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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dravier wrote:
I have dreamed of owning a BeBox longer than NeXT in all honesty. I love me NeXT systems, but there's just something about the BeBoxen and BeOS. One day I'll have the money to get one... although I have been fortunate enough to aquire a set of SGI Indigo's for no cost at all. The first was almost thrown in to a dumpster. Thankfully I got a call just prior asking if I wanted it. The second one was from someone who had lost the power supply and didn't have the time to replace it. He gave me a stacked Indigo, a 21" SGI monitor, external hard disk and CD drive plus some odds and ends for the cost of shipping (the monitor was a bonus, he shipped it free of charge just because he wanted someone to love it and not dumpster it). None the less, I have a really nice SGI Indigo system that needs 5.2 reinstalled... I need to find room to set it up again.


It's quite staggering just how disposabe SGI's are considering what they cost in the pre Octane days. I recall either an Indy or an Indigo II in PCW Mag over here (same issue as the Pentium 1 launch) and they reviewed the machine, they reckoned at the time that the graphics board in the machine was 40 grand US!!!!!!, mind you this was at a time when SGI was the only thing that had 3d, before 3dfx and the Voodoo 1/rush era. iirc it wasn't even an purple Impact system. I think the Maximum Impact board in my Octane probably ran to many thousands of pounds.

The time is about right to buy a BeBox, they kind of dried up for ages but as they are getting pretty good money for them, people are selling, but they will dry up again.
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blackcube



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 164
Location: Sherman, Texas USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brams wrote:
dravier wrote:
I have dreamed of owning a BeBox longer than NeXT in all honesty. I love me NeXT systems, but there's just something about the BeBoxen and BeOS. One day I'll have the money to get one... although I have been fortunate enough to aquire a set of SGI Indigo's for no cost at all. The first was almost thrown in to a dumpster. Thankfully I got a call just prior asking if I wanted it. The second one was from someone who had lost the power supply and didn't have the time to replace it. He gave me a stacked Indigo, a 21" SGI monitor, external hard disk and CD drive plus some odds and ends for the cost of shipping (the monitor was a bonus, he shipped it free of charge just because he wanted someone to love it and not dumpster it). None the less, I have a really nice SGI Indigo system that needs 5.2 reinstalled... I need to find room to set it up again.


It's quite staggering just how disposabe SGI's are considering what they cost in the pre Octane days. I recall either an Indy or an Indigo II in PCW Mag over here (same issue as the Pentium 1 launch) and they reviewed the machine, they reckoned at the time that the graphics board in the machine was 40 grand US!!!!!!, mind you this was at a time when SGI was the only thing that had 3d, before 3dfx and the Voodoo 1/rush era. iirc it wasn't even an purple Impact system. I think the Maximum Impact board in my Octane probably ran to many thousands of pounds.

The time is about right to buy a BeBox, they kind of dried up for ages but as they are getting pretty good money for them, people are selling, but they will dry up again.


I bought my BeBox in 2000 during the big dot-com money fueled buying craze so I over paid by the standards of that time but it was worth it to me. Now I'd be hard pressed to find another close to that price.
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blackcube wrote:
I bought my BeBox in 2000 during the big dot-com money fueled buying craze so I over paid by the standards of that time but it was worth it to me. Now I'd be hard pressed to find another close to that price.


If you don't mind me asking James, how much did you pay, I got mine for 685 US + 140 shipping and then about 140 US duty at this side, I did however get everything with the BeBox, loads of BeOS releases (most in fact) most books, packing, boxes and even invoices!. I those terms it's probably my most complete system. I reckon I'd get more than a 1000 pounds if I sold it here in the UK as they are ultra rare here, only Computer Warehouse ever imported them, and I only ever saw one on eBay UK.

If I had to, I'm not sure which I'd part with the Turbo Cube or BeBox, the cube is worth more but the BeBox is much more rare.

On the cool 'o meter I reckon they rate at about the same at 8 which is one point above an Amiga 4000T and a TAM. Not found anything I'd rate for 9 and 10 yet, and yes an IBM PC XT rates at number 1.

I'd swap the BeBox for a Nitro though....
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blackcube



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 164
Location: Sherman, Texas USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brams wrote:
blackcube wrote:
I bought my BeBox in 2000 during the big dot-com money fueled buying craze so I over paid by the standards of that time but it was worth it to me. Now I'd be hard pressed to find another close to that price.


If you don't mind me asking James, how much did you pay, I got mine for 685 US + 140 shipping and then about 140 US duty at this side, I did however get everything with the BeBox, loads of BeOS releases (most in fact) most books, packing, boxes and even invoices!. I those terms it's probably my most complete system. I reckon I'd get more than a 1000 pounds if I sold it here in the UK as they are ultra rare here, only Computer Warehouse ever imported them, and I only ever saw one on eBay UK.

