Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Gentoo Forums
Quick Search: in
Eyecandying a machine that can't handle it.
View unanswered posts
View posts from last 24 hours

 
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo on Alternative Architectures
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kalisphoenix
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:25 am    Post subject: Eyecandying a machine that can't handle it. Reply with quote

I'm a bit curious about this. See, I'm rather disillusioned with X, at least as far as this SGI Indy is concerned. It ran GAIM with few complaints, but even Sylpheed taxed its ass, so I'm seriously considering just dropping Xorg entirely and going the CLI route on this box. It's got 160MB RAM and a 180MHz R5K, but I really do feel its limitations. I think that it's silly to run Xorg just for colors, basically.

Howevah: I am admittedly a acid-eating CLI pussy and would like something at least vaguely colorful besides my two-color prompt. I'd freak after five minutes of colorless emacs, believe you me. I've considered cutting up my Dali posters and pasting them on the monitor, but then I couldn't see what I was typing.

I know that bootsplash won't work with this box :cry: :cry: but are there any other CLI eyecandy options available to me? I guess I could ssh in from a bootsplash-enabled box, but the only one I have is an Athlon 64, and it seems silly to ssh into a box with 1/20 of the power just so I can feel slightly 1337.

So, anyone know anything about this? Any suggestions? I mean, I'd settle for anything, I just want... colors.

Mama don't take my Kodachrome, etc. I'm one of those guys.

Speaking of, how is the Gentoo-mips project coming along? A lot less discussion of it than there was when I installed on this box.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tarzan420
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 81
Location: Fairbanks AK

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could write up one of those crazy-fancy bash prompts with lots of colors, and a clock, etc,etc,etc... see this page for ideas of what you can do, and the Bash Prompt HOWTO for more details on how to do it.

I would suggest qingy, but if you can't do bootsplash, you probably can't do qingy either.
_________________
The power of Unix coupled with a pleasing interface and scores of usable desktop applications is a disgusting perversion of everything Unix stands for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
s4t4n
Developer
Developer


Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Posts: 433
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarzan420 wrote:


I would suggest qingy, but if you can't do bootsplash, you probably can't do qingy either.


Well, bootsplash does not work for me, either, but all you need to run qingy is a working console framebuffer...
_________________
Linux *IS* user friendly: it just appears
to be selective who it is friend with!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalisphoenix
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

s4t4n wrote:
tarzan420 wrote:


I would suggest qingy, but if you can't do bootsplash, you probably can't do qingy either.


Well, bootsplash does not work for me, either, but all you need to run qingy is a working console framebuffer...


It looks really awesome (and it compiled successfully), but there are some interesting issues with the Indy's Newport XL framebuffer which make me think that it's a lost cause. For one, I have no /dev/fb0 (which I am googling). I also use a framebuffer that is not supported (at least supported explicitly) by directfb, and I think that's the tough one to get around. I'm not sure that the card is VESA-compliant at all, although I'm googling that too :-P And passing options for resolution, etc to qingy hasn't worked thusfar.

Thanks, though :cry: I'm sure I would have loved it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
s4t4n
Developer
Developer


Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Posts: 433
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalisphoenix wrote:
s4t4n wrote:


Well, bootsplash does not work for me, either, but all you need to run qingy is a working console framebuffer...


It looks really awesome (and it compiled successfully), but there are some interesting issues with the Indy's Newport XL framebuffer which make me think that it's a lost cause. For one, I have no /dev/fb0 (which I am googling). I also use a framebuffer that is not supported (at least supported explicitly) by directfb, and I think that's the tough one to get around. I'm not sure that the card is VESA-compliant at all, although I'm googling that too :-P And passing options for resolution, etc to qingy hasn't worked thusfar.

Thanks, though :cry: I'm sure I would have loved it.


If you have no /dev/fb0 (or /dev/fb/0) then you have no working framebuffer. I suggest you try out the VESA one, otherwise... the Indy is mips hardware, right? Do you run vanilla or the mips sources? Maybe there is more mips hardware supported in that kernel...

When (if) you get framebuffer working, we can talk about your other issues :-)
_________________
Linux *IS* user friendly: it just appears
to be selective who it is friend with!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalisphoenix
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the framebuffer works (technically) because I get the MIPS Linux penguin bootlogo (but not a normal bootsplash). The hardware problem is that the framebuffer's memory is not directly accessible by the CPU. There was a project at some point called ShadowFB that was supposed to indirectly use this sort of framebuffer, but it seems to have disappeared.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Redhatter
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 548
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Newport graphics framebuffers found in the Indy and other SGI machines aren't VESA compliant at all. Also, the newport console driver doesn't provide framebuffer support -- hence you don't get a /dev/fb0 device. (This bit me when I tried using KDrive)

I've considererd whether its worth looking at porting the XFree86 newport driver to work as a framebuffer driver -- but I'm a kernel hacking newbie, and so this would probably be beyond me.

