux for the
> keyboard portion. The mouse is similar, but I don't have a DEC serial
> mouse. You can see the boot messages below.
> There are now 8 VTs, but the console is still on the KA650 console
> serial port. Performance is about the same as a serial console.
> Scrolling is especially slow. The smg frame buffer code is pretty much
> unchanged. QVSS has a scan line map that can help with scrolling, but
> this drivers does not take advantage of it.

macllan%netbsd.org@localhost has written accelerated NetBSD console and X11
drivers for just about every type of sparc framebuffer and seemingly
most of the other ports as well (anti aliased console font as fast as
plain bitmap?:). If at some point you end up with any questions on how
to get NetBSD to drive a particular feature hes also quite helpful...

> There are some issues with the keyboard. VT switching works when I
> press and hold the DO key followed by F1-F8, but the DO key also
> generates output until I press Fn. Command F11 is supposed to drop to
> the kernel debugger, but that doesn't work. What VAX hardware has good
> wscons support? How much of the keyboard has been exercised?

I'm not sure any VAX hardware has good wscons support, though it looks
like we now have two separate classes of hardware which are gaining it

For VT switching it really ought to be a modifier key (or keys) plus
the function key. On x86 its Ctrl+Alt+F... so I would say either DO
needs to become a meta key or the code should pick a different key (or

> Not sure if anybody else has the hardware to run it, but I can share.
> It would be cool to get it into the NetBSD source tree, but it needs
> some test and polish.

Would definitely like to see this in the tree. For reference I think
the latest simh beta VAX emulator has QVSS support, which could be
interesting to play with.

> It may be academic now, but I have a few questions:
> Are there schematics for this board? Google failed me here.
> Is there a better manual than what is included in the MicroVAX II manuals?
> I'm using this with a KA650 processor, does the KA650 support the
> VCB01 as a console?  It doesn't do it automatically with what I have

For non NetBSD specific QVSS and similar questions you might find the
collected hive mind at cctalk%classiccmp.org@localhost has a lot of answers
(including possibly pointers to schematics and other docs)

Most excellent work btw :)

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