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The 30K Gouraud triangles per second
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gtnicol



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 523
Location: Rhode Island, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just the ROM, it's the ASIC(s) on the ROM board that differ, and there are at least 2 we'd have to change.
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tomaz



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 145
Location: Sark

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M Paquette wrote:
As usual, Wikipedia tossed up more unsubstantiated rubbish. I'm not allowed to edit this in Wikipedia, as I am one of the people who wrote the software involved. Conflict of interest and all that. Instead we get commentary on my code from someone I've never heard of.

Actual real facts:
Mike, thank you for a fascinating description. Awesome of you to be on the board. And thank you for playing an important role in creating the computer we all love! I look forward to reading many more posts from you, especially as you obviously have tons of information which (most if not all of) the rest of us have no way of obtaining and will find fascinating. I hope you will continue to post and satisfy our intellectual curiosity and help preserve the unique information you possess for posterity.

In addition to the questions Michael and Rob have already asked, one more comes to my mind for now: there are a couple of VLSI ASICs on NeXT motherboards, whose designs I would guess are no longer of commercial value to Apple. Do you have any idea if (and if so, how, where, from whom) the schematics, or at least behavioural spec. could be obtained?

I'm sorry to hear about the appalling treatment you got from Wikipedia. I used to edit it from time to time. From a certain point onwards, it seemed to become unbelievably bureaucratic. I'd edit a page about a subject I knew something about, and I'd get attacked by a flock of turkeys who obviously didn't have the first clue about the basics, my edits would get reverted, they'd quote all manner of bureaucratic rules to defend putting wrong things onto the page. When I argued my corner, at one point I got threatened with having my account suspended. I generally won the arguments in the end, but it was just not worth the effort, the aggro or my time. It's not like there is anything in it for me. So I stopped contributing. I don't know if some policy changed at some point, or if it was always like that and I just hadn't noticed before.
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M Paquette



Joined: 22 Jul 2014
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tomaz wrote:
In addition to the questions Michael and Rob have already asked, one more comes to my mind for now: there are a couple of VLSI ASICs on NeXT motherboards, whose designs I would guess are no longer of commercial value to Apple. Do you have any idea if (and if so, how, where, from whom) the schematics, or at least behavioural spec. could be obtained?


Yow. Some 50,000 hand-crafted gates laid down before Synopsis and Verilog were available. They went through a lot of spins before NeXT had a set that (mostly) worked. They were at least as problematic as the MO drive, and were the reason the machine was so late to ship compared to early expectations.

The 33 MHz '040 systems got a shiny new VLSI chip that WAS designed with actual automation and simulation tools, and the development was much less painful.

I have no idea where or in what form the specs for those chips might be today.
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t-rexky



Joined: 09 Jan 2011
Posts: 220
Location: Snowy Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M Paquette wrote:
Some parts are not NeXT/Apple's to give out. Display PostScript, for example, is largely the same PostScript that Adobe still puts in printers and some of their software, with some additional extensions by NeXT for compositing, window, and event management. The kernel and UNIX level 1 code are very similar to the initial Darwin source release. VERY similar... The old gcc builds are available, or course. The AppKit code is still in active development, so I don't think they will hand that out.

Ernie Prabhakar is the product manager for related software these days.

This is pretty off-topic for this thread, though.


Good day Sir,

I don't mean to hijack this very interesting thread. However, for what it is worth, here is the link to the letter that I prepared to Apple on behalf of the community. Rob Blessin used his contacts to forward it to the correct senior person at Apple. Unfortunately we have never heard anything back. I also tried several times to contact some of the senior people at Apple directly with no luck.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/869wnp6vx0l1p2a/NeXT%20Source%20Code%20Lettter%20to%20Apple.pdf

It would be very nice if we at least knew what the show-stopper is with the limited source code release. Is it lack of resources to be "wasted" on this task at Apple, or is it something more fundamental like the Unix source licensing legalities. Perhaps you would be able to find out?

I think a number of people here would be happy to sign non-disclosures or any other documents if that could help.

Thank you,
Peter.
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