Unfortunately, if you want a GUI on these boxes... it's X{Free86,.org} or nothing for the moment.

Mind you... if you're patient, these machines don't do too badly running a full desktop like KDE.

Also worth noting... on the MIPS platform, CFLAGS make a big difference. I haven't got any hard figures, but on the Indy I've got here, I've used Debian Woody, Gentoo (no CFLAGS) and Gentoo (tweaked CFLAGS) -- tweaking the CFLAGS made the machine quite responsive. This may be useful when setting up a fully fledged desktop such as KDE, Gnome or XFCE.

For the record, my box:
SGI Indy IP22
MIPS R4600SC 133MHz CPU
256MB RAM
9.1GB IBM SCSI HDD
Newport XL 8-bit framebuffer.
CFLAGS: -O2 -mips3 -mabi=32 -mtune=r4600 -pipe

I've got KDE 3.2 working fine on it (you need to edit the ebuilds and add the ~mips keyword manually), planning on updating it to KDE 3.3 shortly.
_________________
Stuart Longland (a.k.a Redhatter, VK4MSL)
I haven't lost my mind - it's backed up on a tape somewhere...

Gentoo/MIPS Cobalt developer, Mozilla herd member.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalisphoenix
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2004 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greets!

I wonder how much effort it would take to port the driver. I suppose I could try that, that would be definitely rewarding :-)

It's interesting that you say that KDE's not too bad -- I have it installed on a box with less RAM (160MB) but more processing power (180MHz R5K) and it's damn-near unbearable. I installed the libs in the customary fashion and then had my way with the DO_NOT_COMPILE for kdebase as per a thread somewhere in here. I haven't had good luck with any WM's, though -- I had fluxbox running very well, and windowmaker too, but GTK apps made it absolutely pathetic. I thought Sylpheed was a damned light application until it crawled on the Indy.

See, I had Redhat 7 installed on a K6-2 233 with 32MB of RAM and it ran fine with KDE, etc. The K6 processor is faster than a 180MHz R5K but not by too much... and I have five times as much RAM in this machine. I don't understand why this one should run even minimalist WMs so much slower.

There's a problem with the hard drive -- it's getting about 5MB/sec because of the sluggish SCSI driver... but I've had amounts like that before and I wouldn't think it'd affect the operating speeds like that unless it were using some serious swap (and I turned it off).

*shrugs* I'd like to figure out how to get Debian packages to work. I haven't had any luck with that. Maybe their older, stabler X and older, smaller KDE 2.2 will play nicer with this aging hardware.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Redhatter
Retired Dev
Retired Dev


Joined: 20 Sep 2003
Posts: 548
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, on x86 though, I think a lot of the projects use inline assembly to speed things up. On MIPS, we haven't got that luxury (well, we do, but people rarely use it).

When I say not too bad -- I'm patient and don't mind waiting a bit... KDE 3.2 on the Indy here takes a good minute to bring up the desktop, but once its up... the speed is tollerable.

It was a lot worse on KDE 3.1 and Debian Unstable -- much slower.

You've got an r5k CPU, those CPUs are 64-bit so you might want to look at running mips64 later down the track. That is one way to squeeze extra cycles out of the aging machine. However I'm not sure if there's stage tarballs for mips64 as yet...if you can get a stage3 tarball, you might want to chuck it on an NFS server and netboot into it -- see if it runs.

Maybe one of the experts can give some advice here... ;-)
_________________
Stuart Longland (a.k.a Redhatter, VK4MSL)
I haven't lost my mind - it's backed up on a tape somewhere...

Gentoo/MIPS Cobalt developer, Mozilla herd member.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalisphoenix
Apprentice
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Sep 2003
Posts: 211
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I guess the real benefits of the minimal KDE install should show themselves in diskspace savings and so on. I'm going to emerge a minimal WM with KDE support and see how that works. I really don't care for the UI so much as I do the unified applications, because I'm anal or something.

I discovered that I hadn't really turned the swap off. I did this time and it seemed reasonably faster. Konqueror is still slow as shit, but some more minimalistic apps might (once installed) be nicer to me.

It's a shame. It's a very nice, stable machine, but I have an emotional need for some 1337 eye-candy. Seems a pity to have dropped a few bucks on the 24-bit card and 128MB more of RAM and have it used only by bash and emacs. Granted, KDE isn't all that 1337...

I guess I should start earning my keep in the Linux community and figure out a way to get an fb interface.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Gentoo Forums Forum Index Gentoo on Alternative Architectures All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum