In a thread on the SGI Enthusiast site, Nekochan.net, about Linux compatibility with SGI's MIPS based line of workstations, a user, tillin9, suggested the possibility of installing modern, off the shelf graphics cards in the SGI O2 under Linux. The O2 is equipped with a single PCI slot for expansion, so physically installing a new graphics card is no problem. Unfortunately, graphics cards require special initialization code, stored in the card's ROM, to be run at boot time. Since the Radeon's initialization routine has to be able to execute on the processor architecture in the computer in which it's installed, different code is required for x86, PowerPC, PA-RISC, SPARC, and MIPS. Since there weren't any PCI Radeon's made for MIPS powered workstations, surely ten years later, a modern Radeon would never work in an old SGI workstation...
I'm in the (long and arduous) process of becoming a Gentoo/Alpha developer. This involves, firstly, becoming an Architecture Tester. This in turn, requires that I complete a quiz, mail it to the head of the Alpha team and wait. The developer who manages the alpha arch testers, of which there are none, currently, has been missing in action for 18 days.
If you've got any suggestions for CFLAGS or other tricks to try, contact me.
A few small updates and additions to the website:
- Added a page about Alpha Assembly Programming.
- Reordered the SkyOS Build Numbers page to show newest releases at the top. There's really no need to force you to scroll to the bottom to see the latest SkyOS release.
- Added an implementation of the Leibniz Formula for Pi algorithm in Alpha Assembly
The semester is almost over and I cannot wait. There are so many things I'd rather be doing than Differential Equations. For instance:
- Writing x86-64 assembly
- Attempting to write useful patches for X, Mesa, xf86-video-ati, et al.
- Learning Alpha Assembly
- Working on my HP Alphaserver DS20L, specifications are as follows
- Dual 833 MHz EV68ALs with 4MB external L2 cache each
- 2 GB ECC Registered RAM
- Radeon X1550 256MB PCI
- 18 GB 15K RPM SCSI Drive
Unless someone corrects me, I'm going to say this is the first Alpha/R500 combination. This may also mean it is the first Linux/Alpha box to have a graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.0. It even fits in a nice 1U case.
I've also posted a nice piece of x86-64 assembly using SSE3. See my leibniz pi code page.