If I had to, I'm not sure which I'd part with the Turbo Cube or BeBox, the cube is worth more but the BeBox is much more rare.

On the cool 'o meter I reckon they rate at about the same at 8 which is one point above an Amiga 4000T and a TAM. Not found anything I'd rate for 9 and 10 yet, and yes an IBM PC XT rates at number 1.

I'd swap the BeBox for a Nitro though....


I paid $1085 for mine. It's in mint condition and came with a ton of Be developer software disks and documentation.
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 353
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blackcube wrote:

I paid $1085 for mine. It's in mint condition and came with a ton of Be developer software disks and documentation.


I payed for mine 351 EUR on eBay, but unfortunatly its a slow 66MHz machine. Its now equipped with a Matrox Mill. for 32Bit color (no boot logo anymore) and a DEC PCI network card.

...and i'm now leaching something from you Smile. BTW, is the DANO thing x86 only or is it the PPC port?
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andreas wrote:
blackcube wrote:

I paid $1085 for mine. It's in mint condition and came with a ton of Be developer software disks and documentation.


I payed for mine 351 EUR on eBay, but unfortunatly its a slow 66MHz machine. Its now equipped with a Matrox Mill. for 32Bit color (no boot logo anymore) and a DEC PCI network card.

...and i'm now leaching something from you Smile. BTW, is the DANO thing x86 only or is it the PPC port?


I put a Millenium II in mine and lost the boot logo. I then flashed the card with a Mac BIOS (in a Mac) and hey presto the boot menu came back along with the disolving Be logo. I don't think the PC Millenium can be flashed with the Mac BIOS as the flash chip is too small, on the Mil II both cards used the same sized flash chip.
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 353
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brams wrote:
I don't think the PC Millenium can be flashed with the Mac BIOS as the flash chip is too small, on the Mil II both cards used the same sized flash chip.


Oh, i'm shure i have the Mill. 2, do you have the BIOS aval?
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://idisk.mac.com/brams-Public/Matrox/Flasher1.31.sit

I tried to flash mine on my G4 and it didn't like it, not sure if it was OS 9.2.2 it did'nt like or the G4 so I did it in a 7500 using Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5.

Let me know if it works OK for you.
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 353
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brams wrote:
http://idisk.mac.com/brams-Public/Matrox/Flasher1.31.sit

I tried to flash mine on my G4 and it didn't like it, not sure if it was OS 9.2.2 it did'nt like or the G4 so I did it in a 7500 using Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5.

Let me know if it works OK for you.


Damn, you are right, my G4 also won't work and i have no old machine here. So it has to wait but thanx for the Tip.
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dravier



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 103
Location: Nazareth, PA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in case anyone in the UK is looking for a BeBox... here one is, ready for a new home...

http://www.bebox.nu/forums/viewtopic.php?t=248

A post from the BeBox Forums marketplace area. Was bummed that this wasn't state side.
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dravier wrote:
Just in case anyone in the UK is looking for a BeBox... here one is, ready for a new home...

http://www.bebox.nu/forums/viewtopic.php?t=248

A post from the BeBox Forums marketplace area. Was bummed that this wasn't state side.


Wierd, I got an email from Matt last night and he didn't tell me about that, he is a memeber here as well.
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andreas wrote:
brams wrote:
http://idisk.mac.com/brams-Public/Matrox/Flasher1.31.sit

I tried to flash mine on my G4 and it didn't like it, not sure if it was OS 9.2.2 it did'nt like or the G4 so I did it in a 7500 using Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5.

Let me know if it works OK for you.


Damn, you are right, my G4 also won't work and i have no old machine here. So it has to wait but thanx for the Tip.


Having read the post on BeBox forums about the UK 66 for sale, I just recalled, my BeBox though it runs R5.0.3 might not have the latest boot rom. I'm not sure about this as I've never flashed it (I dare not!). But I recall reading that various boot roms had different nubs and things to initialise PCI devices, this changed quite a bit as things developed.

Technically speaking a BeBox is PREP or CHRP based with a few things different (I can't recall what). It was able to read certain PC PCI card BIOS info (from the PCI card) and get a grip on how to deal with it (the nub could translate x86 code on the fly I think). This was done by the boot rom. In cases where it could not deal with it, it would load BeOS and hope that could deal with it by having a driver. Thus in this case you got no boot menu.

My logic and I never read this anywhere but as the Mac & BeBox are both PPC then it should/would logically know how to deal with the openfirmware loader on Mac PCI cards. When I tried this it worked on the Millenium II. I seem to recall though, some later versions of the boot rom/nub changed sufficiently that some cards which had the boot menu now did'nt.

What I'm saying is. My Millenium II did'nt have to boot menu till I flashed it with the PPC BIOS. That might change the other way if I changed the BeBox bootrom to an earlier or later version. I seem to recall my Box has got a DR boot rom flashed into it no idea which one. You might also flash yours with an earlier or later boot rom and it would work with the PC BIOS on the card.

