USB on an ALR 9000 under Linux?

From: Evan Langlois (
Date: Wed Aug 30 2000 - 13:27:52 EST

PLease email response, I'm not back on the list yet after the move.

I'm considering building an ALR box cause I want to test some parallel
programming ideas under Linux. However, these machines require an expensive
"serial" card that contains the keyboard and mouse ports. Some of these are
4 P-Pro CPU machines, some are 6 (on 2 daughtercards). With the price of
P-Pro CPUs dropping fast, these would make a nice SMP box (6 200Mhz
processors would make a nice server, or in my case, a good test for parallel
algorythms that use a large number of threads).

Now, the 2 questions. Is a 512K cache on the CPU going to make a significant
difference versus 256K cache. I can see how more cache means less memory bus
access and less bus contention to memory, but if these caches get cleared
pretty often on an SMP machine, then it may not make much difference. Any

Second thought, if I add in a PCI USB card, and run a kernel that supports
USB, can I run the keyboard and mouse off USB and not bother with the
"serial" card. The USB card may be cheaper than the serial/keyboard/mouse
card and there is definately some more room for additional devices.
However, if the keyboard controller is on the keyboard card (anyone know for
sure) then this chip won't be on the system. Will Linux get mad without it?
I seem to remember it controlling the A20 gate and maybe some other stuff.
Does linux need the A20 gate or anything like that?

I'm hoping the thing boots without the keyboard card, I dunno. Anyone with
more info (or just commentary) I'd love to hear it.

Evan Langlois

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