Re: Video card questions...

Daniel G. Linder (
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 16:21:42 -0600 (CST)

In response to a letter that Mr. Charlie Ross wrote, Rob Glover wrote:
> First: Why would you WANT more than 1 video card2? no real need.

You were probably against a windowing interface when XWindows and
Macintosh came out, weren't you?!? ;-) If I could do it easily with
standard VGA cards, I'd plunk down a bit of cash to re-use an aging but
functional VGA monitor to have as a second head on the system...

> Second: PCI is much faster than VLB.

Definately! The VLB is VERY i486 specific, whereas the PCI bus has
been thoughout and allows for "any" CPU to talk with PCI devices.

> Third: No real advantage, just having another monitor hooked up, but you
> shouldn't need it, linux has virtual consoles.

True, but I know of some people doing CAD that do the editing/hacking
on one console and then do the high-res redering on a larger 21" monitor
off to the side. Sort of like a painter having the picture and the
subject in the same room rather than having them in separate rooms...

> Fourth: My suggestion is to use the PCI card and not do anything, you
> can't merge the VRAM to 2 megs....

I don't think that the quest was to merge the two memory segments of
the VGA cards, but rather to have two windows into the system.

As another use for this setup, you could have a demo booth setup with a
slideshow running on one screen and the program and a couple open shells
on the other screen. With a carefull hack, you could probably use a
terminal on a serial port along with a serial mouse to be the
keyboard/mouse for the second head and have a multi user XWindows system
in one box! (Assuming the primary console used a PS/2 mouse.)