Matt Emson is the best source of info on what boot roms do what.

Be aware though these flash chips are getting on a bit now, and you can kill them the older they get. So it might be best to leave it well alone and concentrate on the card which is easy to replace.

memson in on these forums and BeBox nu.
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memson



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me if I ramble slightly, as my mind is half on writing some code at the same tiime as posting this.

Right... first port of call:

BeBoxen and Matrox Mil 2 cards....

There is a bug in the Matrox NUB driver that sits in the BeBox ROM. Be Inc killed off the BeBox, and Be obviously never fixed it. The rule of thumb is, if your video card is supported - or if it can be initialised as a bog standard SVGA (VESA?) or OpenFirmware (OF) device - you'll see a bootlogo. If not, you see nothing.

Brams is right about flashing the card to a Mac BIOS on both counts. Mil 1 is not capable - the flash ROM is too small (by about half IIRC) but most (I stress MOST) Mil 2's will flash just fine. If your's is compatible, the updater will let you know (and I think it is pretty reliable, though not infalible.)

The other part - about OF booting working is pretty much on the ball too. Though IIRC not *all* OF cards work. Depends on the OF revision the ROM on the card expects/supports.

Okay, back to Bootroms. Be (after R4.0 I think) removed the Matrox Millenium NUB Driver (I think for just the Millenium 2, but might be both) because of the BUG in the driver. The bug itself is fairly minor. It will cause the Box to halt when the driver is initialized IIRC and sort of happens quite randomly. The R4.5 boot ROM does not have the driver in it. I _think_ the R3 one does, but that is the source of the bugs. The PR2 boot ROM is fairly stable, and works well.

My BeBox uses the PR2 boot ROM. I have used a Mil 2 in it extensively (though not at the moment) with a PC BIOS and the boot logo works just fine. Boot logo and everything. A PR2 boot ROM will boot all versions of BeOS ever released from the PR2 release onwards (PR2, R3, R4, R4.5, R5, R5.03, R5.05 etc). Don't recall the BeBox ever hanging either.

To quote a private post someone once sent me (long enough for the dust to have settled):


Quote:

from ../beos/exp/src/boot/vga/video/video.c


Code:

......
  case MATROX_VENDOR:
    switch( h.device_id ) {
      // FFB: Mystique and Mill-II support is buggy in (currently) incomprehensible ways :-(
     //   Remove support for Genki, so we don't hang the BeBox during boot.
     //   case MGA_1064S:
     //   case MGA_2164W:
     case MGA_2064W:
       theBCP = MatroxCardEntrypoint( ......


Mystique is Millennium's other name IIRC. Genki is R4.5's code name. The R4.5 boot ROM is the last one Be ever produced and publicly released.

To quote myself:

Quote:

... the Mil 2 [has] a second Apple style connector. I have two.. in fact one is directly in front of me right now...

The card has the following markings:

MATROX 708-04 REV : A COPYRIGHT 1997
FAA41556 (on a barcode)
765820 REV 401-1 (on a sticker)

The main chip is an MGA marked as:

MGA-2164WP-C 9732KU23

On the back:

MIL2P/41 (might be 'MIL2P/4I'))
Assembled in Ireland 401


This is the card I reflashed successfully with a Mac ROM and used in my 9500 for about 6 months, and the card (well, t was another physical card as I used to own 2 of these) with the original PC BIOS ROM that works with my PR2 boot ROM.

Secondly: The BeBox for "sale", earler in this thread, is mine. I'm looking for a good home for a dear old friend. I think it is unfeasable to ship it to the states (ironic too, as that is where it came from, ultimately..) If you feel you want to convince me otherwise, please feel free to get in touch (join the BeBox.nu forums, PM me there of possibly post to the thread.) I'm pretty sure I would not turn down the right offer to ship to the states. But I'm very sure that that would be quite a bit of money. Be fore warned Wink
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memson



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

brams wrote:
Wierd, I got an email from Matt last night and he didn't tell me about that, he is a memeber here as well.


Sorry, I assumed you would have seen it ;-)

If anyone is looking for PCI cards - a few S3 video cards, a few NIC's and a few ADAPTEC branded SCSI cards, look on the same forum. I would repost here, but I assume they are not all that interesting.

Looking for reasonable money for them... 3/$5 a piece plus shipping costs... something like that.
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brams



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 511
Location: Blackburn, England

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

memson wrote:
Sorry, I assumed you would have seen it Wink


I only tend to go on BeBox NU about once a week now, not much going there I'm afraid.

It's a bit of a shame somebody has much into BeBoxes as you obviously are has deceided to sell. I can understand economics dictate circumstance more often than not, still I feel it's a shame.

Thanks for the info on the bootroms as well Smile
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