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Will SPARC IPX run NS or OS?
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crimsonRE wrote:
<The SS20 is the one with the built in frame buffer, so all you have to do is insert a VSIMM in the slot to enable it and get 24bit graphics, correct? >

No, actually the entire framebuffer is on the VSIMM.


So then all I have to do is remove any existing bus video cards, install a VSIMM in the correct memory slot, and plug into the built in 13w3 connection, and It will have 24bit video support? Can you use more than one VSIMM to get better performance? I see that both a 4M and 8M version is available, and was curious if I could use two 4M instead of an 8M one.

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crimsonRE



Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, Mach for NS will only use a single CPU (I get use of both CPUs when I boot with Solaris 2.8 that's on the other disks in this machine)

When you install NextStep, after popping in the VSIMM, the CG14 driver will be installed. I haven't tried upgrading after the fact, but the CG14 driver is obviously somewhere on the NextStep CD so you'd just have to chase it down and install it using Configure.app..

You can add another VSIMM but you don't get 'cumulative' performance - you just get another video output. And adding a second VSIMM activates a second framebuffer, the output of which must go through an auxiliary SBus board (part number 501-2488). The 4MB VSIMM only supports a max resolution of 1152x900, whilst the 8MB can go up to 1600x1280 (note that I'm not certain of the color depth available for either of these VSIMMs at max resolution).

Now I've never tried having both the SX graphics active as well as an SBus graphics card, but I suspect both can actually work, at the same time - under Solaris, anyway. The X Windows system (which Solaris uses) has been able to handle multiple 'heads' (graphics outputs) for many years. However, I don't believe NextStep was ever designed this way...
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crimsonRE wrote:
Now I've never tried having both the SX graphics active as well as an SBus graphics card, but I suspect both can actually work, at the same time - under Solaris, anyway.


I assume that the built in video would become the primary adapter, and the sbus a secondary one? The reason I ask is because I remember trying to help a friend with his SS20 that had the video connector on the back broken when a monitor fell off a rack. We put a sbus card in, but could never get any graphics out of it. The system would boot fine and come up on the network, but not graphics. It must have had a VSIMM in it, so the sbus video was disabled. Very interesting. Will have to check if he still has it.

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crimsonRE



Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I've never used a multi-head system and it's been a long time since I've looked at the parameters passed to the X server when it is started, so I'd have to do a bit of research to say if there is a 'primary' output versus a 'secondary' one. Could be that they're just equal...
I assume that your friend's SS20 was running Solaris? Did he have the appropriate driver loaded onto the system for the SBus card y'all added after the SX's connector broke?

Oh, and look what I came (concerning multi-headed):

From the Sparc Hardware Compatibility Guide:

GRAPHICS ADAPTERS
8-bit color and grayscale at 1152x900 or 24-bit color at 1152x900 with
appropriate video system. Release 3.3 supports multiple monitors with graphics
cards for expanded desktop space.
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macroexp



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: I fixed my S24 mouse trails! Reply with quote

gborgns wrote:
crimsonRE,

How much system memory did you have installed in your SS5 with the S24 board?

I am running the full 256MB and I think there maybe a memory overlap error occuring (i.e. system memory clobbering video memory).

Again, if I set it to 8 bit res. with the configure.app, all is fine. 24-bits no go. Could be the card I guess.



I had 160mb in my SS5/S24 and have always had mouse trails (trails of dots) and assumed it was a bad card, or that the NS driver was incompatible with my revision of the card. Anyways, this thread got me thinking about it again (I had put the SS5 on the shelf because the artifacts were too annoying).

I pulled some sticks of ram out of the SS5 that were not exact pairs. I had gotten it up to 160mb by throwing in assorted dimms from my collection of parts. Anyways, the artifacts are GONE. I can't guarantee that anyone else will have the same results but I am really happy, NS looks wonderful now!

Very Happy

Good luck - there are some cards on ebay right now for about $4 if it really is a bad card. I just picked up another one to rehab another 110mhz SS5 I've got.
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up a couple of sun systems from an auction (I wanted the monitor, but had to take the whole lot to get it) and one is an IPX Cycle5. From what I can find on the web, this is basically an IPX with an upgraded motherboard that makes it like a SS5. It contains a 110mhz MicroSparcII processor, floppy, and 128M of ram. Since the 110Mhz SS5's can run NS/OS, would this one as well? Anyone tried it before, or know of anyone that has?

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da9000



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 387
Location: Silicon Valley

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nextchef wrote:
I picked up a couple of sun systems from an auction (I wanted the monitor, but had to take the whole lot to get it) and one is an IPX Cycle5. From what I can find on the web, this is basically an IPX with an upgraded motherboard that makes it like a SS5. It contains a 110mhz MicroSparcII processor, floppy, and 128M of ram. Since the 110Mhz SS5's can run NS/OS, would this one as well? Anyone tried it before, or know of anyone that has?
Chef


Nextchef, how do you tell it's a "Cycle5" ?

I have an IPX lunchbox, the faster model, I forget what it is right now. Haven't seen anything about "Cycle5". I'm actually thinking of making the lithium-battery hack for it.

Anyone: I also have a Sparcstation ELC (40Mhz AFAIK, like this: http://sites.inka.de/pcde/collection/sparcelc.html ) with the lithium battery hack ( http://www.bhargavaz.net/nvram/nvram.html ), for sale if anyone is interested. Maybe I'll bundle the IPX with it too, and a whole bunch of keyboards and optical mice, SCSI tape-drive, whatever other Sun stuff I have. Won't run NS, but sure runs Linux and SunOS Smile
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 1007
Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

da9000 wrote:

Nextchef, how do you tell it's a "Cycle5" ?


The one I have has a new badge on the front next to the sun logo that reads "Cycle 5". The motherboard is also very different from pics of other ipx's that I have seen, and contains a different processor. Here is a website for the company, but the links on the page are all dead. http://www.cyclecc.com/

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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was finally able to get around to trying to install NS/OS on my IPX Cycle5, and it worked for OS4.2. I was able to partially install NS3.3, but kept on getting data exception/access errors when trying to reboot to finish setup. OS 4.2, as I mentioned, installed successfully, and boots just fine. Not the fastest of systems, it is basically a sparc5 level machine, but it does have 128M ram, which is nice.

Does anyone know how to configure multi monitor support in OS4.2 for sparc? This machine has the built in framebuffer graphics, and an additional bus graphics card. The machine boots to the additional framebuffer, but the OS4.2 desktop is displayed on the built in framebuffer. I tried adding another framebuffer in the config.app, but do not know quite how to get it working.

Any thoughts or suggestions .. Thanks

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crimsonRE



Joined: 29 Jan 2006
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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct - only one processor is used. You can have 2 in the machine though - NextStep just ignores it...

crimsonRE
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crimsonRE wrote:
Correct - only one processor is used. You can have 2 in the machine though - NextStep just ignores it...

crimsonRE


Are you referring to cpu processors or graphics processors? My question concerned support for multiple video cards under NS/OS for sparc.

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pergamon



Joined: 30 Dec 2005
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Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nextchef wrote:

Are you referring to cpu processors or graphics processors? My question concerned support for multiple video cards under NS/OS for sparc.


I'm 99% sure I had a Sparc 5 or 10 working with multiple displays in NS3.3 a few years ago. I can't help with how anymore, but I can mostly confirm that it should be possible as long as the FBs are all supported by NS. I don't recall it being a difficult thing, at least with my particular setup.
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blackcube



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

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pergamon wrote:
nextchef wrote:

Are you referring to cpu processors or graphics processors? My question concerned support for multiple video cards under NS/OS for sparc.


I'm 99% sure I had a Sparc 5 or 10 working with multiple displays in NS3.3 a few years ago. I can't help with how anymore, but I can mostly confirm that it should be possible as long as the FBs are all supported by NS. I don't recall it being a difficult thing, at least with my particular setup.


multiple desktops are already supported in NS - the dual head Dimension-mono monitor setups on Cubes as an example. I can't see why it wouldn't work on a Sparc.
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atar



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blackcube wrote:

The best bet is a SS5 110mhz. The 70mhz versions are supported but slow and the cpu in the 170 is not


Is it not supported with the message "not supported cpu" or is it not in the list of the officially supported hardware, so the installation is possible, but the system is unstable after the installation?
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nextchef



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
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Location: Missouri, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

atar wrote:
blackcube wrote:

The best bet is a SS5 110mhz. The 70mhz versions are supported but slow and the cpu in the 170 is not


Is it not supported with the message "not supported cpu" or is it not in the list of the officially supported hardware, so the installation is possible, but the system is unstable after the installation?


If i remember correctly it will not even allow you to install because of the TurboSparc cpu not being supported.
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