new tool

Albert Cahalan (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 17:37:00 -0500 (EST)

There are many pieces of hardware that Linux has no driver
for because the manufacturer does not document anything.
There may be a tool that can help.

I know someone who can design a board to record _everything_
that happens on the ISA bus. I'm not sure if that will help
with PCI at all (the IO ports might work on some motherboards),
but it is great for ISA cards, including parallel port devices.

Current plans call for a board with 16 MB of RAM to store all
the data collected from the ISA bus. The board might have
a 68xxx CPU and FPGA. The board can be programmed to collect
data from a selected range of ports. The board might support
IRQ, DMA, and/or memory mapped IO. The board is programmable,
but too slow for real-time data compression. It has no MMU
either, so don't get any m68k Linux ideas.

The board comes as a kit, so people may want to work together
with a user group or college. You will need about $200 for
the board, chips, connectors, CPU... Then you solder the parts
together and add RAM. The board might require SRAM, though the
designer will try to use common 30-pin DRAM SIMMs. You must be
able to solder the tiny connectors on surface-mount parts.

I need a head count. How many people/groups are seriously
interested in such a board? Suggestions? Simple modifications
can be done to the existing design if you act fast. Large
changes (like substituting fast IO for the RAM and CPU) can
also be suggested, but remember that cost and difficult
assembly are important issues for many people. I would like
so send a list of email addresses to the designer.