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Computer tech blog

Started by Dr. Mario, March 11, 2009, 05:28:30 pm

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Dr. Mario

Yea, baby - Coreboot's based oo uCLinux (microcontroller verison of Linux OS)!!

BTW, It's unique from the other uCLinux OSes, is that it have access to SMM, and dedicate most of its MMU jobs to on-die memory controller (on AMD's 64-bit CPU, and Intel Core i7) and have widest selections of drivers for soldered-on parts. AND, yes, it have an EFI utility software (works perfectly on 6x and 7x86-based motherboard with Coreboot written on BIOS flash EEPROM chip.)

Added after 15 minutes:

Also be careful with Phenom II CPU, because it potentially have XIO memory controller, when dealing with Coreboot. (I have seen it kept posting memory controller error message on Phenom II, so I tried Cell BE initalization manual, copied XDR memory initalization and combined it with DDR initalization, so it can try either - booted up fine, regardless of L2 cache being used as a main memory at booting point.)

Also I liked that idea of writing your very own firmware (BIOS), so I wrote few, based on GO64 OS.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

Well, i know that if you were to make a MoBo from scratch you will have to write the firmware, and i guess, not just for the BIOS...
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Dr. Mario

Well, yeah. Actually, the BIOS is only firmware on many motherboard, other than processors' on-die boot firmware (same ROM/EEPROM area where CPUID, and instructions are located. On AMD's CPU, it's at 00x0000 [same as ARM CPU], primarily to boot small but important firmware, 16KB in size.)

Also Coreboot is great for any Linuxphiles who build the motherboard.

(All hail to Kami-Tux!!)

Also, having experience writing BIOS, you will want to find every single tech spec on every chips on MOBO, for drivers.

Added after 16 minutes:

That is, the drivers in BIOS image, original AND homemade, are to maintain the hardwares during boot point, to boot OS successfully, with all of hardwares you want to be in its hardware stacks - mostly in EAX stack (providing anyone know ASM, and C++) so you can use a motherboard to its fullest intention.

Oh, and if you wanna the best GUI, please reconsider the memory size of BIOS flash EEPROM, after you focus on the OS kernel and drivers. Most of time, I'm satisified with OpenGL rendered in VESA 3.0 VGA.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

For great efficiency, one could also merge BIOS and OS on the same chip, right?
Although having the OS do absolutely everything, from booting the entire system, to running it when it's all up, would require it to be on fast memory and it needs to be programmed extremely well....

Once you get something like that running, though, i think you could really speed booting up ...
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Thanks Fedora-sama
Homer no function beer well without (Homer Simpson) ^_^

Dr. Mario

Have done it. The copy of GreenOmega on the hard drive can use the BIOS' kernel of the same nature. It's to eliminate Real-Mode boot (dry boot), instead, it can execute any of the softwares without a help of EFI utility. It can also load any programs off hard drive, CD, DVD, BD, and many kind of the most common storages, from just plain command prompt or a mouse click. The iso-kernel also helps with CPU emulation very well, like running MacOS 9.

Exactly the same process can be done by Coreboot too.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

Oh, sweet... (and typical me, btw. everytime i have a bright idea, it already exists... ^_^)
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Thanks Fedora-sama
Homer no function beer well without (Homer Simpson) ^_^

Dr. Mario

Yup. Also I'm trying to take my own firmware's usefulness into account. What about language? It has English and Japanese built-in, as of a special requirement.

You said fast memory? I tried it on a CPU (Phenom II with its memory controller unlocked) - the kernel fits fine on Level 3 cache, but when it comes to avoiding dry bootup of GO64 off a hard drive, it get written off, onto either DDR3 or XDR (in this case, 3.2GHz XDR - just to see if it complain or crash. I took bug in 65nm Agena seriously.)
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

Wow, on-die booting?...
Well i guess you could fit a DOS-like OS on there...
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Dr. Mario

YES, it can be done, on Phenom II's L3, it's 6MB. (And on Core i7, around 8MB, just in case Anybody is interested in what's on i7's die.) Also for a Japanese x86 RISC (not released yet - set my thermal paste-covered hand on it already) - Cell BE version, has a monstrous L3 cache. Back to DOS, in Real Mode, it only take up 1MB (except for modified DOS that runs in Long Mode) that it will fit 1/6 or 1/8 of operating L3 cache's available area. BIOS I designed, consumes 2MB, even in Long Mode.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

My god, that'll make for an insanely fast OS... Should boot in nanoseconds... :D
And who needs a flashy GUI, as long as the games are supported...(by having the OS load a DX (-like) subsystem from SATA disk when needed... ^_^)
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Thanks Fedora-sama
Homer no function beer well without (Homer Simpson) ^_^

Dr. Mario

Well, my BIOS has a flashy GUI (blue glass style), pulled it off with only 256KB executible code size (it also have Win3.1-style GUI).

Also, I did PS1 emulation, with only original Sony firmware image, and spaghetti of commands, strictly text-based - ran PS1 game fine.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

Then why is Vista such a HDD-hog?!
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Dr. Mario

True. But Vista's kernel is not to be labeled a HDD hog, though. It's more of the opposite, a RAM hog.

My GO kernel is written within 256KB, up to 1MB, loads only what is needed (For example: CPU driver, like Hypertransport, and/or RAM controller, to assist in pre/post-booting.)
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...

Smokey

Well i find that if your OS occupies 41,57GiB, it can be labeled as a HDD hog aswell....
I dont tell you how to tell me what to do, so dont tell me how to do what you tell me to do... Bender the Great) :/
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Dr. Mario

Well, it's not easy not to make it a hog. At inital, it's 400MB. My HDD containing GO64's approaching 67GB, as a result of software developmental and anime CGI, and many other software - like OpenOffice.Org, just to name few.
;025 Now, Bowser... What can I do with you...